Today I resigned my job and employer of more than 12 years. It’s the place where I started my career in education and the path that led me towards Ed-Tech and online learning. I’m grateful for the opportunities provided to me and I’m proud of the work that I contributed to.
The last 12 months at work have been pretty tough. The distance between the university’s rhetoric and the reality of working there has became a gulf. It took me a long time to realise that I couldn’t handle the cognitive dissonance required to be in such a place. The workplace became pretty toxic as an impending restructure played out over an excruciatingly long time. It was water torture – slow, drawn out and incredibly tedious and mundane. We were maddened by the pace and lack of information which bred a lot of insecurity and put pay to people’s fears about their jobs and futures. While the relationships I had were fantastic, and some of the work I did was quite interesting, it was no longer enough to offset the negativity.
I worked on a few options and alternatives this year by dropping back my days at the uni and taking on some freelance work to do something more interesting with tech. A couple of months ago I decided the change I needed was bigger, that I was at a point where my whole career needed a push and that would require something bigger than tweaking around the edges. I needed to make a more substantial change, and that would involve the whole family.
While my wife and I were starting those big picture conversations, I came across this quote in one of Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel posts:
In 1988 Laura and I created a three-stage model of what we called “living process.” We called the three stages Good Thing, Rut, and Transition. As we saw it, Good Thing becomes Rut, Rut becomes Transition, and Transition becomes Good Thing. It’s a continuous circuit.
A Good Thing never leads directly to a Transition, in large part because it has no reason to. A Good Thing wants to remain a Good Thing, and this is precisely why it becomes a Rut. Ruts, on the other hand, want desperately to change into something else.
Transitions can be indistinguishable from Ruts. The only important difference is that new events can occur during Transitions, whereas Ruts, by definition, consist of the same thing happening over and over.
It pretty much encapsulated where I was, I’d been in a rut for sometime – the good thing of a stable income and employment had turned into the rut I found myself in. The last few months was when I started to make the transition and the opportunities became visible, and also actionable. That’s what led to today, out of that transition has come the next Good Thing.
So I’ll write more on this but for now I have to go. There are real estates to meet and appointments to keep. Hints for the next post.