Everything I need to know about Zen Buddhism, I learned from my father. Well, almost!
The man is unflappable. He yelled at me once in my 25 years of life. I don't even remember what it was about, probably because I was so shocked at the new experience of him yelling that I blacked out.
But my dad has worked at the same job for 25 years; he never failed to finish a task. And so for this reason and others, I've learned the value of sticking to a task and seeing it through.
As I indicated in my first post, I want this blog to focus on making the best of the job you have. Many of us who live in the middle of the country -- somewhere other than the opportunity-laden job markets of L.A. or New York -- don't have the ability to figure out what of the 100 jobs available is closest to our dream job. In many smaller towns
, there are a few good employers, and the rest is retail or Taco Bell. Not to mention that being young and inexperienced further narrows your opportunities.
If you're in this position, now is the time to embrace some of the Buddhist ideals, such as those I read in The Life of Milarepa
; among those ideals is that wanting breeds wanting. If you want, and you get what you want, are you satisfied? No. Soon enough, you'll want again.
In other words, the grass is not always greener on the other side.
Granted, if you are miserable, you may need to switch jobs. You genuinely may be in a horrible, life-sucking situation. But how do you know?
About six months ago, I was at a low point in my job. I mean LOW. I spent hours and hours searching for other jobs while at work (that's so satisfying to do when you're pissed!) and eventually I had a couple job offers; though the pay was lower. During the few weeks that I was planning on taking one of those jobs, I kept a list of everything I hated about my current job. I was going to launch my rant about the company during my exit interview. However ... you know what the common denominator in a lot of those problems was?
If I really was honest with myself, I could fix some of those problems
. The others I could ignore if I took on a Taoist
mentality, and the rest I could bring up in reviews, or with HR, or what have you.
By now I'm preaching. But this is the theory behind my anti-quitting mantra. Don't switch jobs JUST to switch -- make sure it's a better opportunity. I'd like to throw this out to the professional recruiters for comment, but I would imagine one job for several years rather than three jobs in three years looks better on your resume. (?)
One more quick story: One of the jobs I was thinking about taking during my LOW point was at another local office. On MySpace, I met a gal in the same field as me, in the same town as me, and in the same position -- bored.
Now, we talked via e-mail, and I found out that she had applied to my company and I had applied to her company; both of us got offers and both rejected the offers due to pay issues. We discussed the "actual" job tasks at each others' companies, and you know what? They were equally boring.
photo credit: Marty Knapp