I’m not a big fan of change. I know, this is strange for someone who lives the nomadic life that I currently live. This is also strange for someone with my recent history, who knows better than anyone that constant change is a part of life.
It’s not just any change that I don’t like, though. It’s changes that come because other people make decisions that affect my life without consulting me. This generally only happens in my work life and it’s happened to me on more than 1 occasion. If I decide to change something in my life, I’m good with that. Or if God decides to change something, I’m more than good with that, no matter how uncomfortable it is. But I abhor situations where change comes into my life because of other peoples’ decisions. This is so for 2 reasons. First, I feel like nobody should have the right or control to make life-altering decisions for me. And secondly, I always feel as if I’ve been deceived, because these situations can only happen if people are keeping secrets.
I know, I know…in business, you can’t be spilling your guts all over the place; some things have to be kept secret. And this is exactly why I know that the corporate world is no longer for me – I just cannot stand to feel as if I’ve been deceived and I dislike feelings as if I’m deceiving others.
I remember the first time I had a career-changing moment because of someone else’s decision. It was after I had completed my Masters degree. I was happily working in a financial services firm and the company I worked for acquired another company. It was decided that I would be seconded from the parent company to the new subsidiary in order to clean up its operations. This was a great career move and I’m glad I was given that opportunity because it propelled me into my subsequent successes. But when I was told about the change, I didn’t feel elated. I acted like I was, but I wasn’t. I hated feeling like I had no control over this life-changing decision that had been made for me. I actually cried when I got home from work that day, because I felt as if I was being unceremoniously jerked out of an environment where I was comfortable and happy with no warning.
Of course, I felt that way 10 times over 2 years ago when I found out that I was being made redundant from my job (different company, different decision-makers), even though by that point I hated everything about it.
Before you wonder, the Aceh situation was different. The writing was on the wall long before crunch time. When it came, I was already prepared, so I didn’t feel like anything was sprung on me.
Fast forward to a couple of Saturdays ago. We have a WhatsApp group for the 3 of us who run the Jakarta centre. One of my colleagues, who was on her monthly days off at the time, sent a message to the group to say that she was just letting us know that in about 3 weeks, she would be moving to a centre in another country. Before that message came, there was no indication that she was even thinking of a change.
Yes, I hear you saying, “Stop being selfish, Kristine. What does that even have to do with you?” How about the 2 additional classes that will be on my teaching schedule when she goes? That’s 4 more teaching hours plus about 6 more lesson prep hours each week. What about the additional duties I’ll have around the centre? That’s about another 12 hours of work each week. So, yes, it affects me, just as it affects the other colleague who will be juggling the burden with me. What’s going to happen when she goes on her monthly 4 days off and I’m left to cover all classes and duties in the centre? What then?
The thing that struck me really hard as I contemplated this unexpected turn of events was that I’m really tired of people having this kind of control over my life. And I’m really tired of working in secretive environments. I just cannot stand it.
I’m seeing where my career future may look a little different from what I was originally planning. God is gonna have to sort this 1 out, cause it’s definitely bigger than me.