7 Life Lessons I learned since last Christmas

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As anybody reading this blog will notice, I’ve been gone for a while. I posted just before Christmas last year about shopping and then proceeded to fall off the map (in more ways than one).

I had a job change and walked into much more than I anticipated. It was (and still is) a great opportunity, however, it didn’t come without its own set of challenges. Here is what I learned over the past twelve months:

  1.  Sometimes things are not as they appear.  A business can appear to run well from the outside, but when you get involved operationally you can find some things that have languished for years. The job I took is managing multiple departments within an organization. Some of these departments were managed in the past by people who were less interested in the good of the organization, but spent their time shooting the breeze most of the day and churning meetings. I have always had a really strong work ethic and this bothered me immensely. People should work when they are at work – that is not to say you can’t have any fun, but there are limits. In the wake of those that don’t, there is a mess to be cleaned up.
  2. I am getting too old to work like I used to.  This is a tough thing to admit. When I was younger and traveled I worked some crazy hours. Fast forward to this past year and I averaged more than 100 hours per week. I also found that when you work those types of hours, others like to paint you as a workaholic. They also tell anybody who will listen that you like working those hours. Perhaps some do but I am not one of them. I am a great team player but anything that goes on that long is too much! The past year took a toll on my health and significantly increased my stress levels. It was needed as we were very shorthanded and unemployment locally is under 3%. I have readjusted now to 40-50 hours and hope to get back to my family and my efforts to blog more.
  3. When you think you know what life will throw at you, you may be mistaken.  The job came with a large monetary increase (30%). Although I am not complaining about that at all (as it enabled us to progress financially towards some of our goals), this past year didn’t seem worth it. I discussed the required hours before taking it and the commitment ending up being far more than I anticipated.  When I took the job, there were many things I just didn’t see coming. I am hopeful that in the new year, I am turning a new page and will now get to the work I was hoping to do when I accepted the job. The lesson here is applicable in so many other circumstances. At times a well though out decision may just turn out differently.
  4. Relationships matter.  Throughout my life I have received the opportunity to interview for every job except two due to a relationship I had with somebody affiliated with that organization. In most cases I was not even looking but somebody I had worked with before went to bat for me or called me and asked me to apply for the job. Good work will follow you so leave it all “on the field” and make sure to have a good network of contacts. Be sure to help them in a genuine manner and they will reciprocate.
  5. Life happens so roll with it.  This is a repeated lesson in my life. I am a bit of a type A personality and have had to relearn many times to let go of my control issues. Some battles live on!
  6. Opportunity is just around the corner.  I read an investment advertisement several years ago which stated “The Greatest Risk is not Taking One”. I couldn’t agree more. Regret is awful. Despite all the hours and stress, I am really happy to have had the opportunity and will now begin rebuilding things for the better.
  7. My family is awesome!  They put up with all my hours away from home, the lack of a regular grocery shopping routine, too much takeout and my exhaustion and inattentiveness when I finally was home. Always hang on to your family as they are the reason for everything!

This post is perhaps out a bit early; more of a New Year post. I do like to reflect at the end of each year on what I accomplished professionally, what I learned and how I progressed, personally and financially. I’ll dig more into the financial in the near future.

For now, I am just glad to be back! Stay with me as I’ll be back posting more!


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