“I don’t know how I can do this for the rest of my life,” a twentysomething told me, talking about her pressure cooker job. She was bemoaning the fact that companies today have fewer employees, everyone does the work of two or sometimes three people, and it’s harder to rise to the top.
I told her I appreciate her dilemma. The job situation is harder in our current economy. When I was her age, it seemed like jobs grew on trees, especially if you were talented and had chutzpah.
But we were still stressed back in the day, even if jobs were plentiful. The office politics, sleepless nights, 60-hour work weeks, employees (and bosses) who aggravated me, employees (and bosses) who I aggravated, endless hours at airports and on planes, incessant worrying about making quotas and how big our raises would be, not to mention whether we’d be promoted or dismissed.
Looking back, I don’t know how I got through it without a complete breakdown. But I wouldn’t have done it any differently. Work has, and will remain, an integral part of my life, warts and all.