As I mentioned in my very first post, it’s going to happen very soon. Here’s why it feels like such a big damn deal:
First of all, I’ve been doing it for 26 years. That’s a long time. More than half my life, in fact. Anyone who has been doing anything for that long–and gotten reasonably good at in the the process–would have a pretty tough time just walking away. Like most people, I am guilty of letting my job define me. It’s tough not to when you spend more waking hours at work than you do with, say, your family.
Second, it pays well, even in this crappy economy. While it’s true that the economic meltdown resulted in personal bankruptcy and foreclosure of my house, I still make a six-figure salary at a time when people with college degrees are applying for janitorial positions. If it weren’t for the fact that the money–even in the best times–failed to make me happy, my friends and family could make a case for having me committed. But as it turns out, BMWs and lake homes are just things you have to take care of.
Third, my job can still be fun at times. You’ve seen Mad Men and Bewitched and a hundred other shows depicting the whacky world of Advertising. And a lot of that stuff is true. I could tell stories that would make Don Draper blush. Ad agencies attract all the crazy people. That’s how cave men wind up selling insurance.
Lastly, I like my boss and the people I work with. When I was named “Advertising Professional of the Year” back in 2001, I gave an acceptance speech in which I called my employer “the last boss I ever hope to have.” And it was true. Still is.
My assumption in sharing all this is that there are others out there who fantasize about quitting their jobs. So I figure why not share the experience. Maybe you’ll decide to follow the example one day. Or maybe you’ll just choose to live vicariously through me. Either way, I’m considering recording and/or filming the actual encounter. Depending on how many tears are involved, I may even post it here. Maybe that’s bad form. Let me know if you have thoughts on that.