As an endurance athlete, the balance of work, family, training and any other time obligation is very important. If one of these changes, it can throw the rest of the balance off like a wheel that's been knocked out of true.
Well, this week, a work related change is tempting to throw the balance off for me. This wasn't something I requested either. As a bit of background, I returned to current employer a year ago after taking a two-year sabbatical--of sorts. When I returned, the company had fallen on hard times and we started a series of organization changes. There were lay-offs and temporary assignments. I was one of those that got a temporary assignment to fill in for some organization changes. It seems everyone who didn't get laid-off got the task of plugging holes in the dyke. Well, after being in my temporary role for 9 months--it was supposed to only be 3 months--my department had a meeting and the new department organization was announced. My temporary assignment is coming to an end (as soon as they fill the position and I train him or her), and I'll start a new role. This is a lateral move. The new role will require me to move to our main downtown office and will put me on the floor with all the other accounting/finance workaholics. Furthermore, I will be reporting to someone who's notorious for working long hours. Her husband is a full-time doctorate student who spends all his time on campus (this has been the case for the last 8 years), she doesn't have children or any other out-of-work interests. This is her social life.
I caught wind of this change a few days ago and have been feeling a great deal of anxiety ever since. Once the organization was formally announced, I had many long conversations with my former boss (she's now my new boss's boss) about my fears of working long hours. She did her best to allay my fears. But, it's still a concern for me.
I have many objections to this move. It's completely out of my desired area of specialty: capital. It's in an area that's demanding in terms of time and effort. I wasn't even consulted as to what I wanted to do. There's a position that's opened up that would be a promotion that I'm not being considered for in the capital area.
I have no doubt I can do this new job, but at what cost? I don't know if this is the new norm for the corporate world to force you into jobs you're not wanting to do to fit the organizations needs. Don't I have a say in where I want my career to go?
This is what I do know. I have my priorities in terms of family and training. I do my job to support my family and do my athletics. If I can't be the father/husband I want to be or if I can't train like I need to, there's no sense in having this job! So, if things get out of hand (i.e. grumpy from working too many hours and with other grumpy people, tired from training at odd hours to accommodate long/odd work hours, or my career is heading down a path that I'm not enthusiastic about), I will move on.
This is what I'm talking about when I wrote about Dara Torres. Most age-groupers fight so hard just to cross the line.