Aren’t they great!
During my 3 months of freedom, I have achieved quite a lot of things on my long-standing ‘to-do list’, mainly related to work on the house, learning, reading and exercise. I am now finding that as the summer is over and the holiday season is ending, my ability to met up with friends and family is drying up as they go back to work and their new workloads pickup and reduce their availability.
I am now starting to wonder about joining the rat-race again. Unlike other FIREs who have a family and a strong friendship circle, I live on my own and lack that daily human contact and could do with some conversation. Most of this is my fault, I have let work commitments and ‘duty’ get in the way of personal life. I should have said “No”.
Reasons I left my last job included: the poor management, aggressive environment and disrespect for employees. I was also having terrible headaches and finding it hard to go in. I think I was having mild panic attacks which really worried me – and concerns me about re-joining the rat-race. The final straw was a review to fill in and what was ridiculous was the lack of direction and motivation that it evoked in me when it is supposed to motivate you.
It was obvious from my role in the organisational structure there were no promotion routes (other than my line manager’s job) – the only goals that could be set were: to met and learn more about the business departments (I was a new employee) so trying to fill the form in was very hard. Anything I came up with was rejected as either a ‘jolly’, not measurable or not challenging. I couldn’t put things down based on my ‘next assignment’ as the manager couldn’t tell me what I would be doing next. I felt disillusioned. I couldn’t see where I was going in the company – and there seemed to be no direction just immediate short-term deadlines.
Talking to my contractor work colleagues, they commented on how they don’t have to worry about reviews and appraisals. It got me thinking that my return to the workplace maybe better as a contractor or temp. You go in, work your hours and leave without the office politics and monthly/quarterly/annual reviews which are actually stifling motivation rather than encouraging it.
Appraisals and reviews are great when you are young and training is offered – I found then useful then – but once you are in the latter working years, career ladders are not so easy to climb when there are only 2 or 3 rungs left? Training courses are few and far between, if offered. It means that quite often the only way you can progress is by leaving the company or be explicit and say your target is to take your line manager’s job! At one place I worked, the review was just seen as a way of ranking employees and then using this as a basis to reduce head counts when times were tough.
Now when it comes to FI targets, I could fill in the form with a list of goals – but I didn’t think my employer would be too happy in goals based on releasing me from the workplace. 🙂
The review form:
List your career path/vision goals:
Goal – Objective – KPI – Target Date
1- What has gone well since your last review?
2- What are you proud of?
3- Is there anything you have struggled with or are concerned about?
I currently have a ‘fear’ of joining the rat-race given this recent experience so I need to take my time and review my FI goals and personal targets. I need to appraise my skills and work on my self-confidence and self-belief. This experience has knocked my confidence big-time and made me questioned my ability – “can I really do the job?” – I was beginning to question this given the flack I was getting. I need to take my time and find something that fits rather than let the voice of ‘fear’ make me jump into the first thing that comes along. That was one of my FI goals – providing space to chose and to have choices rather than rush into things.