I am back at work after being away for four days. Within these past few hours of being home, I have learned a little bit more about myself.
Technically, I was gone for two days: Friday and Monday. Saturday and Sunday are already off thanks to having a standard job. Except for getting to and from Las Vegas, I was walking everywhere. My step counter reached 20,000 steps once!
On the way back home and sitting at my desk today, here is a list of things that I have learned about myself:
- I am not built to be active all day. By the third day, my feet were so sore that I could barely walk for five minutes before needing to sit down. My lower back was sore because of my bag. I didn’t want to wear a backpack for fear of getting pick-pocketed, so I used a cross-body bag and kept flipping which shoulder the strap was resting on.
- My posture is horrible when I sit. I had a nice straight back whenever I glanced at my reflection and I felt good (with the exception of my feet). An hour of being at my desk and a headache was starting to dance behind my eyes. Getting up and walking around the building helped clear it away. This further cemented the idea that I need to remove the arm rests on my chair to lessen the opportunities to lean against stuff.
- I depend on sunlight to wake up in a timely manner. Normally, I am unable to sleep past 8am. This can sometimes frustrate friends and family because I am awake and cheery as they stumble up to grab some morning coffee. This weekend however, I had to be woken up at 9am otherwise I probably would have missed breakfast hours at the buffets. The drapes at the hotel room were made of heavy material and blocked the sunlight very well. This would explain why it is so hard to get up during winter. I thought it only because the bed was cozy and the room was freezing.
- Taking a break improves focus. I play table tennis with co-workers during break times and wow did I perform well today. Whenever I skip a few days/weeks due to deadlines, I find myself doing badly against the people who were able to practice during the times that I missed. As I got to the break room, I wondered how badly I would lose. To my surprise, I was able to react well, did a few good shots, and won a match.
Here’s the biggest thing I learned about myself. I cannot continue working at my current job. I love the people and environment. My work challenges me to improve my skills. However, the type of work is simply something that I do not want to do long-term.
During the vacation, my SO would sometimes check the status of his co-workers to see how things are going. I refused to even try to log into work despite the fact that our team has a major deadline this week. As we drove back home, both of us could feel the weight of work that we will have to tackle the next day. However, I was the only one who instantly thought, “I don’t want to go to work!” upon getting out of bed this morning.
I do not plan to quit right at this moment, but I will probably leave by next year. I need to find a job that will still provide a stable income. As an engineer, I know most jobs I will apply to will fulfill that criteria. I got my current job by throwing my resume at any and all companies who would hire a newly graduated computer scientist. This time, I need to be more selective.
The most troubling issue with being picky is that I do not have any idea about what kind of job will make me happy. I grew up in a household where you study to get a stable job and pursue your interests as a hobby. A very realistic outlook, but one that limits myself to the medical, science, or engineering field. People say that you should follow your passion, but what happens if you are not passionate about anything? Sure, there are things that I like, but nothing that could pay the bills. Drawing is fun, but no one is going to pay for my amateurish sketches. Reading is great, but I obviously have the wrong degree to pursue an editor job.
My best bet is to find a company that does something that I can relate to and requires a computer scientist to program a website or tool that they need. The second best option is to spend the next year taking classes on the side to develop a skill that will allow me to switch to a different job.
Thank you, vacation, for giving me a chance to learn about myself and motivating me to find work that will make me happy.