Life is all about making choices and today I had to make one of those potentially life changing ones.
I made a choice between career and life.
2013 will mark my third year in my current job and it seems like every year, a new challenge awaits me.
In 2010 when I first joined, I had to deal with bitchy colleagues.
In 2011 I had to overcome doubts about my own worth.
In 2012 I had to cope without support from my confidantes while juggling work and my son’s education.
And now in 2013, I look forward to competition from the boss’ pet who will be transferred to my team.
Oh why will it never end? Whenever things seem to be sailing smoothly, God reminds me time and again that I still have so much to learn.
My boss’ pet is a very competitive, opinionated and ambitious girl who also happen to be showered with blatant favoritism from her ‘master’. Notwithstanding that, she has good PR skills which has endeared her to the hearts of my female colleagues. In addition, she has the drive to simply outshine everyone around her.
Her move to my team spells only one conclusion – there goes my minute chance of a promotion.
It is not that I am a mediocre worker. Far from it, for two years consecutive I received above average appraisals and have won the favour of my colleagues and bosses by God’s grace. The only thing I have not displayed is my desire to lead and my hunger for progression.
Something which I suddenly feel challenged to take charge of if I want to hang on to the sliver of hope of promotion.
But is that something I really want?
Lately, I have embarked on another crazy plan of mine. Looking forward, in four years’ time, all my children will be in primary school and my oldest will be taking his PSLE. I have decided that this would be the year I will quit my full time job.
However I will still need a source of income, which is where my crazy plan comes into play – a start up business. I cannot expect to then only begin starting up and hope to depend on it. I will need to start planting the seeds now in hope of reaping something four years later.
But therein lies an obstacle. As part of my HR policy I am required to seek approval from my bosses to engage in any form of business outside of work. Typically I can circumvent this if I am in the private sector. It is a bit harder to escape scrutiny within the public sector.
Obviously I don’t want my bosses to find out about my ‘dishonesty’ which would really negate whatever good work I have done. But in light of pending changes in my team structure, informing my boss about my other interest would seal my fate.
Is this what I really want?
To give up my hope of career progression to pursue a crazy dream whose chance of success is probably as slim as my chance of promotion.
I lingered on this decision for the whole day while I tried to find the words to draft my email. In the end, I decided to send it despite the cost. This is not the first time promotion has passed me by and it probably will not be the last. And I survived and thrived.
But the opportunity to finally realise a dream, one of the three great passions I live by, is too hard to give up on. I don’t want to regret giving up something I want simply because I was afraid to lose something I didn’t want.