a return

This week has welcomed back an underlying sense of discontent. I had this feeling for a large portion of the pandemic… or rather, the part of the pandemic where I was unemployed and wasn’t sure where the next job would take us.

As it sat with me the first day, I thought it might fade out, perhaps just caused by the oncoming change of seasons (that happens so fast these days). But it still sitting here.

I can possibly put my finger on it, but what I think might be causing it should not be something of discontent but rather excitement towards what the circumstance could mean for me… professionally. There was a big merger announcement at work this week that should open the door for more leadership positions in the future. This is very good news. I’ve been feeling like I’m not truly living up to my full potential now. I suppose that is to be expected, pre-pandemic I was director of a very busy department and equally large team. I doubt this will come as a surprised to anyone, but managing people and a department is night and day different from being a customer success manager where I look out for client’s adoption/use/engagement with a software platform.

Jobs are coming back online for my industry (someone please put together a huge bash in celebration… I’m talking balloons, cake, cocktails, maybe a special guest). With each job I see someone sharing on LinkedIn or with each job someone reaches out to me about, I’m instantly torn. Those jobs are what I set out to do in June of 2004 when I accepted my first venue and events position at a performing arts center. However, those jobs also led me down a road that had me miserable the year or so prior to the pandemic putting an end to that.

While it wasn’t the work that left my stomach in knots each day, it was the work that put me in an environment that was wrong for me… or perhaps I wasn’t right for that environment. I’ve tried to put that to bed so I may never truly uncover which it really was.

With each job I hear about, however, I’m left going over and over the same question “am I in the right place or is a venue where I need to be”? I’ll admit, working remotely for a company that truly seems to care about my success is a dream…. a DREAM I tell you. The schedule is superb… no nights… no weekends… no clients waving a moldy apple in your face while screaming about something you had no involvement in… no 5am load-ins… no delays for opening doors because the fire marshal didn’t like the single chair in the aisle that was only there because an exhibitor decided they didn’t want it in their booth…

…no events.

That last one gets me. No events. Those nights and weekend shifts were taxing but they were exciting. Helping to get a show open that you’ve been planning for all year is something you can’t replicate with a remote position. Helping pump up the thousands of people waiting in line to set foot into their first comic con is not something I’ll be doing unless I’m back in a venue. No deep breaths before walking out on stage to introduce one of your favorite musicians or shows to the audience before they take the stage.

Perhaps my discontentment lies there. Nestled in the loss of those nights and weekends.

I’ll have to figure out what I really want one day. The excitement of that kind of job or the peace and calm that comes with a job outside of the venue.

But for now, I’ll thoroughly enjoy turning my computer off at 5pm today and not worrying about work again until Tuesday morning.

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