The Goldilocks Dilemma – Reflections prior to Part 2

How do I reach that balance that can get me to both enough challenge to feel motivated in my career and secure without fearing making mistakes?

Before I try to answer my question, my friend Ray sent a comment that makes a lot of sense to me. He wrote: “Never mind Goldilocks, or even the three bears. I just want the porridge. As someone who is self employed, the essential battle comes down to survival and that’s where we are right now. The challenge comes in finding work, satisfying clients and feeling good about a project on completion.” Ray has a more important question than mine and it is a question of survival. I have a job and how I feel about it is important but not critical to my survival. On the other end, the porridge Ray is talking about is absolutely essential to one’s future. This is more so for self-employed individuals, but it applies to many others who have lost their job because of the economic crisis and do not really know what to do.

Well Ray, I will have to think about the porridge. However, I feel that the solution to my dilemma may have some implications to the bigger picture question of substance that you posed.

So, let’s see if we can get somewhere by thinking of any options. I see some but I may need help to find more:

  1. Change job is one. However, is it feasible? Is it desirable? Is it ideal?
  2. Change focus on the job and recreate myself? Same questions apply to this options.
  3. Abandon job security and ride the rollercoaster?
  4. Forget about the motivation from a continuous challenge on the job and seek security rather?
  5. Understand where the balance is and try to achieve it?

No matter how I approach a possible solution, I think everyone understands that there are and always will be variables that will need to be considered such as the environment in which I work and live, family and friends, my inner set of principle and values, whether I wish to subject myself to any of some of these options. And what about my employer? The community and my ‘circle of influence’? And finally, what is my vision for myself and is it still valid?

There is a lot of thinking that needs to be done. So, I hope, in the next few days, to really find something that makes sense. In the meantime, I hope you will provide me with some ideas. I agree with Epictetus when he wrote: “The flourishing life is not achieved by techniques. You can’t trick yourself into a life well-lived. Neither is it achieved by following easy steps or some charismatic fihure’s dogma. A flourishing life depends on our responding, as best we can, to those things uniquely incumbent upon us.”

I hope these reflections make any sense at all. If not, you have a confused blogger.

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About alby59

Alberto has a 25-year plus career in Local Government which began as City Manager in Italy. He currently serves as Chief Administrative Officer for the District of Lake Country in beautiful Central Okanagan BC. In addition, Alberto is Adjunct Professor to the Political Science Department of the University of Northern British Columbia and teaches a variety of local government related courses. He has developed a series of lectures on Leadership and Ethics and is designing a Project Management course aimed at Local Government and public sector practitioners. Very active in both his professional and academic life, Alberto has served as President of the Local Government Management Association of BC and the Association of Records Management Administrators of BC and Yukon. He also served as member of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Tsunami Recovery Committee for the reconstruction of communities and local governments in Sri Lanka and Indonesia hit by the 2004 Tsunami and managed an FCM capacity building program with the City of San Fernando, La Union in the Philippines while with the Township of Langley. Alberto has earned facilitator certifications with Franklin Covey and Cognitive Edge, and continues to foster his interest in personal education and professional development. He is an avid reader, music lover, and science fiction movie aficionado. He plays guitar and piano for fun and sings with his wife and his children. He is also very active in his church and community being a former Rotarian and currently serving as the Second Counselor in the Thompson Okanagan (Vernon Stake) Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. However, his most important interest is his family: his wife Silvana and their two children Victor and Grace.
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4 Responses to The Goldilocks Dilemma – Reflections prior to Part 2

  1. Bob Pollnow says:

    Ciao Uncle Alby!
    This time last year, I hit what I might refer to as my Goldilocks Dilemma…stresses at home, and stresses at work. I decided to take a leave from a good job and focus on the situations at home, knowing that my job would not be available when my leave was over. Although I had to persevere four months of unemployment, and accept a new job at 40% less pay, I am certainly much happier and relaxed one year later. I have been able to search other job offers looking for “the right one” while still collecting a paycheck, albeit not yet what I would like it to be. I just have to retain the faith that a certain Higher Power is looking out for me as only a loving Father does.

  2. paul french says:

    Big dilema, glad to see your tying to work it out.

  3. jason gordon says:

    Love the quote Alberto

    I heard at a management seminar once that there are 4 progressive stages to career development:

    1. Survival
    2. Stability
    3. Success
    4. Substance

    The Goldilock dilemna is probably not going to be very applicable to people who are in (or have been thrust back to) stage 1 or 2, however, I have reached a point where I am still hungry but the menu is limited to porridge that is too hot and too cold.

    For me the work ahead is to “responde, as best I can, to those things uniquely encombant on me” (or find substance) that drives my appitite. For me the search for meaning and purpose cannot be limited to my work. I have had to make an effort to connect with the humans on a personal level. Many of them like their porridge just right.

    This is a introspective process and remains a work in progress.

  4. vaughan begg says:

    My wife forwarded your blog to me as it has some relevance to where I am in my life/career(s). I teach high school (till a couple weeks ago anyway), have recently finished a Masters of Education in Multidisciplinary Leadership. I have watched the local school administration ignore every common sense approach to leadership in exchange for mismanagement, obfiscution, incompetence and hiring relatives (ignoring seniority) leaving a community dissatisfied, confused and angry.

    I am wanting “porridge” just to reduce the stress, but instead I keep ending up back at #1 (survival). Many of my colleagues say they went through this and it will stablize, but they went through it in their 20’s and 30’s, I am in my 50’s and have no interest in ten more years of “survival”. There is no recognition for 30 years of “real” world experience (unless they can’t find anyone else to teach something, then I look pretty good) and despite the retoric, money- not the children, is the bottom line. Even in the current recession, I see wealth to the point of obscenity, and pressure to let the wealthy gain and hoard their wealth while the poor and the homeless increase in numbers daily.

    My dilemma, midst all this self pitying rambling, is this – how do I best affect (postive) change in my community drawing on my education and experience without dying a pauper? – or perhaps just a bad, settling for porridge?
    Ciao
    VB

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