We all have different reasons for getting up every morning. Going to work can be another story, but a lot of us do it. I’d guess that “most” people go to get a paycheck, so they can come home and live their lives.
So why do I go to work where I do, and why have I left the jobs that I’ve left? Well, let’s take a short stroll down memory lane.
I started my career in a place that was mostly grant-funded, working on Early Childhood Education-related projects. We had a fairly decent tech crew to support the projects, but there wasn’t much focus on intentionally writing the funding for paying the technology staff into the grants. There are support dollars that are a portion of each grant that, when grants are plentiful, were enough to cover the tech staff. Unfortunately, when grants started to dry up, the support dollars weren’t enough to cover all of the staff. My boss was someone I respected, and the work was worthwhile and enjoyable, but I preferred to get a jump on a new job instead of risking a RIF scenario.
My second job was for a very small company, and one software package that I worked on helped support babies in the NICU. There was a lot of good feels there. Again, the person who mostly was my boss – not technically, I guess, but with whom I interacted with daily and who directed the course of what I was working on mostly, was someone who I both liked and respected.
Unfortunately, there was a big push to really grow the business, without understanding the limitations that sales were working under. Additionally, folks who weren’t living up to the new (ridiculous) sales quotas were “punished”, which lowered their ability to make new sales even more. And, upper-level management was promising customers functionality in timeframes that were extremely unreasonable given the resources we had available. The environment had become extremely toxic, and watching people I respected get treated poorly was the last straw.
Where I work now has had some fluctuations, both in staffing and organizationally. There were times when I wasn’t sure whether the job was still the right fit. But, I am again answering to someone I have a lot of respect for. I also feel like I am making a (slow, but) positive difference in the company, both in identifying process improvements that should happen, as well as performance improvements needed in the software.
So, I guess what it comes down to is that if:
1. I am working for someone I respect, whose values and direction I agree with, and
2. I feel like I am making a positive difference and my skills/knowledge are respected and appreciated
then I am happy to come in and work hard do my best for my team, my boss, and my company. This may be simplistic, but it seems to work for me!