Tuesday night I attended a guest presentation for one of my lectures called "Discover Your Music". To be honest, I wasn't really looking forward to it since I had already pulled a ten hour day at work, it was cold outside and my bed was calling my name a little louder than usual. But, I went (I have a phobia about skipping classes)... and I ended up being so glad that I did. So glad in fact, that I though the experience was worth sharing with all of you :)
When I first walked into the classroom, I saw speakers and guitars and the first thing that crossed my mind was "Oh no, this is going to be one of those things where they make you clap and do chants and move out of your seat." - Yes I am one of those weird people who absolutely detests team building activities, ice-breakers and forced participation in general haha.
But once the program started, I was absolutely blown away with how well the speaker incorporated the theme of music to get his message across and it turned out to not at all be what I was anticipating.
The whole presentation was built around the reality that so many people sit in jobs that they absolutely hate for the majority or entirety of their adult lives and yet never choose to leave or look for a different position elsewhere for one reason or another. People somehow cope with terrible bosses who treat them as if they aren't human or in jobs in which they aren't happy at all and use the excuse "It pays the bills", for years and years and years - (are any of you seeing one or both of your parents in this yet?) - until it is time to retire and their unhappiness at work has spilled over into every facet of their outside life as well.
But, don't worry, this post is not going to be all doom and gloom! The main point was that in this new generation of young adults now entering the workforce (i.e. us), we have the right to look for employment that we are passionate about, where all employees are treated with respect and where we feel that our ideas will be heard and considered. We have a right to work in organizations that are willing to help us develop and grow to our full potential and allow us to explore other areas of interest. We have a right to be happy in our jobs and feel as though we are making a contribution to the greater good.
Now this is not to say that if you hate your job you should walk into your bosses office first thing tomorrow morning and tell them exactly what's been on your mind for the last however many months and then storm out with no plan or idea of what you're going to do next.
What it means is to get to know yourself, spend some serious time in reflection, figure out what you love - all of those things that make you tick - and then go after them.
You may not be able to get to exactly where you want to be within 24 hours, or a week, or a month, or even a year, but set goals for yourself and start working towards them. Start researching other organizations that you think would be a better fit for you and send them your resume/CV. Start studying part-time towards fashion design, or cooking or photography. Start thinking of ways you can incorporate your interests into your everyday life. Talk to your boss about taking on more responsibility or attending that course or workshop that you think would really enhance your skills.
I think we sometimes forget about the fragility of life and the fact that we only have one. After this year I will never be 24 again and after next year I will never be 25. It seems so obvious, but then why does it seem that we so often slip into this mode of "just being". This is our one shot and there isn't going to be another.
Obviously, this whole (way more deep than usual) rant of mine applies to way more than just our work. It applies to our relationships, our overall happiness, our motivation, and the list goes on. I think this poster sums it up perfectly:
What do you guys think...
Is this whole idea of taking action to ensure your happiness realistic? Or do you think it's much easier said that done?
Should it be your company's job to ensure that you develop and grow to your full potential? Or do you think that you have an obligation to make sure that it happens regardless?
Is it ever justified to stay in a job you hate for years and years, when there may be other options out there? Or are you wasting precious time?
Hopefully this gets you thinking like it (obviously) got me thinking!
I'll be back with a much more light-hearted post tomorrow :)