I quit my job today.
It wasn’t a bad job. It didn’t have a horrible boss or nightmare coworkers. In fact, I should have been loving it. I had my own desk with a window, flexible hours and a salary with benefits. I was one of the lucky ones. I had a job in my field guaranteed the day I walked across the stage and was handed my diploma. It was the epitome of a successful college career. What more could I ask for?
But, after classes ceased and the mundane work days all too rapidly began to blend into a depressing spiral with an unforseeable end, I panicked. What had I done? How did I get to this point? Was this going to be my life for the next 20 years?
I suddenly realized that in my attempt to be seen as successful (especially in the eyes of my parents, mentors and peers), I had been sucked into a meaningless rat race for financial and social affluence that manifested in an endless cycle of daily stress, contempt, and methods of release.
I found myself spending eight hours a day doing something I couldn’t wait to get away from; living only for those few hours of peace at home in the evening or the promise of fun weekend plans. My happiness and motivation for life radically diminished to only a few hours a week.
I made a decision. If I wanted things to change in my life, I needed to change them. If I wanted to be happy, I had to do things that make me happy. So, I quit my job.
I’m here to tell all of you reading this that striving for happiness in your work is okay! Work doesn’t have to be work. If you are employed 40 hours a week, then you’re spending half of your waking life at your job. HALF. Do you really want to invest 50 percent of your existence into a career you can’t stand? I sure don’t.
"There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy." -Robert Louis Stevenson
Okay, I want to be happy at my job, how do I get there?
- How happy are you? Determine your happiness level at your current job. Use a scale of 1-10. Write a pros and cons list. Anything that will clarify your feelings and help you determine whether to stay in your current job or start looking for a new one. I knew I was unhappy, so I worked my way through a problem solver: 1. Identify the problem, 2. Explain why the problem exists, 3. Get advice and opinions, 4. List some potential solutions, and then, 5. Act on one of those solutions!
- Take a test. If you’re not sure what your passion is or what kind of job would make you happy, consider taking the StrengthsFinder test or the Meyer-Briggs test. During my passion search, I took both of those tests, plus so many online quizzes.
- Read 48 Days to the Work You Love. This book absolutely changed my life. I learned how to find my vocation and was shocked to discover how many jobs can fulfill that vocation.
- Dreams = Reality. Do not squelch your dreams in the name of practicality. Turn your dreams into goals, and then go work on achieving those goals! Anything is possible! Be confident that you can live out your dreams. Not sure how to turn your dreams into goals? Here’s how!
- Make a decision. Decide whether you want to change the direction of your life for the happier. It’s up to you. No one else is going to do it for you. You are the one who has to live your life everyday. If you’re not happy, be brave enough to mix things up. Make some changes. The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are. It’s your move now.
"We were wild with joy because tomorrow we would leave the known world behind...to be able to decide your own life and destiny...obeying without limitations your own mysterious call, and dreams and passions." -Douchan Gersi