I pushed my phone off the bed as my ever trusty alarm went off by 5am.
‘It can’t be morning already’, I groaned in protest as I placed a pillow over my head and instantly went back to sleep again.
‘Uju’, dad called out, ‘aren’t you going to work today?!’
‘I am’ I responded part mutter, part hiss. In a quick motion, I tossed the pillow off my face and flipped to my back staring at the ceiling.
Casting furtive glances at my wardrobe, I wondered what I was going to wear to work, while halfheartedly paying attention to the honks of vehicles of the early risers who I believed were in a hurry to beat the traffic already building up on the highway. It didn’t matter; I could always catch the bus afterwards.
With a sigh, I asked myself the same question that had plagued me for weeks now, ‘Why am I doing this?’
Some 592 days ago, fresh out of school, I walked into the labor market filled with expectations. I had a list of everything I wanted my place of employment to be:
1. Fun. A place I wouldn’t mind spending long hours working, with nice friendly colleagues.
2. Challenging and Competitive. Because nothing fuels your drive like healthy competition.
3. Educative. I aim for bigger things, and having smarter people to learn from would be a huge plus.
4. Paycheck. Oh that has to be pretty decent.
5. Social. Inasmuch as I’m a closet introvert, I do like to communicate with people. It’s all about networking.
6. Happy. This is the ultimate goal. Looking back and being proud of your life’s work.
I had it all worked out—in my head at least. So armed with a degree, dream and passion, I was set to take on the world. I submitted application letters to various industries—telecoms, consumer goods, banks, audit firms. For months I tried and nothing gave. Then gradually I sunk into depression like many others before me had; like many others after me would.
I figured I’d give it one more shot, and I did. So here I am a year and three months after asking myself, ‘why am I doing this?
‘Well, you were bored with being at home while all your friends went to earn a living daily’ I said to me.
‘But why this?’ I asked again, ‘why not telecoms? You had an offer there.’
‘Yeah, I had an offer AFTER I had this offer’. It took so long, but it would have fit if I had just decided to go there rather than stay.
‘Why then didn’t you go?’
‘Because this had better prospects in the long run’. There I said it. This here was really the summation of why I had chosen to be an auditor and not a Call Centre agent, or Administrative Assistant of some sort. At least that is what I thought. Now I wonder, could I have been wrong about everything?
Life is difficult without guidance.
I’m stuck day after day groaning at each blast of a car horn indicating daytime. It’s not that I hate my job, No far from it. I do it quite well and it almost perfectly fits my list. My Co-workers are great; I meet people on a daily(or monthly) basis; I’m learning fast and competition’s healthy—by this I mean ‘not choking’. But it seems I missed out on the ‘Happiness’ bit. I’m not happy, I am just bored brainless. Have any idea how annoying it to spend every single day of the week doing the same things? It’s death I tell you. I could walk-through this routine with my eyes close.
Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s nothing more boring than constantly following a pattern. It’s no wonder people try to break away from tradition.
Tradition is boring. Patterns are boring. No spontaneity? BORING.
I believe there are people called to fill a particular spot in certain industries, but now I feel I may have been in a hurry to take this. I’ll also place my bet on a good 50% of employees doing jobs they’d rather not be engaged in.
It’s just a messed up economy we find ourselves, where we choose our career paths based on the availability of opportunities to grow and excel; while those brave enough to fight against the odds choose to go with their passions.
Passion trumps Necessity. I know that now.
If I have a chance to make things different, I will take it. This I’m sure of.