Welcome to 2020! I have been thinking of an area of life I can influence this year through sharing ideas and providing a platform for conversations. In 2018 I authored a book on embracing positivity titled “The Negativity Fast” whereas in 2019 I focused on my Christian walk as I went through a one year program – The Leadership Bootcamp at the Fearless Institute (Mavuno Church). You can get the book on request and the blogs on my Christian walk can be found on the blog post https://genevamusau.home.blog/
This year I will feature some of the most commonly asked Career Growth questions.
Q: Going after one’s passion or pursuing a career – is it a case of having what you love or learning to love what you have?
A: This is an interesting question. It is very much like the proverbial question: Do you fall in love at first sight or does love grow over time? For me, it could be either really, what matters is that there is evidence of love in the relationship and how it came about is an unnecessary detail.
If you don’t enjoy what you do day in and day out for several years, you are really trading your life for money and you could do yourself a lot of harm in the process. I am not advocating that you must totally love your job and if that is not the case for you to call it quits. However, it is difficult to grow your career in a place where you loathe or a job you hate. You are unlikely to put in your very best or have a good attitude at work. The more likely outcome is that you will just tolerate the job or your employer by going through the motions each day while waiting for the pay cheque – practically checked out and disengaged. I recently learnt that in many organizations, there are many employees who resigned a long time ago and forgot to hand in the resignation letter! The organization may lose out in the short term but in the long term you are the real loser.
It is very unhealthy to spend your life doing jobs you don’t like, surrounded by people you can’t stand and working for organizations you have no respect for. It could easily be compared to someone taking small doses of poison and expecting someone else, in this case the organization, to suffer the consequences. When you finally wake up one day and find yourself on a redundancy list, you should not imagine that the organization is being unfair to you – they peeked into your drawer and caught a glance at your yet to be handed in resignation letter.
In case I have not convinced you (yet) as to why you should find ways to love your job, let me share with you why doing a job you don’t enjoy is not good for you.
- It takes the joy out of your life. Given the large amount of time we spend at work, going through the motions at the work place turns the job in to a routine job that does not in any way fuel your enthusiasm. You become just like a lamp that is slowly running out of kerosene – it will eventually go off. And if you are familiar with this kind of a lamp the wick will eventually burn out creating a lot of smoke; not a good scent and a real irritation to those in the same room.
- You are likely to burn out. When you engage in a job that you don’t enjoy, it is like a chore – given a choice you would not do it. It is just like being served a large bowl of a dish you don’t enjoy and being forced to clear it. At the beginning you can tolerate it but as you proceed you just can’t stomach it. You get bloated and feel sick. You feel like stopping at any cost. Unfortunately, at this point the likelihood of blowing up, saying the wrong thing, making the wrong decisions and so on is very high. Save yourself the cost.
- You are putting your health on the line. You are likely to be stressed or experience unexplained pains and aches. You become unfulfilled and at risk of suffering from depression. Mental health has become very prevalent in today’s World of Work and a big part of this comes from feeling trapped in a job one does not enjoy and fuelled by societal pressure to provide for the family. Dealing with the work issue can offer at least half the solution. Your health will be the price you pay for staying on this job.
- You become an absolute pain to be around and people no longer enjoy being in your company because you tend to complain about anything and everything. It is difficult to compartmentalise this behaviour only at the workplace and it is likely to permeate your personal relationships and social life. Are you a complainer or whiner? See the world the way you would like it to be and solve the problems in your immediate circle. We are each a leader in our own right and behaving like one seals our leadership position.
Learn to enjoy your current job and if that is not possible, find one that you enjoy. The effects of being on a job you don’t like are not worth the pay you get for that job. Choose life!
If you have a career question, leave your question on the comments section and it could form the next blog post.
In 2020, we Soar!