*I am already aware that I may look back at this blog post after a few years and think that I was silly and irrational (like I’m sure some of you reading this will think). But maybe, just maybe, I’ll look back at this, take a look at my life, and make a change. That is my hope.
During my last year of college, when noon classes and Tuesday nights out seemed to be coming to an end way too fast, all my peers, including myself, started the job hunt. While on this hunt, many people scout out not only a job in their field but also a job with “good benefits.”
Recently I was chatting with a good friend about jobs. She has a solid job with decent pay, and a really good benefits package. She hates it though. Constantly frustrated with the work, having trouble communicating with her supervisor, and shut in an office all day, she comes to work and leaves work unhappy most days.
So why stay? Benefits.
Her heart is in people. She loves traveling and learning about others. She also is a very talented artist, and people love her work. But (the big BUT), there is no solidity in that area of work. It’s not a safe bet, and there are no “benefits.”
Fairly new to the world of peers with full-time jobs, I have already seen this way too many times, and I honestly don’t get it. Why stay in a position in life that you don’t like, when you have the ability to change it. Now, I am not saying that if you have a bad week at work you should quit your job, but if you habitually find that your job sucks joy from your life, don’t put up with it. Yes, we all have bills to pay and responsibilities to others, but there has to be something out there that you can do that makes you enjoy life a little more while still being able to cover your needs.
I want to reinforce that the point of this is not to say that we should all quit our jobs right away if we’re unhappy, but instead to remind us that we have the ability to make changes in our lives. It is so incredibly easy to just settle for mediocre. A life filled with so-so days, surface level interactions with people, and mundane routine. It’s easy because it’s comfortable and it’s easy because it’s safe.
A few weeks back, a man from my home community passed away unexpectedly at the young age of 54. Sadly, untimely deaths such as this are more common than we would like to think about. But as much as we don’t want to think about it, we should. Life is so incredibly delicate, and can be gone in the snap of our fingers. So why do we wait around to make changes in our lives? Why do we continue to live our lives doing things that don’t bring us joy? Why do we settle for a so-so life when we have much bigger dreams? The “benefits of a solid and safe job may sound great and look good on paper, but the real benefits in life come from living a life that makes you happy, make others happy, and makes G*d happy. Even if it is impossible to change jobs for you, find a way to bring more joy into your work. Work with purpose, with the idea that what you are doing is making a difference to someone. Or even more simply, wake up in the morning with the attitude that today will be a great day, and it probably will be.
So, to my friend with the terrible job, I want to say this. You are young, talented, and you have nothing holding you back except yourself. Apply for a job that you would love, even if it’s not a “safe” decision (an application never hurt anyone). Show your art to everyone you know, because people are going to take notice. Keep searching for what makes you truly happy, and until you find it, go to work everyday with the attitude that what you do that day is the most important this you could be doing at that moment. Work with real effort, work with joy, and work with grace, Just don’t waste a single day settling for the mediocre, because your life is too valuable to not do something amazing with.