Friday, July 14, 2006

Jumping right in

Current goings-on in my life and in my head (or "allow me to introduce myself"):

Life stuff:

  • I'm working as a contractor at a (THE) major software company, (supposedly) in charge of game-based learning for a (supposedly) cool new platform that will hit the education market next year. I'm used to producing educational media with my heart and soul fully immersed and with the end-user always in mind. Not so here. At this major software company PMs own a "feature," which is one teeny-tiny piece of the product. Doesn't do much for the heart-and-soul aspect, and -- long story short -- I am miserable there and will leave once I find something else. A huge part of my misery comes from the fact that I find the people to be self-centered, anti-social, and in some cases, downright mean. Maybe it's because I've been in the non-profit world for the past five years, where motivations and relationships are different, but really -- people are just unfriendly! Unfortunately, that was bred from the time that HR had the insane idea of managers "grading on a curve," a portion of their direct reports "got As" and a porion of them "got Fs." Gee, how could they breed MORE of a culture of backstabbing than that?! That sort of approach is the antithesis to collaboration and teamwork!! Yup -- gotta get out of there. And fortunately, that might be coming because...
  • The nonprofit where I worked for the past five years as a product manager and executive producer of 8 videos addressing teen issues (self-esteem, body image, the media, healthy eating, physical activity, positive activism, and stress -- social, home, school and media-induced) called me within a month of axing all product development and laying me off. Seems they had been approached by a company in Australia who has an awesome product (movie and PC game, with stunning animation) addressing the childhood obesity epidemic for which they need an educational curriculum developed. Because I have been an "expert" of sorts in this area (at least the educational media approach to it), they called me asking if I'm interested. I think maybe they wanted to hire me back, but they knew that since I'd landed the other billy-job, they'd have to pay me handsomely. And, if the contract with the Aussie company comes through, they will do just that. So now I'm just whiling away my days in my office at work, waiting for the job I have real passion for to come through. I can't wait to get back to something for which I feel a sense of ownership and passion. For me, I need that in order to do a good job.
  • On top of all that, I have a job interview next Thursday for a leadership position with a small online company that teaches reading (with absolutely guaranteed results!) to 3 - 7 year olds. Very pedagogical stuff, not gorgeous or thrilling, but in need of some spunk. And spunk is what I do best!

Three possible directions for my career, when all I really want to do is...

(Head stuff):

  • Go to Germany all alone for a few months surrounding my 50th birthday, live in our former exchange student's "extra house" that her family offered me, and write my novel -- which is based on my life-altering adventures in Germany when I was 23 (eons ago). If I did that, it'd be the fifth time I've gone to Germany without hubby (granted, he didn't even know me when I went the first two times), and I have a feeling he'd divorce me! Not to mention that all the kids (except Kat, who hated it there) would want to come too. Hmmmm... a family excursion with a husband and four teens/young adults isn't exactly what I have in mind. No, my yearning is to take a sabbatical of sorts and go completely alone. To take a slice from this life and do something completely and totally different. I think this feeling has a name........... MID-LIFE CRISIS!

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