This month is one year since the global pandemic lockdown. It began with the now controversial statement, “15 days to flatten the curve” – and here we are, still, with masks, lockdowns, and many whose ‘normal’ work situation has changed dramatically or has disappeared altogether through layoffs or business closures.
Sometimes this type of worldwide smack-in-the-face wakes us up from the doldrums of the predictable work week. It delivers a boost to our general alertness, elevates our level of gratefulness, and augments our creativity.
It also casts a bright light on our financial situation – especially when it comes to providing for our families. I know it has for my family. In fact, the entirety of 2020 and continuing into 2021 has altered my work patterns and priorities, probably for the remainder of my career. Here’s the situation, and what I’ve learned…
I grew up in a blue-collar home with my father a restaurant manager in my younger days, and then moving to several entrepreneurial trades as I grew into adulthood. It was with my dad that my brother and I began to make our own money and learn the trades – we began at age 12.
I did my late teens and early 20’s thing mostly with fun jobs like pizza delivery, valet parking, hotel van driver, and Nabisco sales territory (with my own car). Apparently, I relish driving. Hello, NASCAR?
Being blind of my stock car driving potential back then, I instead moved through school hoping to get out with a certificate and a decent job. Eventually, I became the FIRST in my family to graduate college – Go Titans! #CalStateFullerton.
Soon after getting my diploma, I put on my white collar, so to speak. I secured work with a ‘big’ company. Over time, I explored my strengths, honed my skills, and developed my style. I was fortunate to have built and implemented a series of impactful programs for a few organizations that shaped their industries – DirecTV, DaVita Kidney Care, and Children’s Hospital Colorado.
And then I started Five Levels Consulting. I figured I could provide value to several companies simultaneously, within the areas of communications, culture, and organizational development – continuing the work I’ve done for the previous 20 years. Except, I continued to work in corporate America, until…
BOOM! Covid-19. Worldwide pandemic.
So, like most of us, I was forced to adapt. I left my full-time corporate role and re-focused my energy at Five Levels Consulting. Today, I’ve embraced the “gig” economy – and it’s wonderful.
During the day in my white-collar role, I work with clients to develop and implement communications strategy, content, employee programs, and events. In the evening, I get my exercise and family insurance through my blue-collar role as a FedEx courier. It’s a fun and fascinating organization full of devoted and spirited employees and clientele.
The best part for me – it provides a level of personal wellbeing with time to generate ideas, meditate, or simply enjoy the open road. Yes, I’m back to driving!
Where does the red come from? There’s certainly been a lot of blood (red), sweat, and cuts (red) along the way. But my heart (and more red) has always, and will always, be in it.
All the Other Colors
This past year has fostered an improvement on my health, my family time, my work productivity, and my overall serenity. I hope it has for you as well.
It’s amazing how creative we can be in our lives to secure an income. As I took a closer look back throughout my life, I’m proud to have done this PAID work in at least 30 unique roles, purposely listed in no particular order:
I’m proud of each role – and will continue to do my best in whatever I pursue.
What types of good work have you done throughout your life, so far?
I recommend jotting them down. It provides perspective. And, in a way, it’s rejuvenating.
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"freedom at work"