A corporate affliction

This post is a personal account of how the corporate life is not the right career fit for me, I am not by any means suggesting there is something wrong with corporate careers. There can be fantastic career opportunities in the corporate world it is just for me the personal fit is not there.

I am currently living the Italian dream and soaking up life on the Italian Riviera. Technically I’m unemployed, or perhaps even a stay-at-home-mum – cringing at the term.

Rewind a couple of months though and I was struggling to find that much touted about work/life balance. After returning to work following 10 months maternity leave and a 7 month remote working assignment prior to that, I just couldn’t manage to make head nor tails of the day.

Perhaps it was leaving my baby at daycare or perhaps it was more likely my inability to ease back into the corporate lifestyle.

I’ll be honest, I always struggled to assimilate with the corporate way of life. But a hefty pay check in return for all of my waking hours seemed to be an acceptable deal. I sold my soul to the corporate beast and continued to swallow that little blue pill every day. I lived and breathed the routine.

That is until I’d saved up enough annual leave to escape, and escape i did sometimes twice – sometimes more – a year. And to the other side of the world for months at a time. And that was all worth it and made all of the life compromises I’d made bearable.

Heck I even managed to get my employer to facilitate me working from Florence for 6 months. That’s right the corporate beast was not only paying for my travel addiction it was now part of it.

I was in so deep and it didn’t matter, the high was worth the low.

But then it all came crashing down. And it wasn’t a terrible thing, it was a reality check in the form of one small boy.

Whilst In Florence I became pregnant, the rules of the game were about to change.

Of course I made all of the promises, I’ll come back home and take 6-9 months maternity leave. Then back on the corporate mill I’d go.

The world has a funny way of showing you that corporate is not the only way though.

I returned home, only to have to leave work early due to pregnancy complications. So my maternity leave was called in early. My little guy is perfectly fine and healthy though. This early birth affliction is a common problem amongst the pregnant women working in my corner of the corporate jungle.

Months of maternity leave went on and the uneasy feeling of returning to work was becoming harder and harder to swallow. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to work, it was my inability to find returning to corporate life a good enough reason to leave my baby in daycare. The idea of returning to that routine and that way of life just didn’t compute anymore. Effectively I’d been away from it for 1.5 years.

It was a job I didn’t enjoy anymore, it was 10 hours a day of hair-pulling, dancing and sucking-it-up. Not to mention the joyless commute to and from. It felt like going nowhere. To be honest it always did but now I couldn’t even sell it to myself.

If I was going to leave my baby it had to be for a reason that we both, all – including my husband – we’re going to benefit from. And not just financially. I mean let’s face it the corporate beast couldn’t buy my soul with the promise of travel anymore, I couldn’t still travel with a baby. Or could I?

Who says you can’t? Probably those same people that make women feel like they’re cheating themselves out of a career if they leave corporate for a family.

Hang on… what if I’m leaving corporate to be truer to myself? What if travelling with a baby is possible? Who made the rules about what we have to do?

I didn’t listen. I quit the beast and am working on getting my soul back. Here on the Italian Riviera, with my son and husband.

Ok ok, for complete disclosure thankfully when you stay with the corporate beast for long enough they even pay you when you leave. So technically I’m still living on the corporate dollar, at least until I can make some more dollars.

But for now I’m writing travel expense off as a saving on daycare and education expenses. I can be my sons teacher and teach him the way I like rather than someone else’s way. Private school tuition is exorbitant these days, imagine the savings…

So I’m seeking work life balance, who would have thought the work that was selling it to me was causing the imbalance.

Slow down and breath.

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