Friday, October 12, 2007

Why I'm Glad I'm Not...

I wasn't sure how to finish the title of this post. "Why I'm glad I'm not... a high-powered, big time success?" That doesn't seem exactly right, because I'm very much a success in the terms I would use to describe it. But for now, I'll assume you know what I mean: on the career fast track in New York city, working for some big time publisher or media company. That would be too long for a post title anyway. :)

I had a great, productive day. I was on deadline (who isn't?) with a story I'm working on and I needed information - today - from a source in New York. I'd been in contact with them throughout the week and today was my deadline. Just minutes before 5 p.m. their time, I called with one final plea, saying that I knew that it was just about closing time and if they could get me the information I needed I would be so appreciative. My contact called me to let me know they were still working on it, and then she said, "Just so you know, we're not, um.... We're still here. We're still working on it."

The woman was young, and maybe I was just imagining it but I thought there was just a hint of wistfulness in her voice. Either that, or it was the rumblings of her stomach as she thought about people like me in Kansas who think of 5 o'clock as quitting time.

I know everyone is in different stages in their careers and lives, and granted, there are many times when I work late into the evenings. But I get to do it at home, and I get to define success on my own terms, which have more to do with how happy my family is than whether my last performance evaluation was good.

For now, at this stage of my life, that is exactly where I want to be. I suppose there will be time for me to be a high-powered executive later.

2 comments:

Serenity Now! said...

I hear ya... I was getting ready to leave my office today and I thought "I should be staying to finish this". But then I said a quick prayer of thanks that I have the choice to leave and my job doesn't hang in the balance...

Carolyn Erickson said...

:)