Step back, breathe

We all reach the point when you say to yourself that enough’s enough. And that thing resonates the most when it comes to a job you’ve been doing for a while. Specially when it’s something that’s strictly for the bills and not necessarily the kind of thing you wanted to do anyway. That you’re stuck with it is rationalized by hundreds of different reasons, necessities and the like, but somehow fails to catch any meaningful and satisfactory enough explanation why you continue to plod along that given course.

You just woke up one day and started questioning yourself on whether you want to stay in that job for the rest of your life. And you find friends doing jobs that seem a lot more exciting and fulfilling than what you’re seem to be stuck with. And, from how they described it, seem only to reinforce whatever doubts you have on what you have been doing all along.

Then you lapse into a bit of introspection about how things really are for you, and come out of it a bit more despondent and a tad hopeless than before.


It also doesn’t help that the organization you’re working for behaves like any other entity in the workforce: It could not care less about you. That sad reality in any employee/worker’s life—from the lowest, most un-glamorous blue collar laborer to the hotshot CEO—is that you are replaceable. Human resource, maybe. But such resources are expendable assets in a world where millions are lining up for a position you are contemplating on vacating.

That you feel, and even know for certain that the management is doing some slimy maneuvering to boot you out of the company and make it look like the decision to leave was all yours does not help. It is during these times when you wish you weren’t so intuitive about your surroundings and not have been too much of a pop culture geek. All those thrillers, crime, mystery stories ingested from thousands of paperbacks, comic books and movies that were useful to a certain extent, now comes back to bite you in a way that makes you wish for the oblivious ignorance of most people.

And the mass exodus of more than half of the people you know out of the company. All with reasons you happen to agree with. And you start thinking that at your age, you have to make things happen now or never. So you start applying and sending CVs and assorted credentials to the jobs you did want to do when you were still an impressionable youth. And again, just like the hunt for jobs when you were still starting out, the results were disappointing.

Then you remembered that the way you have and will always operate is the one of the quiet, and cruising viper who gives a decisive strike on one particular target and not like the overzealous rest who dishes out multiple sporadic attacks on one blast until every other resource is exhausted. That the phlegmatic temperament that came to define you and the patience to let things run their course until you see an opening has not failed you yet.

It all boils down to patience. The Jedis advocated it, and even the Terminator 2: Judgment Day novelization had a pretty good description for it with respect to the T-800 protector of John Connor:

Patience was not a virtue with the man/machine. It was a strategic advantage.

It’s always best to step back and rethink one’s steps when confronted with a seeming dead-end. And lastly, to always remember the enlightening passage from Desiderata:

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

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