Free job advice

by Parvez Sheik Fareed

Today’s post is about finding that perfect job you’ve always been searching for and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part. Just kidding, it’s not going to be spiritual. It’s pragmatic and dry. So if you are unhappy with your current job, the following might just be your cup of tea.

People believe that following their passion or finding a job they can be passionate about is the answer to happiness. Bullshit. Avid readers of this blog know that I couldn’t give a fuck about passion. And you shouldn’t either. You can read my opinion on this agonising topic here and here. It’s not that I don’t believe that passion doesn’t exist; it’s just that you don’t get to be passionate about something by choosing to be passionate. You need to figure out what you’re good at, linked with what you like doing. That’s when you’ll be rewarded with passion. Occasionally. Very rarely. Maybe never.

Most likely there are many things you’re good at, but you don’t like doing the whole repertoire. For example, I am good at cleaning the bathroom, but I don’t like doing it. Also, I’m good at making fried eggs, but I don’t like doing it. Probably the thing you like doing the most, is something that challenges you in a way making it not too easy but also not too difficult for you. It’s about liking something because you do it well. Cause = You being good at something. Effect = You liking that something (because you’re good at it). That’s what you need to look for.

Another great misconception the unhappy is prone to, is the belief that changing the world for the greater good will improve his personal well-being. That doing something good for others will result in eternal happiness. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that doing something good for others is wrong. I’m just saying it shouldn’t be your primary objective. It’s like the person who is constantly trying to please all the people all the time. The only person who is left out is herself. Being happy is the result of looking out for yourself first. You will only accomplish this by doing something you like, and not by changing the world around you. I have met people who had jobs that according to them had “no greater purpose”. They thought that if they found a job that would “help people” they would feel better and be happy. Let’s face it: in every job you do, you are helping somebody on some level. You don’t need to save humanity each time you write an email. The often self-imposed burden that personal happiness can only be achieved by being part of the whole universe is rubbish.

Last but not least: fun. The most important part. Having fun translates into having a bloody good time while you are at work. Literally, while you are at work. It’s about finding the right environment in which you can apply what you like doing. For some it’s having a good chat with the office mates, for others it’s the possibility to crack inappropriate jokes. It’s difficult to provide examples of fun, but I guess everybody has seen places where a pole up the derrière seems to be part of the culture. You don’t want that pole.

So find a spot where your understanding of fun isn’t frowned upon. The reason why it’s so important to have fun is very simple: 90% of life is shit, 10% is not. But whether we constantly see 90% shit or 10% no shit depends on our frame of reference. The same goes for jobs, even if you truly like doing what you do. The wrong setting will let you see the 90% constantly. It doesn’t matter which job, it doesn’t matter which industry, it’s just like that. 90% shit, 10% no shit. But in the right environment filled with fun the 10% will outweigh the 90% because it will not impact you that much, you will not perceive it as 90%. It will really bother you less; you will just brush it aside. It’s like standing in front of two mountains, both the same height. Each mountain has a path that leads to the top. The time invested to reach the top is the same for both paths. But only one path comes with fun.

Make a choice.