I'm Yoda, b*tch!

12:00:00 AM

I am crazy. There, I said it. I'm missing a few a lot of screws in the head, and sometimes I'm surprised that I even got to where I am now, or that I'm even alive. But I guess some of my friends are really so desperate for help that they come to me despite the obvious psychological imbalance. To be fair to myself, though, I am actually quite capable of being serious when I absolutely have to be. And when I give advice, I give options. So yeah, I'm Yoda, b*tch. Haha!

Wrinkly but wise, I am.
(photo from the internet)
Recently, a friend asked me for advice regarding a career dilemma. I find it absolutely hilarious ironic that he came to me with this problem, given that my own career is a mess. That, and I just turned 26 years old, so I'm certain I'm not all that qualified to give counsel on this matter, especially since my friend is 10 years my senior. But he did say he wanted the opinion of a 'free spirit,' which is the politically correct way to refer to crazy people like myself.

He's deciding between two things. First is to stay at his current job, which is stressing him out because there are too many layers of approval that slow the work process down and limit his productivity. He wants to stay because he's not a quitter - to him, quitters achieve nothing. He doesn't want to give up on challenges because he believes that overcoming them will make him a better person. He appreciates that it is only when a person is stretched to his limits that he or she will realize his or her true capabilities.

Second option is to give up his current job and pursue other opportunities. He will redirect his time and energy to a completely new endeavor. But he's concerned that he might not realize what it is he's truly capable of if he gives up on his current job. At the same time, however, he also understands that in his refusal to quit, he might be missing out on opportunities that could potentially contribute more to the growth of his well-being. It might even get in the way of something he's destined to do.

He emailed me that problem, and after I read it, I dug up my career counselor hat from the depths of my Mad Hatter Treasure Chest to write my response. After writing it, I realized that it's actually something I can post here, and with his permission, I'm sharing it with everyone (after some minor re-writes, of course). My friend said this was helpful to him, so I hope it could be helpful to someone else, as well.
Sorry I don't have a couch.
(photo from the internet)

The proverbial fork in the road – a classic, almost textbook conundrum – and yet incredibly flawed. Flawed, because there’s always more than two choices, and people almost always seem to lose sight of that. You are not deciding between two things. You’re deciding among three, at the very least.

One option is to stay, which, in turn, will give you two options.

First is to just keep doing your job. Respect the levels, and try not to get stressed out in doing so. Adjust to the pace of your new office. Don’t pressure yourself unnecessarily. You’ve already proven yourself enough with your resume; after all, they called you and they hired you. So within the paid hours, give it your best. If you’re getting too stressed out, take a ten-minute walk outside the office and drink a tall glass of water when you come back.

If you can sneak in a personal project on the side, feel free to do so! At your level, you are no longer paid for your time, you’re paid for results. So deliver what is expected of you, exceed it if you can, and then race to the door at 630pm. Devote whatever free time you have left to your other passions. Create an office compartment in your head, and don’t let its contents spill over to the other shelves.

Second is to rock the boat. You hate your office’s obsession with ranks. Levels tend to limit people, and that kind of makes it difficult to nurture them, to build their confidence. If you have this waiter who’s so amazing he deserves to move up the ladder, how do you prepare him for bigger responsibilities when he can’t even meet with the head cook without you at his side? So maybe, just maybe, the challenge for you is not to adjust to the culture, but to change it. Steve Jobs once said, “Only people crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who actually do.”

Start with your department. You guys could become the poster kids for efficiency and empowerment. Plant the seeds of change for the benefit of those who will come after you. If you’re lucky, you might be able to experience the change while you’re still there. I’m not telling you to start a war, but you better strategize like you’re going into one because I know that some people will be uncomfortable with you changing things around the the office.

You can even set a deadline for your stay. Give it a year, or two, even. Think about your long-term goal, and figure out how much longer you need to work there in order to achieve that. If this job will get you there faster, then staying should not be such a bad move in the end. Think of your family, too. If you let go of the stability of this job, would you be able to provide them with the same comforts they got accustomed to? Do the math; numbers never lie.

It’s true that overcoming challenges thrown at you will make you a better version of yourself. So that should make your stay worthwhile. If you stay, you can either respect the layers or you can change the game. Both can, and most probably will, hurt a bit (or a lot), but you’ll definitely learn a thing or two in the process. But before you decide, you have to ask yourself, what lesson is there to be learned from your current situation? And is this lesson absolutely necessary for your long-term goal?

And most importantly, is this so-called better version of you the person you’d like to be? Think about it – just because something is good, it doesn’t mean you want it, it doesn’t mean it’s what’s right for you.

Now we shall explore the other option, which is to quit your current job and pursue your other opportunities.

You’re not a quitter, and I respect that. You said that you achieve nothing when you quit. But you have to remember that there’s a big difference between the act of quitting and the habit of quitting. You achieve nothing when you always quit, because by then you’ve made it a habit to start things and never finish them.  Also, you achieve nothing when you quit, period, without re-directing your time and energy at something else.

That being said, depending on the situation, you can still achieve something when you quit. If you quit because you already learned everything you can (and/or everything you need to learn) from a job or a project or a situation, then it's more than quitting - it's moving forward.

I know you don’t want to leave your job because you feel that you have much to learn from the current challenges you are faced, and I asked if the lessons to be learned are absolutely necessary for your long-term goal. Because if what you will learn from this experience will not directly help you achieve your long-term goal, then I suggest you quit. Let go of the office job and just focus on your other passions. You are not going to win every battle; at your age, I suppose you already know that.

But at your age, I also think you should already know that you can choose which battles to fight. Don’t try to take on everything. It’s okay to give up one thing to concentrate on another. Don’t persevere at something because of a misplaced sense of pride. Our biggest enemy, which also happens to be our most important resource, is time. We don’t ever have enough of it; it just always runs out. So make the most of your time by focusing on what you want.

Think about your long-term goals, and if there’s a less stressful way to get there, take that route. Save your time, your energy for what’s most important. I hate to say this, but you’re not getting any younger (none of us are), so you have to prioritize.At the end of the day, it’s your decision. Don’t beat yourself up trying to make the right choice. In this scenario, there’s no right or wrong decision, really. You make a choice, and you work from there. You make it right.

One last thing before I send this out. Our common friend gave me this piece of advice, and now I’m giving it to you: Luck favors the bold.


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Hello, reader! Thank you for wasting your time reading my blog. I do hope you enjoyed whatever you stumbled upon. :)