Alignment and flow

I have been wondering for a few months about where to live. There were a few things I wanted: outdoor space for my kids; low rent; and close to school and work.

I have found a place to live that meets the first two criteria, but not the last two. I am going to move there in a little while as it feels like the right time and place. It feels like moving their is going with the flow and is aligned with what I want to do.

I am curious to see what happens with the other two criteria, being close to school and work. Will I end up moving again soon? Will the school and work move closer to where I live? Will I no longer care about being close to work and school?

One move at a time. The next move will take care of itself.

Money Supply

Debt: The first 5000 years is a book that changed they way I think about money. It is a bit of a long, tough read, and I confess to not reading all of it. But two things a percolating within me: money is a way of pretending to be exact about something we cannot be exact about: human exchanges of all kinds. Since we have created money for our own purposes, we could design it in such a way to serve all of us, for example by create and giving more of it away, or forgiving crippling debts.

The books talks about the origins of money, and what money actually is. Money did not come out of necessity to replace a barter system that was getting too ungainly. The barter system was not actually practised that widely in human societies - before money communities held a kind of mental ledger and were usually prepared to give something they had to anybody who asked or need it. They knew that soon enough the tables would be turned.

I am trying to think of a pithy take-away, but right now there is not one forthcoming. There is something about understanding that money is a tool, and that it can be created very easily for achieving specific human purposes. There is something else about the guilt we all feel about debt, and how this is also human designed and it is not a moral absolute that everyone pays their debts.

Perhaps in understanding the origins and characteristics of money I can be less attached to it, and allow it to come and go in my life to help me achieve my purposes.

Reflections on work: the weirdness of being in an office

I am working out of a co-working space with the organisation I have just joined. I love co-working spaces, but coming back into one I have a sense that while they are on the right track, the future of work looks nothing like what they currently look.

What I am imagining looks much more like a forest that an office. An urban forest. There is loads of natural light and plant life. It is weather proofed. It has places for people to meet under trees and on grass.

There is no pressure to be sitting at your desk because there is no desk. It is a beautiful gathering place for ideas to be shared and collaborations to be had, and then for people to go out into the wider world and do the work they need to do.

Coming back to an office for the first time, it just feels odd to be so removed from the outside world, to be in a bland space with sterile air and artificial light. I find myself wanting to just go for purposeless walks and be outside.

Reflections on work

I'm not sure if this will be dry or interesting, but over the next few days I am going to post my reflections on being back in paid employment after 18 months of working for myself.

I want to note what seems weird and strange and different this time round, before I become normalised to all this craziness.

A new mindset for a new job

Today I start a new job. Although it is not my own business and I am working for somebody else, I find myself thinking like an entrepreneur.

This could be due to this business being a relatively new business - a start-up. It could be because this business is about creating tech disruption within government departments for citizen oriented change.

It could be because after a year away from being employed I am able to see this job less as a career move and something I plan to do for the next five years, and more as an amazing challenge to engage in for this moment with unknown and exciting implications for whatever is next.

Time away from work

There seems to be a myth that tells us if we spend a significant amount time away from work, away from a regular employed job, it will have long-term damaging consequences for our career.

I am here to say that I think the opposite is true. That this is a myth that serves the short-term interests of employers and keeps employees feeling trapped.

I have two experiences in taking career breaks. The first was when I walked away from my IT career for 4 years to pursue the creation of three small businesses. Not only did I have some of the best working experiences of my life during these 4 years, but when I came back to IT at the end of it I ended up being paid more than twice what I was paid before I left.

The second experience is right now, where I have taken 18 months of any type of paid work while I start some of my own ventures. I am about to go back to paid employment next week, and although I am not going to be earning the same kind of wage I was before I took this time off, I come to the job with a totally different perspective to work and know that the value I can offer is more than triple what I could have previously.

You are not stuck. You have options. They do not always seem obvious. They are not always easy. But in the end following your curiosity will be better for you and those you serve than staying where you are and following the rules.

The uncertainty of now

One of the hardest things for me to write about is the uncertainty of looking for a job, which is what I am experiencing right now.

It is hard because in the back of my mind I am wondering 'what if one of those people who I am looking to work with reads this post?'. This then changes what I write about.

So what I am writing is slightly moderated; safe for work as they say.

The matter is pretty simple: I want to earn some income. I don't know the manner in which I am going to do this. It is causing me angst. I am doing all kinds of things to distract myself from the discomfort.

What I want to do is to be able to sit with the discomfort. And that is what writing about this reminds me to do: sit; be; feel; observe. See where it leads. Observe where it has come from.

The truth is anything can happen. Things change quickly. I have faith.