Control! Are you Kidding?

I was asked the other day if I wanted more control in my next job. While asking the question the person pointed out the layers of management in broadcasting and how limiting that can be. I surprised myself by rather quickly replying no, I was used to working that way and wouldn’t be surprised if I got a job outside of broadcasting I would find the situation somewhat worse. Despite any possible rumors to the contrary, I am not a control freak except when it comes to the really important things in life such as Christmas decorations or party menus.


I later heard this same question asked a little differently of someone else. The question became, are you looking for a job that gives you more control of your life? Well now that is another animal altogether. Who in their right mind doesn’t want more control over their life? The follow up was that most boomers in transition were saying they wanted more control over their lives. Well duh!


I spent some time asking myself how I would have answered the question if it had been put to me that way. I figured “Duh!” would not have been an acceptable response. I then proceeded to spend way too much time thinking about my answer to that specific question. After all pondering weighty issues is way more fun that job hunting and I have already confessed to being a world class procrastinator until the pressure is on, and then I am a world class doer. But anyway, my answer to the question again surprised me because it is, “No.”


Control is an illusion. We all think we are in control of or taking control of our lives, jobs etc. But in fact what happens is going to happen. Control is, up to a point, a cosmic joke waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting like a Jack in the box. The more control we think we have the more curves life throws us just to prove us wrong. The only control we really have is how we handle each of the curve balls. We can foul, strike or hit it out of the park. Life is a lot like baseball the more curves you are thrown the better your chances of controlling your swing. While I was writing this post about control on my computer I got the blue screen of death…. irony…not funny.

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