Be Yourself

Looking back at my last few posts, I’m afraid someone might get the wrong idea about my job at the school district.  I just want to make it clear that I had a great job.  I had the nicest coworkers anyone could ask for.  The work environment was wonderful.

I know what you’re thinking.  I said before that I was “miserable.”  That’s true.  I was.  But not because the job was bad.  It was just not the right job for me.

You see, I’m a geek.  I’m not afraid to admit it.  Look under my name at the top of the screen.  I’m good at figuring things out and solving problems.  If it has a processor, I can probably make it work. I’m also rather social.  I enjoy talking to other geeks and sharing what I know.

When I started at the school district, this was exactly what I was doing.  I was constantly learning about new technology and sharing this knowledge with the people around me.  I think I even had a hand in turning some non-geeks into geeks.  You’re welcome.

But by the time I left my job, that had all changed.  I felt like I was buried under a mountain of e-mail, voice mail, and paperwork.  I was spending too much time at my desk and not enough time out in the trenches doing the work.  I was responding to complaints and putting out fires instead of figuring out ways to make things better.

And this leads me to the title of this post.   Be Yourself.  This is probably the best advice I could give anyone.  It applies universally – in your job, in relationships, everywhere.  Just be yourself. If you have to force yourself to be something that you’re not, you won’t be happy in the long run.

For some reason, this was a hard lesson for me to learn.

I think I probably knew from day one that the job was not right for me, but I kept thinking that if I stuck it out for a while I could make it work.  The pay was nice, and that made it easier to convince myself to stay.

I also think everyone else could see that I wasn’t happy.  I remember one day someone walked by the door of my office and said “Tony, why don’t you smile anymore?”  I didn’t know what to say.  I’m sure I said something like “Too much work to do.”

When I told my boss that I was leaving, I said “You know I’m not the right person for this job.” and I think he understood what I meant.  He certainly didn’t argue with me.  I feel like I did a good job while I was there.  I know I did my best.  But no amount of work was ever going to turn me into something that I’m not.

3 thoughts on “Be Yourself”

  1. I thank you for turning me into a Geek. I think teaching people how to fix problems was one of your strongest qualities.

    It’s ok to take some time to figure out what is right for you by trying different jobs. It took a couple of tries for me to figure out what I should be doing. I had a couple of years playing musical jobs. I love what I am doing now but not sure I want to do it until I retire. The most important thing is to keep learning new things, keep trying to do your best and be honest with yourself about your weaknesses.

  2. You are a natural teacher, and that’s what drew me (and many others) to you. Figuring things out and then teaching those skills to others is definitely one of your strengths. I learned so much from you that I’ll always use in any job I have. You were right to try to steer me away from the job you left, and I’m very glad that I didn’t get it. I would have been totally overwhelmed and completely miserable.

    Paula’s right…we all have to do several things until we figure out that “best fit” job/career. I’m not sure that I’ll stay where I am for the rest of my career, but I know that I’m where I am for a reason. Same with you. You were here for a reason, and you’ve moved on for a reason. We’re all better to have worked with you, and so are the people you work with now.

    Gee…didn’t mean to get sappy, but you started it!!

  3. I, well, ditto what they said LOL
    One of the things that makes you you is that you are always yourself. You are an original and you gave so much to this place while you were here. I don’t think that anyone who knows you at all could have misunderstood. It was pretty obvious that you were not happy with what you were doing but you were never mean.

    Everyone has to walk their own path and sometimes those paths take us in different directions than the people we love. You move on and you take those friendships with you and at the same time, let go a little over time as you make new ones. Guess we are going to have to work on the letting go part a little from our end 🙂

    Not quite ready for that….

Comments are closed.