It used to be that I loved my job all the time, and the days when I wished I could do something else were far and few between. It used to be that I would dream code in my sleep and leave myself half-awake voicemail messages for how to fix the problem that was plaguing me at that moment. It used to be that I enjoyed work, and never watched the clock. It used to be.
I do not have to wonder where my disillusionment and dissatisfaction began - I know the starting point. I don't have to ask how I became so jaded. I know far too well. I've tried so often to convince myself to find reasons to be optimistic with the Big Fish, to stop comparing now to then. But this has gotten harder and harder the more I learn about this company I work for. Their policies and business ethics in upper management don't anger me as much as they sadden me now. My former company - the one Big Fish swallowed up just over a year ago - was so different. As consultants we were sent to projects with one goal - to make the customer successful. We knew that the money we brought in was important to our managers, but never did I feel as I've felt lately - that they would add people to a project simply to rake in the cash.
It's hard, sometimes, when you are hanging on by a thread and constantly questioning your decision to stay, to remember why it is that you were there in the first place. It's difficult to see through the frustration and the anger and the disappointment to the reasons why you came.
It's days like today, however, that make me remember why it is I used to love my job. Days when I'm in the middle of things, when I'm designing in my head, when I'm working hard. Days when the time zooms by and I'm not constantly checking my watch to see how much longer I have to stay. Days when I leave with a smile that lingers even once I'm out the door where no one can actually see me anymore.
I love consulting. No matter what happens with the politics and the management policies of this company for whom I now work, that cannot change that fact. I love the challenge, the constant changes. And even though it is often frustrating (especially these days), I even love the excitement of the politics and ever-changing policies at the customer site. There are few jobs that offer what consulting offers - never the same thing twice, and even though I am sometimes overwhelmed and feeling as if I'm struggling to hang on by my fingernails, I also know that I'm very good at what I do.
Sometimes it just takes a day like today to remind me. Despite everything, the Big Fish cannot ever tear that completely away from me. Not unless I let them.