Instead all I do is work. When I'm not working I'm thinking about work or not sleeping because I'm stressed about work. As you may recall last year I didn't use nine of my earned vacation days and this year I'm heading in the same direction. It is always something - a deadline I am required to meet, an audit that needs my attention or a meeting I am required to attend. This week I went in while sick to calculate commissions that were too difficult to explain over the phone. Part of the problem is my company's A-type work culture and part is my ingrained dairy farmer work ethic. A small dairy farmer never takes a vacation day and has to milk the cows even when sick.
My only plan of escape is to retire early. If all goes well that will be six years from today. One of my former co-workers retired early last November. He too had an over-developed work ethic. As a stress reliever he began counting down his work days until retirement. Instead of answering the phone with hello he would say "232 days." The other day while commiserating with another co-worker about our heavy workloads I said, "6 years and 3 days." He replied, "Don't start that." He thought our retired co-worker's count down was super annoying.
I don't want to become the annoying co-worker with the bad attitude and besides 6 years is a long time to be miserable. It is also a long time to never take a vacation day and to work while sick. Plus, I don't think I'm the type of person who could lounge in retirement bliss. I will want to do something. Instead I need to figure this out and somehow reinvent my career. Ever since I started blogging I've had visions of living where ever I want and making a living in some fashion from my laptop. Doing what is the question.
My favorite career reinvention post is James Altucher's The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Reinventing Yourself. He says it takes five years to reinvent yourself. Here is his recommended five-year plan:
- Year One: you’re flailing and reading everything and just starting to DO.
- Year Two: you know who you need to talk to and network with. You’re Doing every day. You finally know what the monopoly board looks like in your new endeavors.
- Year Three: you’re good enough to start making money. It might not be a living yet.
- Year Four: you’re making a good living
- Year Five: you’re making wealth
I also plan to continue my career interview series. My interviewees have been informative, passionate and helpful. If you would like to be part of this series please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you reinvented your career? If so, what helped you the most?