Never push a loyal person to the point where they no longer care. ~Unknown
Have you ever felt like an unfinished song? You can remember the opening notes and know the end is in the not to distant future waiting to be discovered but your needle is stuck in a groove, skipping, clicking, popping. This is not the little pop some claims gives records their ‘character’ making them superior to digital music which, to me, are annoyances detracting from the beauty of the art.
No. The click-pop signaling a repetition is coming, a sampling of the same grooves, the same lyrics repeated ad nauseam. Predictable. Unchanging. Maddening. Or, almost as vexing, bouncing forward and missing a critical lyric that, if heard, would reveal the essence of the song opening one’s eyes to its ultimate meaning giving a new insight to the song of life. My needle is in the former. It’s stuck in repetition mode.
My life feels like a stack of LP records on a turntable. Many record albums are complete and I can look back and smile at the trials and tribulations intermixed with joys and elations that have brought me to the current song. Above me, on the spindle waiting to be revealed, are the songs yet to be written, the songs that will accompany me into my future culminating in an ultimate playlist to be spun through at my funeral.
It was just recently that I noticed the needle was trapped, that the current song on the current album is skipping repeatedly. The tone arm is stuck in one place allowing the needle to gouge the groove deeper and deeper increasing the difficulty of getting back on track. The song can’t finish, it’s become monotonous, the album can’t complete, my next record can’t fall. My needle was bouncing around in the same song for so long I had become used to it, was blind to the fact that I was stagnating.
It all started at work.
I was stationed in India on a two year assignment. It was, by far, the most interesting and fulfilling work of my career. I was finally in a role where I had the opportunity to exercise my God given talent and gifts to their fullest extent and was seeing my efforts bearing fruit in the lives of those I was privileged to be leading. Click-Pop. Eighteen months in I was asked to return to the US early to fill in the exact same Line Manager role I vacated to work in India. My replacement had chosen to leave the company and the company ‘needed’ a person to fill that role. I had no guaranteed job upon my return so, reluctantly, accepted the role believing it was better to have something to return to especially since I would be getting married a month after my original return date. I had a good rapport with the people I managed when I left and would be returning to the same group.
Click-Pop. Eighteen months in I was asked to return to the US early to fill in the exact same Line Manager role I vacated to work in India. My replacement had chosen to leave the company and the company ‘needed’ a person to fill that role. I had no guaranteed job upon my return so, reluctantly, accepted the role believing it was better to have something to return to especially since I would be getting married a month after my original return date. I had a good rapport with the people I managed when I left and would be returning to the same group.
Click-pop. Less than a year later, for ‘business reasons’ I was stripped of my direct reports and moved into a Project Manager role. The reasoning, I was told, was because the company needed good Project Managers. (The person making both decisions had out and out lied to me at one point so I was more than skeptical when the words rolled off his forked tongue.) I spent 1/2 my career as a Project Manager and had zero desire to do it again. It’s a role I felt I had grown out of years earlier when I managed my career into positions which I viewed as more interesting, more challenging, more fitting of my particular talents.
Fast forward to today.
I am trying to find scintillas of light in this new/old role but am having difficulty. One bright spot is that I get to visit China for a week for one of my current projects. It’s a country I have long wanted to visit so will take a few vacations days to explore Beijing before meeting my Chinese team. I love the challenge of working inter-culturally so this trip is addressing both personal and business needs. Another is I was able to handpick a team in India from people I knew during my time there for a project. I was able to place most of them into roles which they aspired to but weren’t yet in. I am having fun coaching them for their personal growth.
I need challenging work to keep my interest, something which 50/50 chance of being accomplished to stretch me to new levels. I am finding my new role to be too easy which, for me, translates into being bored. I have enough activities to fill my days but most of it tends to be mundane. I am starting other initiatives but that is a band-aid. I no longer see a future at the company I thought would see me through to the end of my career.
So, it’s time for me to pick up the tone arm and move it past the click-pop to another song….the job hunt is underway.