So, I’m down to four more days left in Corporate America. I’ve been writing about things I’m going through, the good stuff and the bad–and, yes, there are some good things about working in a corporate environment. That said, there are many things that I.SO.WILL.NOT.MISS about working freelance.
Among these are:
1) Feeding the cat in the morning: Let’s face it, just about anything is bearable if you’ve had enough sleep. And I, being a writer/Corporate guy, have been working on a 25-year sleep deficit because I get up at 4:00-4:30 on the average morning. This means one of my jobs is to feed the cat in the morning. I shall be passing this role to Lisa … I think. [grin] Either way, I will be fine if I never have to get up at 4AM again.
2) Listening to managers/leaders who obviously don’t get it: I absolutely love leadership. I think it’s afascinating thing to watch and study, and I think when you find a great leader it’s a startlingly cool thing to see. I have been lucky to work with and for many of those great leaders. Unfortunately, the distribution of leaders who actually connect effect to cause very well is highly skewed–not in the right way. In the 20+ years at this company I’ve reported to nearly thirty people in four different business units and three functions. You can do your own math all the way up those chains. Doing this freelance thing means that I’m 100% certain that I’ll be working for an idiot, but at least I figure his heart’s always in the right place, and at least he’ll always see cause and effect the same way I do.
3) Compromising as a way of life: When you work for a culture of collaboration and inclusion, and one led by some of the leaders in #2 above, you have to be okay with your company not doing things in ways that are optimal. As I told a co-worker recently, peering through the organization and finding a path that’s as close to optimal as possible is actually a form of art in itself. I can do this. But it’s not my preferred way to work, and–at the end of almost every major project I’ve been part of in my professional life–while everyone else is busy talking about how great the result was, I’ve had this voice whispering in the darker corners of my mind that keeps pointing out where we really should have, and could have, done a lot better. I enjoy the positives, but I won’t miss thinking about the money my company’s left on the table at times.
4) Looking for conference rooms: Enough said, really. Especially in the open office configuration.
5) IT Help Desk Agents asking if they can close my ticket because they can’t duplicate my problem (or insert anything else they do that includes not actually fixing the problem). Again, enough said.