April 27, 2011 | File under: Advice and Lessons • Well-being
I knew it was time to leave my job when it became apparent to me that I had reached a dead end. In my professional life as a lawyer, I was no longer growing and had no desire or ambition to climb that next step to becoming a partner in my law firm. My tactic of hanging on to the status quo of being an associate and just going through the motions of my job was not going to work for much longer before I would be prompted to take on more responsibility than I desired. And in my personal life, I was beginning to feel the effects of many years in a job that wasn’t right for me. I was pushing ahead, but I wasn’t going anywhere either professionally or personally. In fact, I felt like I was falling behind personally, which was what really mattered to me.
There is much to be said for tolerating a job you don’t like because you’re able to appreciate its necessity or beneficial effects. Few people are fortunate enough to love their job or feel a passion for their work. Most people go to work every day because they need to pay their bills or feed themselves or their families. They may not like their job per se, but they may not mind it either. In the grand scheme of things, the job’s benefits outweigh its costs.
But somewhere along the cost-benefit continuum, there’s a tipping point. Your job provides some benefit, but not enough to justify the cost to your well-being, your future, your relationships and your state of mind. It’s the point when you realize pursuing other options, no matter how difficult they may be, is more attractive than remaining stuck where you are. You may face financial hardships for choosing to leave, but they are neither ruinous nor worth continuing on a path leading nowhere. It’s hard to predict where that tipping point lies, but from my experience, it’s like a moment when you find yourself teetering on the edge of a cliff. You’ll just know.
October 18, 2010 | File under: Advice and Lessons • Materialism • Society and Pressures • Well-being
Career perceptions are largely a function of one’s environment. The setting in which a child is raised profoundly shapes their understanding of how the world “works” and causes them to view certain lifestyles or values as inherently good or bad. Or, if certain characteristics are not distinguished as either good or bad, they are accepted as just the way that something “is” in any particular environment. These influences inevitably factor into how people perceive careers as enablers that will help them to achieve the lifestyle to which they aspire. In this way, one is careared from an early age to view certain careers as desirable for the monetary benefits they offer, not necessarily for the day-to-day tasks involved in the performance of such jobs.
October 11, 2010 | File under: Advice and Lessons • On the Job • Society and Pressures • Well-being
Growing up, I was always a bit uncomfortable in my own skin. I was constantly trying to live up to some social ideal, simultaneously pursuing notions of intelligence, beauty and overall worth that I believed would make me valued and special in society’s eyes. I thought acceptance from sources outside of myself would fuel my happiness, oblivious at the time that real happiness would remain elusive unless it came from myself, not from other’s affirmations of my embodiment of any ideal projected by society.