Tuesday, 7 July 2009

A Commuter's Tale

Tuesday morning. It’s dark and raining.

You walk to the train station avoiding the puddles. Your umbrella keeps you dry for the moment. The same umbrella will soon make you and the person beside you wet on the busy train.

“Remind me again why I’m doing this?” you say out loud. Thankfully, no-one is close enough to hear you.

Your job is OK. It’s a good company. Good people. You know what you’re doing.

“So what’s the problem?” you say to yourself. Still out loud but a little more quietly this time.

[Rain Tracks - see more at Saundra's Flickr Photostream here]

The more you think about it (and you have thought about it a lot lately) you don’t hate your job. You just aren't one of those people who enjoy what they do.

You don’t envy the people who seem happy at work.

“They should be praised for proving it’s possible.” you think to yourself. Not speaking out loud this time.

“It’s up to me to figure out what’s missing. To understand what I want. Not just from my job but for the rest of my career too.” you quietly resolve to yourself.

You splash into the station and continue to think as you roll up your umbrella.

Your umbrella rolls up in a smooth, practised motion that reflects the many times you have done it before. It's a familiar, satisfying feeling.

“That’s the feeling I want from my job!” you speak out loud again. Louder this time.

The ticket collector hears you.

She smiles and you know that she wants the same feeling too.


A bit of an experimental post today. I hope you like it!

All the best for now,



  1. Inspiring post, Paul! Thanks for getting us all thinking about this most essential of questions. If we don't love our work, how can we love our life? Passion for what we do ought to be something we insist on, something we use as the most fundamental criteria for our career choices. I am grateful for your pleasant reminder of this!

  2. Hi Chris,

    Thank you for your encouraging words. It's great for me to hear that you liked this post. It was a bit of a new direction for the blog and I was more than a little nervous about taking that first step!

    You make a great point in your comment too. If you want a healthy relationship with work, you need to lead the expedition to discover it. That might sound like a lonesome trail but it isn't. So many of our passions and 'fundamental criteria for our career choices' are shared by the people around us. You find that your career journey becomes a much more companionable place! :)

    All the best for now,


  3. Not loving my work can be a temporary thing, but I continually love my life regardless of what might be unfolding in my workplace - its taken me a long time to learn, and occasionally I forget...but luckily I have reminders from friends and Paul to keep a healthy perspective and not just a boss or business partner thinking they are the end-all-be-all. I'm very thankful and extremely lucky to have positive people in my life who know when it comes down to happiness and love, its better to put yourself, friends and family before the work, the boss or the business partner. I may not be the most financially successful or career oriented, but dropping some of my professional ambitions as part of re-assessing my 'fundamental criteria for career choices' has allowed me to have and feel the LOVE!! Thanks to Paul for another work/life lesson!!!

  4. I love this post Paul. Palpably inspiring. Puts us right there, feeling what your characters (and the content umbrella) are feeling and also feeling the resolve - that moment in time when you say "me too!"

    Fun direction. And very effective. Was it fun for you too, despite and maybe even because of the uncertainty?

  5. Hi again, Paul. Just registered. Figured I'll probably make this a habit, considered what a cool blog you have. ;-) Cheers!

  6. Thanks for dropping in again Ronnie Ann!

    It was fun to post despite all the uncertainty because - whatever reaction it got - I knew it would teach me something.

    There is a parallel when you are job searching: If you are going for a job you really want, when you accept that there is also a chance you might not get it, your success is no longer dependent on one thing.

    If you don't get the job, you learn something to help your career move forward - whether it is feedback, a new perspective on your experience or anything else!

    It was the same for this post. All the feedback (good, bad or indifferent) would be put to good use!

    Thanks again for your encouraging words :)

    All the best for now,


  7. Hello again Ronnie Ann,

    It makes me very happy to know that you might be back sometime soon ;)

    All the best for now,


  8. Thanks kpr!

    It's great to read that you're looking long-term and making great discoveries about your work/life relationships. You create such a positive picture and message for everyone reading your comment.

    I'm not playing devil's advocate (the devil's not my kinda guy) but I don't see what you have done as 'dropping' professional ambitions. You have actually done something much more positive than that.

    Your re-assessed professional ambitions are much more likely to deliver success and fulfilment in your work and life because they are yours. You chose them and there is no sacrifice at all in making better career choices like this.

    You are making choices that will make you successful by all the measures that matter to you and the people around you. No-one can contest that fact with your best interests at heart!

    It's always my pleasure to read your comments here :)

    All the best for now,