It’s interesting how people view the same situations differently. And by interesting, I mean baffling.
With the new job I’m starting, I’m about to finish up at my current job this week. I’ve gotten quite the range of responses from people, some of whom I’ve worked closer to than others, but it’s a pretty small company anyway. I’ve been touched by the positive comments some people have made, and pretty surprised at the few negative ones.
One example is sticking out the most right now. This person’s response was just to tell me that he’s seen four people leave the company or companies we work closely with, and end up hating their new jobs and wanting to come back. Which sounded like, “How dare you, thinking you can leave for something better!” Another person responded to me stating my excitement with “Yeah we’ll see.”
Okay, let’s put all things aside about what I’m frustrated with at my current job and what I’m looking forward to at my new job. The fact is, I’m very unhappy at my current job and have been for some time. I’m at a point where even if changes were made, or I was given a raise, I still wouldn’t want to stay. It doesn’t matter if I end up hating my new job, because I need to get out of my current job regardless. The point isn’t that I think I’m trading up for the perfect job, although I’m extremely excited and looking forward to it; the point is that I wasn’t happy and I did something about it.
This follows the same logic as anything else. If you’re in a crappy relationship, do you say to yourself, “Hm, I’m pretty unhappy with this relationship and I know it’s not going to change, but I don’t think I can do any better so I’m just gonna stick with this brand of misery”? Well, I guess some people do. I did when I was younger. But I learned my lesson, because it’s not healthy!
I’m thinking the people who are reacting with snide and generally negative comments are the ones trying to rationalize their choice to stay in the environment. People naturally want to avoid or reconcile cognitive dissonance. Change is scary to a lot of people, and it can be easier to make leaving seem like a bad idea. Me? I’ve been through enough to know that it’s not worth it to suffer through something just for the sake of it. This isn’t about running away from issues that come up. It’s that once you’ve put in the effort to try to change the situation from within, and it doesn’t improve, there comes a time when the situation itself needs to change.
I feel, super strongly, that life shouldn’t be about suffering through things and limiting yourself by what people think you’re “supposed” to do or what is traditional. My favorite quote, by Viktor Frankl, is: “Challenging the meaning of life is the truest expression of the state of being human.” I highly recommend his book Man’s Search for Meaning, if you want to understand the context or just read some inspirational awesomeness. Go now, run! (Or grab your eReader, whatever.)