Friday, January 25, 2008

What's the difference...

What is the difference between still and stagnant? Who gets to make that decision?

In our careers, some of us will stay in the same position for years. Is this still or stagnant? I'm not a sit still kind of person (I think we've established that). For years, I defined myself as a professional Swooper. I would come into a work situation - swoop in - solve whatever major problems they had been facing, reorganize, rethink, improve, and swoop out again. I know this makes me sound like I'm very high on myself. I don't think it was any given gift I posessed - but more of a set of fresh eyes, a willingness to try something new, and a bigger willingness to be wrong if it didn't work. For several years, I worked for an outsourcing company - that means that someone else hired us to run their technical support - in that time I did a lot of swooping. I was never bored. I was always busy. I moved, I travelled, I did anything the company wanted me too. Of course, at the time, I was single and childless. But I was never stagnant - nor still.

Now I get up and come to the same place every day, and have for just over four years. There are minor skirmishes to deal with. Small new projects to tackle. However, most of these I'm making up for myself. When I first got here, there was a lot of clean-up that needed to be done - there were areas that had to be completely reviewed. There probably still are - but not with the same level of urgency or excitement. I'm not in the same role I was in when I walked in the door - so I'm not still. Why do I feel stagnant?

In another world, another life, I'd probably be looking for something else right now. In another world, another life, I'd probably be looking for something else in other states, right now. However, in this world, this life, I have different responsibilities. To a home, to my children. Those things are never stagnant, but must keep me still.

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