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Career & Happiness

For as long as I could remember, my parents told me to not be like them. They told me that they wanted me to continue my education beyond high school. All so that I could be in a job that I enjoyed and didn’t hate. I wonder how many of us were told the same thing. I wonder how many of us were instructed by our parents to be better than them, and how many of us are in the same exact predicament they told us not to be in.

How Does it Start?

For a lot of people, we often experience pressure from our families and from society as well. An example of familial pressure could be as simple as coming from a background where you're the first in your family to go to college or perhaps you're trying to fill the shoes of an older sibling that always excelled at everything. As far as society goes, it is constantly drilled into us that we won't make it in life without a college degree, and that can be a lot to take in.

Naturally, if we are told something as a child, we usually abide the best we can. After all, no one wants to fail before they even begin, and I don't believe anyone goes out of there way to deliberately be unhappy. So, what happens from childhood to adulthood? Somewhere along the way something or some things led to miserably checking in and out of work like clockwork.

It is a horrible thing to experience. It is one of those kind of things where you had to experience it in order to truly understand the misery that accompanied it. The sad part is I ended up going to college and graduating and I thought I genuinely did all of the right things, but I am still unhappy. I went to college to not spend an insufferable 40 hours of week at a job; I went to happily spend 40 hours a week at a career.

The Untold Truth

One thing that I'm still learning is that happiness is not supposed to be based on situations. At least that is what I continuously hear and try to live by. Obviously, that is not an easy feat to accomplish, but the point is that so many things can go wrong in life that having happiness will offer some sort of stability. The point is that we are not in control of life, but we are in control of our happiness and how we choose to respond to situations.

For some, it's a tall order and for others, it comes naturally.

By no means would I call myself a perfectionist, but that is an insanely tall order for me. I am grateful for how far I have come along, but it is the fact that you often find things out while going through them. Before I went to college, I knew what I wanted to do and had my major decided; I did my research beforehand basically.

What I wasn't told was how it can take graduates years to find employment, or how it can take years to be a permanent employee. What sense does it make to spend years collecting debt for a career that doesn't even want to invest in us? I understand that the market can be competitive, but that's not what I'm referring to.

Specifically, I work for a company that sees the value enough to hire me as a temp, but they do not see the value in keeping me. If they did, things would be more long term and this isn't just for me, I mean for everyone. How am we suppose to settle down? How are we supposed to have benefits for ourselves and our families? They ask us to come in and work most of our lives every week, and they do not have the decency to invest in the long-term.

It should not be this hard to find a job - let alone a career.

Imagine knowing you're a temp and constantly looking for employment opportunities, but finding nothing but contract opportunities, or having to deal with extra stress atop of not having benefits and not being able to provide for your family. Imagine dealing with a controlling superior that throws their weight around, imagine dedicating time, that we don't already have much of, to a job that you hate or a job that does not see value in their employees.

Just how do we make it in this world? Further, what do we gain from anything when we take an investment in ourselves and it is not returned with equal or appropriate vigor?


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