Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Seeking Your Thoughts

Hey all -- I am grappling with the idea of workplace satisfaction, and how important it is when making professional decisions.

The thoughts are a bit muddled in my brain, so no doubt they will come out garbled here as well, but hopefully you will understand what I am trying to say enough so that you can offer your opinion or share your experiences.

I have written about 5 sentences right here and then erased them all as I try to figure out how to say what I want to say!

Is it OK to quit a job that doesn't excite you but that you can do perfectly well, without significant reason - i.e., there is no mitigating circumstance making the job unbearable, it just isn't thrilling you daily.

I understand that NO job thrills you daily (or almost no job). And that sometimes sticking with something is worth it in and of itself. And that it could be seen as setting a pattern of quitting if something bores you, which may be a dangerous habit to have.

But then again, why stay with something that is not adding to your life, when life is short enough anyway?

I guess what I am really saying is, is it OK for me to quit a perfectly good job which is kind of blah, or should I stay with it because it's not too bad and it is regular money coming in, and ... I guess I'm out of reasons.

Am I being proactive by wanting to maximize my enjoyment of life or am I being weak by running from even the slightest discomfort? How do you tell the difference?


shawn said...

What are we talking about here?? Are we talking about a job that pays the bills?? and if you don't have this job there will be money problems?? Or are we talking about a job which you are doing because you feel like you should do, and you have been doing for a long time and you do because you think no one else will pick up the slack??
IF we are talking a job that pays the bills, then you should stay until you find something else. At least you have money coming in. NO job is 100% satifaction, my god, that is why they call them JOBS!!
But if we are talking the job where you are sticking it out because they are too lazy to find someone else to do your job, even though you have been telling them for months that you are done, by all means you should just call it quits..
NOW, if we aren't talking about either of those.. I don't have any idea.. LOOK at me.. I am in a sucky job.. and am HOPING to get out soon.. (By the way... all dentists are jurks..)
I only wish that I had the guts to just up and walk out.. too bad, so sad.. NOT my nature, darn it...
OK, sorry for the rambling.. what was the question again???

Dawn said...

I quit a job after having a short conversation with the new manager who had little experience in the dental field compared to my 20 years. I was being condescended to and told I wasn't professional or a team player, etc. That was the gist of what I heard that day and I decided that I just didn't need that kind of attitude when going into work everyday. I had just survived breast cancer and that too led me to my choice. Life is indeed to short. If you have the capability to still pay the bills and do what you want to do then change jobs, spread your wings, try new things, etc. If you still need this job to get by in your day to day existance, then I think you need to bide your time, check out your options, and then switch when you have all your ducks in a row. I've come to the conclusion that most people aren't miserable every day that they go to work and you shouldn't be either...

Karen ~ said...

Well, I'm not miserable by any means, just not "fulfilled" ...

Dawn said...

Not fulfilled can be the same as miserable. Teeth don't hold the same allure as they used to, I just don't know what else I would want to do with my time at this point. I admit to being a drift, but am lucky to have some time to try some different things.....

Mama Ava said...

I think that sometimes we need to look at what do believe is most important? What is your purpose? I really loved teaching--I felt it was a calling and when I left teaching and did some other things while I was home with my kids that feeling was reinforced because it was soooo hard to do a job just to bring in income, sometimes jobs that other people did find fulfilling. So the work piece I think is very dependent on you as an individual. If you thrive on a certain kind of work--fast-paced, unpredictable, high-stakes, etc. then you seek those things out in different venues. If you love a subject or area--teaching, children, animals, music, theatre--then you may be willing to put up with some stuff because you love the subject.

But I think happiness/fulfillment comes from something outside yourself. Teaching junior high special ed.? I loved big parts of my job every day. I was good at it. I believe I make a difference when I'm working, but I don't see that difference on a daily basis. Some jobs you have to do knowing that you're not going to be the one to reap the rewards of your efforts because it comes so much further down the line.

If your job isn't thrilling you, what is? Work consumes a significant part of our lives so having a good perspective on what you're doing and why at this point in your life is important. For the past year, you've been in transition--you needed income, flexibility, and you were good at things that allowed you to pursue work that met your needs. Now you're in a new transition--you have the opportunity to have your days back--what do make of that? Continue working solo? Pursue work again outside the house? Return to nursing? Something related to nursing?

I think the most difficult part of your question is that there is no answer. Somewhere there is a balance between what you love, what you need, and what you need to do. We are all called to be and do something outside of ourselves. I think that if your work is not meaningful to you, then it's time to evaluate it. Do you trade the aspects of your job that have been necessary for something that is less convenient but more rewarding? Or stick with it because you need those aspects and find the meaning somewhere else for now?

And without pressure. If I felt I was supposed to be changing the world, I'd feel an awful lot of pressure. For most people doing good in their own little corner is pretty powerful stuff. You are raising someone's future husbands, someone's future fathers--how great is that? How amazing that you provided a future for 120+ children in Africa that had no hope? How wonderful that you have added value to people running a marathon, walking for cancer, and working in your local schools? What a gift that you care so passionately about our political issues that you actually get involved. Never stop thinking you haven't made a difference.