THE PERFECT JOB
Nathaniel T. Dela Cruz
June 8, 2017
There is no such thing as a perfect job. Everyone has a reason to leave – the hours long, the commute dreadful, the boss a total asshole, the pay too low, and the co-workers a clique of insecure, petty, rumor-mongering passive-aggressive bullies.
But not everyone leaves. Why? Mainly because they worry they might not get another job, or end up somewhere worse. So they stay put, nurturing what could be misplaced hopeful optimism, and in the process developing fortitude not everyone can muster, enough to see those who chose to stay behind through.
I find quitting a job easy. If my boss is an asshole, I quit. If the work condition is unbearable, I quit. If what was demanded of me is unreasonable, I quit.
These are all, by the way, very subjective claims. A fair, retrospective assessment. In truth, I was just egoistic and very sensitive in my youth. Balat sibuyas, so they say, and with a chip on my shoulders. I get easily slighted, and when this happens, I refuse to deal with it. I don’t want to talk about it with my boss or with my colleagues. I don’t want to sit down and see what can be done to address the problem. I just leave. I quit. I disappear. I stopped showing up for work. I don’t answer the phone knowing that it’s my employer on the other end, ready to put a final effort to convince me to return.
There is no such thing as a perfect job. So why should I be worried about losing it?
I was what HR personnel and recruiters would describe as a chronic quitter, and they’re correct. That’s what my career track says about me, and I can’t change that because that’s the truth.
What I can change today is my outlook.
There is no such thing as a perfect job. BUT can I be a better person and turn an imperfect job into a rewarding, worthwhile, and almost-perfect experience?
Worth a try. There is no such thing as a perfect job, but there is still the prospect of ending up somewhere way better. Case in point is my current job: now, the hours are reasonable, the commute very easy, the boss a real mentor, and the pay sufficient.
Have I become the antithesis of my old, chronic quitter self?
I refuse to subscribe to this very polar binary. What I’ll tell anyone who comes to me for advice regarding leaving or staying is this:
Quit if you are not happy. Stay if the problem is temporary.
We do not have the same set of workplace experiences. I won’t advise someone to stay if there is a valid reason to leave. But I won’t encourage anyone to be a chronic quitter like me either. But remember this:
Before you quit, be careful. After you quit, be brave.
I have learned an important lesson from being a chronic quitter. Quitting should never be impulsive. Deciding to quit should come with mental clarity. You should be circumspect, reasonable, and ready.
After you quit, move forward and believe that there is another opportunity out there for you. Do not dwell on the past when your self-esteem hit rock bottom. Do not doubt your decision when you are penniless and broke. Do not think that you could have been happier if you stayed because at least, you’d have money in your pocket. Financial security is not the sole determinant of happiness.
There is no such thing as a perfect job, but there’s always something better out there, and you will never be in the position to grab this chance if you remain tethered to an onerous occupation you are not willing to let go.
There is no such thing as a perfect job, but there’s work out there that removes you from constantly having to wrestle with the idea of quitting, simply because you found contentment. And most of the time, that is all we need to start quitting and start cultivating roots.
Some find it staying in a job that constantly threatens to break the person down every day. Some find it after journeying through several employments inevitably severed by the decision to leave. Either way, the end result is a similar person: strong and wise. The path towards finding equanimity is never a straight nor a similar road; nonetheless, we are all expected to soldier on, if this pursuit is paramount.
There is no such thing as a perfect job, but every once in awhile, there’s a perfect moment when everything in your life aligns with impeccable symmetry, and you begin to love the job which, at first, was just a mere necessity.
Finally, a light to see past and through the imperfections.
Now, you’re staying.