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The New American Dream (Or Why I Walked Away)
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11 Mar ’15 - 10:54 am
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Interesting article

I’ve kept silent about leaving my career until now because in the words of a Lakota chief named Standing Bear, ‘thought comes before speech'. I've waited until there was sufficient distance (both physical and chronological) to ensure my objectivity. When I left my most recent position, I'd just been promoted to run IT operations for one of Metro-Detroit’s 101 Best and Brightest companies. It was an amazing job, and my resignation wasn’t a normal case of career burnout. My job was challenging and I carried enough responsibility that it kept me up at night, but the part I struggled with was the realization that my opportunities were limited for having a positive impact on people.

I’m fortunate enough to have been given several gifts, and I’ve been strongly convicted to use them for more than my own benefit. Over the years, I've worked to be a role model, to always be a positive presence in the office— the person you went to for anything—but I realized that my scope of influence was too narrow. I was too busy at work to have much real impact, and I was too tired outside of work to be active in anyone’s lives. I wanted to reach more people, but circumstances were not lining up to do that through IT alone.

I am beyond thankful for the opportunities I’ve had in IT. This trip could not have happened without the experience I gained in my years as a digital plumber. I learned how to welcome the unknown with curiosity, not fear, and it gave me the technical background and confidence to make my ideas a reality. I worked with some great teams and in each one I was mentored by brilliant people.

That said, I would still choose to walk away. Every single time. I was part of a system that I fundamentally disagree with. My conscience was troubled by the amount of waste I observed, both human and material. It became apparent that there was little relationship between hard work and financial success. Over the years, I slowly realized that I was never going to get ahead, at least not in the conventional sense.

The world is changing, and the American dream of our parents has too high a pricetag for my generation. We’re inheriting a world where loyalty to white collar jobs and acquisition of college degrees no longer equates to security. We’ve seen the rules change arbitrarily during the recession, watched the collapse of the housing bubble, and realized how tenuous things like home ownership and the middle-class lifestyle really are. We live in a First World country without affordable health insurance for vast numbers of workers, and for many, a single medical bill can mean bankruptcy, if not decades of repayment. When a two-income household can’t get ahead, the only way to win the game is to not play.

more here http://www.ourwander.....alked-away

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