So You are a Big Kahuna?

There are people in their 30s who hold regional jobs with impressive titles.

How capable are they?

Certain types of companies tend to hand out fancy titles to employees still wet behind the ears.

But you cannot take a youngster,
bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, throw him into the deep end (referred to as “training”) and expect that from the baptism of fire, he will emerge a freshly-minted super-efficient, super-productive, globetrotting contributor able to hold his own against the likes of CEOs or board chairmen, or any member of senior management from the C suite.

These youngsters – wannabe “achievetrons” – will eventually implode for a number of reasons.

First, nothing can replace years of actual experience. Work is 20% technical and 80% tactical. Even total idiots – or monkeys – can repeatedly handle the technical, the “how-to part” of work, but to build up the tactical part requires years of accumulating experience garnered from dealing with all kinds of people with diverse backgrounds, from different cultures and built-in prejudices, etc. A 35-year-old simply cannot have acquired 50 years of people experience, not even if he or she is a member of Mensa.

Secondly, while travel may seem glam, it saps you, screws up your health, and worse, it damages your relationships with those at home. Some of the relationships damaged are irreparable.

Third, instead of being the envy of your peers, you actually become a laughing stock. Of course no one will tell you that in your face. They will ooh and aah like they are envious of your jetsetting. But soon, no one will bother to organize events based on your availability. You become isolated and disconnected, and eventually forgotten. And when you finally get a chance to meet old friends again, you will find there’s nothing to talk about. There is no longer any common ground. You have become strangers.

Fourth, most people who do regional jobs, even mature, seasoned professionals, find time management to be a major challenge. Dealing with multiple time zones, different countries, different cultures, jetlag, and all the rest of it, will get to you. When do you get to sleep?

Fifth, those whose jobs require traveling will soon get addicted to the traveling. Although they “complain” about how grueling it is – yeah, cry me a river – they like that time seems to fly fast when they are constantly on the road, they relish the fact that they don’t have to deal with the nitty-gritty of being a parent, dealing with their kids’ homework, etc. They deny that they are using their jobs as excuses for escaping family responsibilities. Come on, in this day and age, most work-related travel can be avoided, and “road warriors” are being laughed at, but these retards deliberately eschew the use of technology because traveling also makes them feel important. “Hey I’ve just landed this morning after a 20-hour redeye flight, and I’m here to help you.” Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Yes, the Savior complex in full force.

There are other pitfalls, like ending up with extramarital affairs, suffering from premature aging, becoming dependent on medication, your kids alienating themselves from you, etc.

If you recognize any of the traits above in you, stop and ponder. And maybe consider another job or maximize technology or simply ask for help before you burn out completely. The time you lost gallivanting around the world, especially if you have young kids, can never be recovered. Gone is gone.

Is that what you want?

International jetsetter, age 40.

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