Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Is this what a mid-life crisis feels like?

For the past nine months, outside of work, my life has pretty much been consumed by looking for a job, researching for a job, interviewing for a job and/or considering a job.  It's been a wild and crazy ride - how to decide what I want for my career when I basically fell into the one I currently had?  I'm sure a lot of you out there are wondering why I would leave my job in the first place - after all, I get to choose my own projects, travel the world, meet all kinds of people, have free flights home multiple times a all sounds great on paper, and to be honest, it's probably why I've hung around so long.  Most of the time, I kept thinking - how could I find anything better than that?

But The Company restructured about a year and a half ago, and the changes have left me increasingly unhappy. I've tried to make peace with it for the reasons above, but the inefficiencies of the new system and strategy changes have at times come into conflict with my personal values and it's left me stressed out and exhausted.  Thoughts of work consumed my brain morning and night - and I mean literally.  Most nights, I would wake up thinking about a work issue, get irate about it and then be up for half of the night. Add on the early morning calls from our Asia team and the fact that my US colleagues were in the office until midnight French time meant that I was pretty much thinking only about work 24/7.  As my dear husband very gently pointed out to me one evening, that wasn't a healthy place for me to be in - neither mentally nor physically.

Thus began the very long process of trying to extract myself from something that had been such a massive part of my life for so long.  I could barely even imagine myself without The Company.  After all, they were the ones who gave me the opportunity of having a quote-unquote *real* career in France.  And as a customer said to me this morning - "But what will we do without you? How can you leave? You eat, sleep and breath The Company".  So it was often a two steps forward, one step back process - thinking about leaving my colleagues, my clients....people I've known for over a decade....the excellent travel opportunities.  Well, it all led to a few long months of deep soul searching.

After all, while technically a 'grown-up', post-US life, I'd never actually had to think about what I wanted to be or what I wanted to do.  Most of you out there know my one-week job contract with The Company somehow turned into a 12 year career with big promotions every two or three years.  However, a few of the early job interviews I had last fall left me resoundingly decided not to join Corporate America (or France in this case), but then what?  What to do?  I'd never have seen myself doing the job I'm doing today, but it turned into a global adventure.  So I decided to not close off any doors and apply for whichever jobs appealed to me - but then became almost paralyzed by the idea of having so much choice.  I had interview after interview, but couldn't choose.  And when I finally did, it was only to be frustrated and semi-depressed by how low most salaries are in France....

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Blogger Rebecca said...

I'm pretty sure you can go through this process of reflection and change at any point in your life! (There is no way you are old enough for a midlife crisis.)

Good luck with the soul-searching and the job search! I'm interested to find out where you end up and how you get there.

June 6, 2018 at 9:21 PM  
Blogger gz said...

All the best with your search.
No job is worth living and breathing The Company...

June 6, 2018 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Ksam said...

@Rebecca - I've always wondered why they say a mid-life crisis happens to men in their late 40's or early 50's....technically if you look at the average age span, I am already probably past my mid-life point lol.

June 8, 2018 at 9:15 AM  

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