19 April 2017

More on Volunteering

Elsewhere I've mentioned Volunteering or Volunteerism and I've had a few questions. Specifically, what if I don't have control over my situation and I'm forced to work on specific projects or inside of specific teams. What if I can't opt out?

Well, this is going to require some amount of fortitude. First off I suggest that everyone regularly evaluate their relationship with their employer and their job. I think it is important to really honestly confront how you feel personally about what you do for a living, who you do it for, and who you do it with. 

The first thing I'd do is look for a pattern. My wife says my pattern is cyclical and runs about a year long. So roughly every winter I start struggling with what I do and who I do it for and with. Apparently, every year, I say something like 'I'm going to move on...' But then I usually don't. I have a completion complex, I like to finish what I've started if people will let me. That said, i get dissatisfied with things and the cold dark of winter brings out the contemplation. In the end though this is good for me. 

Anyway, if you are seeing a pattern in your dissatisfaction, look very deeply into its cause. Consider everything going on. Are you unhappy because of work, or is it outside of work? Is this thing causing you to not commit to your job and give 110% to what you are doing? Then go and fix it. Rinse and repeat. 

Fixing it might mean finding a new pasture to call home. Thats ok, especially in todays environment. However, it doesn't have to. You might need a break, a good vacation or even a sabbatical. Or, you could consider real career change, like a different role in the IT/Development organization, or more radically going to work for the business. 

No matter what, everyone should understand that their relationship to work is purely voluntary. You don't have to work for your current employer (or anyone for that matter) and you don't have to stay on the team you are on. You don't even need to finish the project that your doing. What you do need to do is take care of yourself.