Independence

Happy Independence Day to my American friends.

I hate to admit this but I started working on this very day – July 4th – forty six years ago!!! I remember distinctly saying to myself – “this is my independence day”.

What “independence” meant to me then was having purchasing power – to buy food, clothing, shelter, furniture, entertainment, etc. Like many others, coming fresh out of school I was only concerned with how much money the job paid. Thankfully, I enjoyed what I did, the people I worked with and the education these jobs gave me. I was initially a steno/typist, quickly working up to being a secretary, to personnel administrator, special projects manager, research analyst, back to being a secretary, real estate sales, back to being a secretary, office manager, and after going back to law school – Family Law Lawyer.

As you can see, making progress sometimes entail taking a backward step until you are sure of the direction you need to take. It would be great if it could be a straight line but on occasion challenges (such as downsizing) will cause you to fall back on to a skill that is in demand. The mistake would be to give up and not dare to move forward again.

For sure, there will be aspects of any job that you will find frustrating or do not enjoy but hopefully the work you do is satisfying more than it is frustrating or not enjoyable. If you wake up each morning dreading going to work or you have developed an intense dislike for what you do, then it is time to re-assess and discover what your alternatives are and take action to change your situation. Life is much too short to spend the majority of your waking life doing something you hate.

A friend confided in me that he has never loved any of his jobs. This is sad when anyone goes to work, to home and back to work each day not really enjoying what one does and the only big reward is a paycheck. I recall reading some many years ago the admonition “either find the job you love, or learn to love the job you have” in “What colour is your Parachute”. Simply put, don’t continue to do what you hate.

I now have a new picture of independence, which is being able to do what I want, when I want and with whom I want.” Are you making progress towards your independence? I am.

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