Why do I do what I do???

I am the type of person who puts a great deal of pressure on myself in all aspects of my life. This obviously results in a heightened level of stress, discomfort and overall disillusionment…only to end up in the extreme workaholic, career-chasing crowd of today’s world.

I find myself constantly rushing so that I may eventually “live the good life”. Most of us do this, right?? …only to find that it could be too late to enjoy it by the time we get there. However, now I realize that the good life must be led, in moderation, on a daily basis.

A job that you can “love” is one of the holy grails of modern existence isn’t it? It is one of those things we start striving towards as soon as we’re out of our schools and colleges, and catapult into our professional lives.  If only we could find a job we love. A job we actually want to do. A job that has us bouncing out of bed in the morning, instead of making us wonder what would kill us faster: ingested shaving cream or correction fluid in our sandwich. A job that fits our strengths and weaknesses and desires and ambitions like a glove. A job that keeps us happy. A job with no trade-offs or compromises.

The above thoughts would have passed your mind, at some point in your career, right?…making you crazy of what are you doing in life and wanting to throw everything away running in the woods to be close to nature and find yourself..is it not?

I am a regular reader of Cubiclenama where sometimes I nod my head in ah-yes-it-does-happen moment, sometimes in wonderment and sometimes when an article resonates the thoughts in my mind. The article “Don’t Love Your Job” resonated like-wise.

Sinking away in the dull samsaric circle of routinesque habits, you know – get  up – work – tv -sleep, I find myself pleasantly cleansed from the conformist dust collecting on my ever-narrowing existential perspective. Many a time, I am left with a feeling like I need to start a whole new system to make any changes – not the most productive way in my mind!

Due to tug-o-war between 2 teams and 2 bosses to report to, which devoided me of 2 promotions and overall 30% salary hike in 6.5 years of my service, led me to quit. BUT I was happy in my previous job as I loved what I did. It was not a happy decision…I still remember being nervous when approaching my manager to inform him of my decision.

But, even in my new organization, I have to “make do” because I fell into something and am just trying to make it work – because it’s a job – because I am scared to quit (I wonder WHY?). In few months, I may delude myself into thinking that I CAN DO IT but that is not what I WANT to do.cartoon_worst_job[1]

Choices that we make in life and then stick to for any reason, are a source of unhappiness in the work place. We incessantly complain about being underpaid or working in a unchallenging or misfit profile, but refuse to accept responsibility for our decisions. Mis-fit positions affect employees and their productivity as well as their job satisfaction.

A lot of us are confused because we are expending all of our energy climbing the wrong ladder. If our passion is our income or even our designation, we are climbing a ladder leaning against an empty container. It’s so important for us to realize that our satisfaction with a position is driven by more than one or two aspects. Sometimes it feels like we are taught from a young age to go after salary or title, as human beings we are complicated creatures and are driven by many influences. I think we all want to see some semblance of growth in responsibilities, in title, in compensation, and in value we bring to the organization.  Without this, work can be mind-numbing and hopeless.

We rely on mid-year and end-of-year reviews for which we have no time to even think of properly completing. As such, it turns out to be a paper shuffle filled with empty words that skirt real issues and possibly conflict. How can we REALLY tell if we are in the “right” job?  Do we have the passion for the mission?  If the response is “yes”, then we are in the right job, regardless of pay, hours, and/or supervisor.

Without that struggle, would I have known a good fit when I found it? Would I have earned the skills necessary to find that good fit? Most of us don’t have the luxury to quit, so let’s use the time to learn and grow so those “right jobs” can be in our future. One has to keep in mind, there is more to life than work that can offer challenges. Hard work always pays off, that said if we have the right job we will enjoy putting in the extra work.

Dr. Charles Stanley once asked a related question (directed to a group of pastors), “Are you satisfied with merely making an impression, or do you want to make an impact?” They both take passion and effort, but one is all about ME, the other is all about OTHERS. The most fulfilling job is the one that I can contribute the most to those I care about.

In a perfect world, yes there is a luxury of switching to the perfect job. But in current economies, we have limited options and probably that’s what holding me back from quitting. Many people are taking whatever they can get, because one can only accept a job after it has been offered to you.

Therefore, we need to learn to drive value and build transferable skills that may help us in our future prefect job (whenever we get it). I believe we should be thankful enough, not just for the good experiences, but for the not-so-good experiences too – after all they all help us grow and prepare us.

We can be in job (where we are happy, helpful, competent, evolving professionally and successful at what we do) AND it still might not be the right job/career for us. We might learn to be competent and successful at what we do, but deep down we will always have a desire and passion to pursue a different path. That yearning for something different might be our cue to explore a job, career or calling that feels true and authentic to us. I need to prepare myself for my time away from the rat race that so many of us are trying to beat only to lose. I wish to take a break from work, the people we associate with all the time, and let myself explore the other side of me that is desperate to come out.

I should enjoy the playful and light voice in my head, peppering me with little interesting tidbits about the benefits of “sins” and pleasure. I already find joy in just thinking how much more fun life can be realizing that no one or nothing should impede on a short human life’s quest for sensual pleasure. What else is there to live for? Selling your soul for the benefit of the company’s expansion, while disregarding the fact that there so much less things we can do to become happy? We are all trained to become civilized robots depending their status on the degree of refinement of their tastes – sometimes missing the point, deep down we just want to have the cosy mind-numbing comfort of sensual pleasure.

If I could have my way, I would like to be a writer, travel photographer, friendly counsellor and open an NGO. It would make for one hell of an interesting life!!

As we speed along this endless road to the destination called who-we-hope-to-be, I can’t help but whine “Are we there yet?”

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Categories: Muddled Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Why do I do what I do???

  1. Pingback: Year 2013, in my rear-view mirror… | MissUnderstood Genius

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