I poked my head up above my cubicle and saw at an entire floor of people busying themselves with meetings, reports, and who knows what else. But what difference were any of us really making to our customers? We were all so busy doing ‘fake work’ that we’d lost sight of what mattered. It was then I decided (for the second time!) that corporate life was not for me. I just couldn’t stand the disconnection between working hard and actually doing something useful.
I didn’t quit straight away though. Instead, I decided to focus exclusively on work that would have the biggest impact. I declined most meetings, left hundreds emails unread and unanswered, and worked hours that suited me (at the time I was training for Everest and so would saunter in at 9:30!). I was not surprised when my manager called me in for a meeting….