There was a moment today when I felt okay with getting nowhere at my job. Usually when I reach this point in a day I happen upon a post from someone on Facebook or Twitter about how stellar their world is, which, in turn, makes me feel like a jerk for being so quick to be satisfied with being mediocre.
Today, however, I received a note, via LinkedIn, from someone who was (and for all I know, is) mediocre. He was a manager of mine once, although you could have fooled anyone that he was my manager. I’m one of those crazy people that sees a manager as a leader and a coach, not a figurehead, and I imagine that mindset will be getting me into trouble for the rest of my (hopefully natural) life. The good managers see where your talents and your passions are and guide you into a career. This guy did a lot of what I’m sure he thought was guidance. He insisted I’d make a great career in sales. I insisted that I hated sales and that I would make a better career in workforce management, or marketing, or e-commerce…anything but sales. I hate sales. He felt I could make enough money in sales to make up for hating it with my communication skills.
He’s a salesman. In fact, he directs a bunch of salespeople now, in my beloved City, the lucky bastard. But he got there not by working hard but by talking until the right people’s ears bled. I’m sure, in some dark corner of his brain, he now wants me to be one of his salespeople.
I’m sure he’s still not listening. My passion is still workforce management, my passion is still teaching, and my passion is still writing. I’m not buying, babe.
At work, I’m not getting listened to, much, either. This past weekend I crossed from the threshold of “Maybe it will all work out” to “Contract position thinking.” Trusting myself always pays out, and I never try it first–too many people in the guise “I know better” have killed my straight paths and created too many detours. Letting go over the weekend was the same release that I got from saying no to sales.
This San Diego, this job, it’s not forever. Someday I’m going to be back in my City, passionate and allowed to be.