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Career or Happiness?

I started a new job a little over a month ago. I wrote an article earlier on why I wanted to leave my previous job and I meant everything I said, but I didn’t realize that I had gotten myself into an even worse situation. I took the new job thinking that my life would be easier and more fun and the opposite ended up happening. Right off the bat with my new boss, I got a bad vibe, even at the initial interview. My whole life I have been getting these “feelings” and I know that they are accurate but I continue to test it. In this case, testing it was the wrong choice. The second interview wasn’t much better but by that time, I was so ready to get out of the tiny town I was living in that I jumped at the opportunity. Big mistake!

The first day of work, my new boss walked me around the property and then left me alone to “wander” for the next four hours. I sat in an electrical room upstairs trying to figure out the mess that the guy before me had left. There was no organization, no accounting system, and no communication. I had so many ideas and thoughts about how to take us to the next level of service. Most, if not all of my ideas were shot down, so I stopped trying. I had a small staff with only one other person knowing where things were located through out the buildings and he was lazy on his best day. The trouble started immediately. Nobody ever told me how they liked to have things done, so I started getting them done in the way I knew how. However, after the fact I was reprimanded. That was the pattern throughout my tenure at this company. I would get half the instructions, try to roll with it, and then end up being talked to sternly. It was incredibly frustrating. I wanted to do my best and I took it personally when my boss sent me an email declaring it “amateur hour” at my events. I took it personally when the wedding planner quit and despite my extensive experience in wedding and event planning, I was not even considered for the job. Instead, while they looked for another planner, I was expected to do my job and the planner’s job but for no increase in pay. My hours were already well above overtime and they were now going to shoot to the moon. It was ridiculous. I started looking for other jobs, and got called to interview at a number of places.

My break finally came when I actually started looking at my life and trying to decide if I wanted to be super successful in my current career, or possibly make a change into a career that was new and was a pipe dream of mine for a long time. I have a problem with the idea on today’s society that you can’t be successful if you aren’t stressed out and unhappy. I have decided to look at life in the opposite way. I think you can’t be considered “successful” unless you are truly happy in what you are doing both in work and in life. I have made this decision, despite my parents warning that it might not be right down the road. But I have never been so sure of anything in my entire life. I’ve never been so motivated to make a change and to make one that will in turn make me really happy. When I called my mom to tell her that I was offered a job at a company that I have been courting for a while, she commented that she hadn’t heard me that happy in a long time. Once I explained to my parents that my happiness was what was really important to me, they started to change their tune and could see that I was better and I was so much less disillusioned with life in general. I had begun to dread going to work so much that I was physically ill in the mornings. My head wasn’t right and I knew I needed to make a serious decision about my life.

Overall, I’m scared. There will always be a part of me that thinks I may be making the wrong decision, but in this case, I know I can always go back to my old career if I need or really want to. There are no limitations on what I can do, especially if I put my mind to it. There have been so many articles recently about doing your work and not expecting to like it but I disagree with that theory. We spend a majority of our time at work and with people who aren’t necessarily our ideal friends. Why not find a job that fulfills your passion, but also makes you feel lucky to be where you are? Why do we settle for things that make us unhappy? I understand that the economy is down and that times are tight, but do we have to sacrifice our livelihood for a job? I don’t think so. I would not consider myself a religious person, but I can’t bring myself to believe that if there is a God, that he would want us to spend our lives working jobs we hate. I would like to believe that he is proud of us who make the decisions to live our lives to the maximum capacity that they offer. We only have a certain amount of time on this earth and it should be spent with the people we love doing things we love. Work is work, but that doesn’t mean it has to be miserable.