If you haven’t seen the movie “As Good as It Gets,” I highly recommend it. It is an interesting story with a ton of fabulous one-liners. One of these is when Jack Nicholson’s character is standing in the waiting room of his therapist, and he looks around and asks, “What if this is as good as it gets?”
If I had a nickel for every time I thought the same thing… I’m speaking mainly of my career.
I’ve written extensively about being an administrative professional. It’s good work. Partnering with a manager or a team and helping them accomplish their goals is very gratifying, especially if you are in an environment where everyone involved gets recognition for good work. However, there are some environments where your soul could get crushed. This can happen in many corporate environments. If you have the personality where words of affirmation are important to you, choose your environment carefully. There are still way too many corporate types who think of admins as “the help,” or worse. One of my colleagues told me her boss referred to admins as “unskilled labor.” Some of this is just arrogance and outright stupidity. Some of it is the nature of the work. In large companies, the high-performing admin can seem invisible in the big picture. Stuff just gets done, and people in other roles have no idea how. Of course, when the admin in this spot makes a mistake (which every human being does), a lot of things can fall apart quickly until the mistake is corrected. In such an environment, the admin is usually overlooked, underappreciated, and others take the credit for her work.
I have been on both ends. I have had positions where everyone was valued and treated as such. I have been in positions where others seemed convinced an ordinary hamster could replace me and no one would know the difference. In my current role, I do feel valued, but the Nuclear business has extra rules that keep folks like me from enjoying some benefits that others enjoy. And my company does pay well. But for some time, I have desired to frame my own destiny, to make my own rules. This week, I decided to act on it.
I have resigned.
Yep, you read that right. I’m resigning, as they say in the corporate world, “to pursue other opportunities.” For me, that means going to work for myself. I’m going to start my own business.
In the next post, I’ll tell you more.