Monday, April 27, 2015

How do you like your eggs cooked?

Have you seen the movie The Runaway Bride about a lovely lady who continuously bolts the wrong way down the aisle at her numerous weddings? In the movie, a reporter asks the runaway bride's many ex-fiancees how she liked her eggs cooked. Each ex-fiancee describes a different method of egg preparation, that also happens to be exactly how each ex-fiancee liked their own eggs cooked. The point being that the each ex-fiancee was mistaken about the preferences (and the true nature of) their runaway bride. The runaway bride herself wasn't sure how she liked her eggs cooked, because she let each ex-fiancee decide for her. 

I use this as a playful parable to describe my job situations. I'm not sure what I really like or want in a job. I have a long list of things I don't want or like in a job. I am smart, hard-working and conscientious. I do just about any job well for a limited amount of time. The time limit arises when I burn out from working too many hours, without days off and in a job for which I was never a good fit. I also burn out, because I hit a point where I see gaping difference in my own values and the values of my employing entity. When other employees and supervisors realize that I am conscientious, they tend to start leaning on me too hard from too many directions. I try to set some boundaries or take some time off, and someone's feelings get hurt, or someone's superhuman expectations of me are temporarily unmet. 

I liked school and excelled there, due to the well-defined expectations, mostly constructive feedback and built-in holidays to rest, relax and rev up for the next semester. I also excelled in academics, because I was hardly ever graded by my peers. I didn't have to learn the politicking required for many job situations. I also liked homework. I could have the radio or television on for background noise while I worked. I could sit alone at home or at a table in the library to complete assignments. I liked that part of of my work was self-directed at my own pace under conditions of my choosing.

How do I like my eggs? The truth is that I don't really like eggs. Baked into yummy bread or sweet things, sure, eggs are fine, but as the featured flavor? Pass the salsa or ketchup, please. I need to drown out the egg flavor and texture. Also, I like to have humane-certified eggs, because I worry about the welfare of the chickens. I feel bad for taking their eggs.

I don't know what my next job will be, and I really hesitate to use the word "career". I know that when people ask me what I want to do next or what I am pursuing for my next job, they are expressing interest and/or benevolent concern. It grates on me, because I don't know. I've got some work to do deciding.