New Job ≠ New Life

Gotta Keep ’em Separated…

It’s officially been about a month since I started my new job as a recruiter. I’m soaking it up, I love how fast it is: I NEVER look at the clock except to lament how few hours there are in a day. I enjoy talking to people and making them feel comfortable as they interview, and I generally thrive on small successes in the midst of (I’ve learned) hundreds of failures. Seriously though — this job has painfully shown me that I need to stop being so emotionally invested in my work.

A month ago, I was working for a university, in a satellite office providing database management and fundraising support for the major gifts team. Boring. Generally unfulfilling. Not financially sustainable: I was putting in my time and not making enough to survive. I had to teach 12 classes a week to make ends meet.

BUT! And lately I am realizing the value of this “but” — I arrived at work at 9 and I left by 5 or before that hour each day. Not only did I physically leave work behind, I also left it there mentally. And that’s valuable, certainly looking back on it…

Currently my schedule is wearing on me. I teach a 6 am fitness class most days, arrive at work by 8, and really don’t leave until 6. I don’t take a lunch break. I also teach twice a week during lunch. I then bike home at the end of the day and am grumpy as hell.

Despite all this, I’m realizing that this situation is entirely within my control. Sure, I can chalk up the stress on my sleep schedule to the transition to the private sector, to the demanding world of recruiting where each day is precious- it’s quite frankly a race against the clock to fill each position.

I can also write off my exhaustion to my fitness schedule or my roommates wanting to hang out at the end of the day. Or my decision to spend time trying to be productive in the evenings: baking, reading, planning, or WRITING as I am now.

I see no reason why my personal life has to change drastically because of this new job.

If I’ve learned anything in the last year of living in San Francisco, reading Tim Ferriss, joining Medium, trying to start a business, and failing at dating, it’s that we make decisions on a daily basis as to how we are going to use our time. This new job does not have to mean the end of my writing, the death of my entrepreneurial spirit, or the end of my social life. (All of this means little, I know, in light of the fact that I have neglected to update my website, produce a post on Medium, or see friends lately).

People make time for the people and the activities that mean most to them. They adapt to fit in the things that are important. So while my new, demanding job comes with a learning curve, I choose to not let it consume my life entirely. I choose to maintain my passions, and continue to connect with the world in meaningful, rewarding ways outside of my work life.

I’m not one of those people that gets to do what they love for work, at least not yet. So, for me, work does not equate to life. And I like it that way. I’m committing to that division.