Part I: Discerning

Yesterday, my thoughts were in disarray. I was so confused and I didn’t know what direction to take, or if I have been doing things right.

I have been scouting for a school for Masters. Before, I have been casually browsing through universities and business schools, but now it seems as if I have become too overwhelmed. I think this all started when I read this article, We the restless, which was published several days ago in a local newspaper. I can relate well since on my first job with IBM, I only stayed for a few months – five and a half – to be precise. I was on contract then, and was finally offered the position but according to the management, I would have to be under probation for three more months because my contract was initially under project-based or contractual. I was offered to stay in my position thrice. I rejected it thrice. Here’s why:

  1. I felt that I had no personal growth if I stayed there. Sure, I felt I could climb up the corporate ladder but how long would it take me? The person I replaced moved one position higher after 5 years working there.
  2. I felt no fulfillment. It was just about serving the client and attending to their problems and issues, then reporting it. It was very administrative. At the end of it all, I would be asking myself, what I had done significantly today? I was actually glad that nowadays, most people would look for a fulfilling job irregardless of the salary. I also read this article online citing the desire of the workforce for some meaningful work, something that would give them fulfillment.
  3. Third – I was bored. There were times when the pressure is high and the adrenaline is rushing, but most days, I was just bored of the plain old routine. And I would be the last person who likes routine.
  4. I was earning very little. Even if we have twice a year increase, I would estimate my salary to increase only 10% per year at the most.
  5. Before I left, there was news of relocating to another site. This site would add 30 more minutes of driving from my house.

And then I transferred to government… vis-a-vis my IBM experience…

  1. I think I’ve grown a lot… the work in the government is very dynamic. Of course, before I was transferred departments, I felt utterly useless but now that I moved, there are a lot of things I have learned but I feel they aren’t enough.
  2. It’s more fulfilling knowing you’re affecting many people and you know that you’re doing it for their good. However, the downside is, who gives a crap about this? When they ask me what my position is I have to ask, “officially or what I really do?” You see, in government, it’s very hard to get an item thus why no one in their proper mind (unless they’re a martyr, incompetent or heroic) would actually spend their years or even attempt to go into government.
  3. Well, I’m not bored. Sometimes I would relish the down days when there aren’t too much activities, because to be honest, it’s very stressful. Compared to this, IBM is very very very relaxed.
  4. I’m still earning very little. Although my salary is much higher than if I would have stayed in IBM. Bad thing is, the government doesn’t have budgets for salary increase. It’s all about heroism.
  5. I had to rent a place because it takes me 50 minutes more to travel to the office as compared to my last job. It takes me 15-20 minutes walking from the apartment to the office.

I know, I’m starting to think I make really bad decisions. So now that makes me confused about my position right now…

To be continued… just because I know no one wants to read long posts unless they’re funny.


8 thoughts on “Part I: Discerning

  1. Being bored at work is, barring psycho co-workers, is perhaps the worst thing that can happen to you in a job since It sucks out your life force slowly enough for you not to notice it’s happening. Good luck with the decisions you have to make.

      1. It was interesting to read that your new job was for the government since in many countries one would expect that to be the more boring option. I used to work in Research in a large pharmaceutical comapany which was usually very stimulating. However, some people whom I knew had very tedious jobs. What sort of work are you doing in government?

      2. Yes most would think that a government job is boring but I guess it depends on the job you have. If you have a routinely job then yes it would be boring. However, in my case, different issues come in everyday. When I started I was just in charge of communications between our division and the citizens then it got more complicated. Right now, one of my responsibilities is monitoring a nationwide project for the public transportation sector. I’ve been assigned other tasks as well but that would be saying too much. πŸ™‚

        So why did you leave the pharmaceutical company if it was very stimulating?

  2. Sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate although, as we’ve been discussing that’s definitely a good thing.. My departure from the company at which I worked was enforced in that they shut my department down as part of a downsizing of research (which appears to be continuing to this day). That said I was glad to get out (the work was getting less stimulating, re-orgs were getting more frequent and I could see where things were heading) and I had no complaints about the exit terms. These days, I manage to combine science and travel and will be moving to Brazil at the beginning of May. Currently, I’m in Trinidad (the country of my birth) which I’m guessing will have a climate very similar to much of the Philippines.

  3. Wow then things definitely turned into something better, things came into place. To be honest I want that kind of job, something with travel but I have to learn not to rush things. You sound like you’re actually loving your situation right now and I’m glad you are, if I’m not mistaken. πŸ™‚

    1. Things worked out even better than if I’d planned them. However, I don’t lose sight of the fact that I was very lucky since to confuse luck with ability is the first step down a very slippery slope.

      1. I agree. There are some things out of our control and there’s a thin line between luck and one’s control over things. I guess karma figures into this as well.

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