Why I'm Staying In My Jobs (and Not Quitting)
Living The Life That’s Right For Me
I've made a conscious decision to live my life at the pace that's right for me. This means, for now, I am not racing to get into another job. I choose to be content with what I've got in life now. I revel and savour in the free time that I have, and I put my energy into doing the things I love.
There was a period a few months into my current gigs that I desperately craved more. I wanted to grow and the organizations that I work with are small and steady. (I currently work with two companies.) They have both been at their current size, in terms of the number of employees, for several years, possibly even decades.
This used to bother me because I felt like I wanted to grow and they were preventing me from growing. Change happens slowly at both organizations. Once I settled into my jobs, I was tapping into my entrepreneurial spirit, and the feeling of stagnation and lack of growth annoyed me.
I went on like this for several months. Disgruntled. Discontent. And a bit disappointed with where I had ended up in life.
Why I Grew Discontent At My Jobs
Yet only a few months earlier when I first landed these jobs, I loved them! What happened?
I keep pushing through. I wanted answers. I wanted to be content and alive with life. I know what it’s like to be 1000% exhilarated and energized by your work, and I didn’t want to settle for less. At least not for long.
At this time, I thought my option was to find a better job.
I had a friend who got a job at a startup in downtown Toronto and she raved about. She loved the culture. She loved her work. She was finding purpose and fulfillment in the fast-paced environment.
Hearing her share her experience at her new job triggered something in me. I was jealous, quite frankly. I knew that jealousy is not a useful emotion when you’re trying to be content about your own life so I brought my jealousy to God and had a long conversation with God about my situation. I felt God tell me two things:
Keep your standards high, Anita.
The passion that I’ve felt from doing work I love, mainly when I was working for myself, is not an illusion. Work can be that good. One day, I will lead a company and all the things I’m learning now in my current jobs will be integral to how I build my company. Keep your standards high. There are incredible companies to work for out there, and one day you just might be in one of those. Never lose sight of excellence and what makes a company great. Take notes! Learn from your friend and how her company runs. Set your sights on creating a company culture that excites you and your future teams!
The jobs you have are perfect for where you’re at right now.
You are NOT supposed to be working at a start-up right now. Do you not see all the benefits of your current job arrangement? You have a flexibility that is unbeatable! You can work remotely any day you want. You have such a chill team and environment. This is worth money, Anita! Sure, you could be making more working at a start-up, but that’s not where you’re supposed to be right now. You might be promoted faster working at a start-up, but that would put more pressure on you. It would sap most of your energy and you would have even less energy available to work on AWL creations. This is why I did not put you in a job in a startup! At least not yet.
I received these answers from God (or a higher power of your understanding), but it’s taken several months to integrate this wisdom into how I live my life.
Thankfully, it’s starting to settling in and I’m finding more and more contentment.
Living By My Values, Not Just My Job
We live in a culture where, typically, more is better.
You got a raise? Congratulations!
You got a promotion? Congratulations!
You got laid off. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that.
If we strip away this judgement, or assumptions of what is good or bad, all we have is a set of neutral circumstances.
We’ve all heard the stories of how someone getting laid off was the best thing that ever happened because it became the catalyst for something much better in their lives. Something terrible happens and it ends up being a good thing. So, I knew that even though I felt like I was in a terrible or not ideal situation with my stagnant jobs, I needed to see the good. I needed to look for the silver lining.
As I shared not too long ago, I finally feel that I have arrived at this contentment! However, there is a lot more that I am unpacking, so here we go:
“It is not only our right at certain times to say ‘no’; it is our deepest responsibility. For it is a gift to ourselves when we say ‘no’ to those old habits that dissipate our energy, ‘no’ to what robs us of our inner job, ‘no’ to what distracts us from our purpose. And it is a gift to others to say ‘no’ when their expectations do not ring true for us, for in so doing we free them to discover more fully the truth of their own path. Saying ‘no’ can be liberating when it expresses our commitment to take a stand for what we believe we truly need.”
- John Robbins and Ann Mortifee, from the book In Search of Balance
Saying No To Say Yes To The Right Things
I’ve chosen to say ‘no’ to clawing after a “better job.”
I recognize that the jobs I’ve ended up with, the jobs that God has brought me into is exactly perfect for me.
(I also have the sense that, now that I’m happy again with my jobs, they will prove themselves to be more and more perfect for me in ways I have yet to see!)
On the outside, nothing in my life has changed. I’ll still be going to the same jobs, but my perspective has done a 180-degree shift! I feel completely different. I feel like I can finally be deeply, authentically, truthfully grateful for the jobs I have now!
It wasn’t that I was looking for another job. I hadn’t fixed up my resume or sifted through LinkedIn to see what was out there.
It was that I was constantly dissatisfied inside my soul and the dissatisfaction was eating me up. It was a waste of my energy. Instead of being happy going to work, I was annoyed and passive. And that’s not how I like to be, as a human. Period. I love to be full of life and energy and passion!
Now I am settling more and more into a newfound passion and rediscovered my zest for living, WITH my current jobs. I understand that my current jobs - though not a fancy job at a slick, fast-rising start-up with millions in venture capital - are perfect for me.
They give me something positive and productive to do during my days. They do not use up all of my mental capacity or stamina, so that I DO have the energy to create things for AWL channels, including writing like this, videos, photography.
I am no longer seeking some perfect, illusory sense of purpose and fulfillment from my jobs. It might happen one day, but for now, I am quite happy to have 150% passion and fulfilment from AWL creative productions, and 50% fulfillment from my jobs, and adds up to my tank being 200% percent full - so I’m doing pretty good.
I’ve always known that God put me in these jobs. For several months, I’d been kind of pouting at God asking when do I get to leave. Now I understand that these jobs are perfect. They are like extra water and sunshine, to the garden of AWL productions that I’m already cultivating and tending.
I trust that I’ll be lifted out and brought to different set of jobs and projects when it’s perfect timing. Until then, I’m happy to tend to this garden! There are lots of new challenges for me to navigate as I work and create and do a masters program. I want to master this set of obstacles and challenges so that when I’m taken to the next arena, I know how to play!
Thank you so much for reading! 💛 Your presence here means a lot to me. Thank you for sharing in this journey with me.
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