Respect

This has been an interesting trip.

On the one hand, I have a full time job, that I have been doing in its current form for about 9 years. It is ‘career’ number 4? 5? I have a CV that I could fill with qualifications, most of which are always irrelevant to whatever the current role I’m in (who needs someone who is qualified to operate a gas turbine, or be in charge of the engineering watch of a warship when you just need someone to show staff how to use Adobe Photoshop!)

But I have taken on these very diverse roles because I enjoy their specific challenges.

However.

I have had this very cool opportunity and it can be boiled down to a singularity. Not that I may be good at selling the benefits of an item, nor that I am willing to potentially make a goat of myself on international TV, or that I can be thrown at a partially quantified task, define it then deliver, or any of a number of other potential reasons.

That singularity is respect, and I really felt it come through completely unqualified this trip, and to everyone I met I can’t tell you how much I it meant to me that you were genuinely glad that I came across.

I’m not a great woodworker – need a much longer beard and a lot more grey hairs before I would have had time to learn a fraction of what is needed to be good, but even that was not a requirement. Here is a task, here are the required resources – deliver.

Working in a non academic role in a university means no hope for career progression. I’m at the top of my current payscale (and was accelerated to that point), but once you reach that ceiling, there is no hope to progress without quitting the current job and getting another. That is not a career. It’s not a matter of the money persay – but salary is one method an organisation has to demonstrate respect.

As the potential scope of the role becomes restricted again to a role I was performing in 6 years ago, I’m forced to consider whether I am prepared to be shoehorned into a box I’m not sure I can still fit, or would even enjoy doing again, or whether to pursue respect elsewhere.

It isn’t particularly well known, but I do have a mild (managed) depression condition. I don’t say ‘suffer from’, because it can be a significant advantage, and in my case it can result in a particularly focussed attention to the current task. Genuine respect is one of the lenses that focuses that intensity at a specific task. Without it, the result can be quite destructive. Just look at my naval career.

So while I am sitting here, at the still young-feeling age of 40, 12km up in the air and about to cross the coast of Australia after 14 hours of flight time (2 to go), I have time to assess and consider just what it is that drives me (other than the quad jet turbines on the wings below), and look at what I do with the enhanced mirror this trip has afforded me.

If there is a way to get this website to a point I could gain a satisfactory income from, I would be very interested, so long as I can maintain the ideals on which it is based: free access and content, credibility (sounds like a synonym of ‘respect’….) I guess that is what we are all looking for.

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