The Only Way Out of Work You Don’t Like Doing

The immigration officer was frowning when she asked me, “Are you already boarding your flight? Who asked you to go to this window?” She seemed very upset at me, when it was the other officer pointed me to her window. Well, to be honest, I also felt upset about how she reacted. I just kept it inside.

Her window was reserved for those whose flights were already boarding, but I didn’t know it. Our flight was still three hours away. Even before it was my turn, it seemed like she dreaded being at work that day. It seemed to me like she simply dragged herself to work that day. Unfortunately for me, she took it out on me.

Then, I remembered the cashier in our office the other day. Her face looked the same as the immigration officer. She was just going through the motions. It was as if she dreaded every customer going to her and being served by her.

Well, on some days, I’m also just like them. I drag myself to the office and dread every task that’s given to me. But, the difference is that I have a way out. I’ll be leaving my day job before the year ends. But, how about them? Are they just going to drag themselves to work and dread every task they are given for the rest of their lives?

They have no way out.

Sometimes, I also ask myself, “Should I change the work I’m doing (have a way out) or should I just have a better attitude towards the work I’m doing?”

To be honest, I’m guilty of giving up easily on the work I’m doing. But, sometimes, well, most of the time, our problem is not simply our attitude. It’s also not as simple as our work being the problem itself. It’s a combination of both. 

It’s also choosing work that does not matter—to us and to others—for the sake of being practical, of earning more.

But, no matter what work you choose, as long as it does not match your passion and your skills, you’ll just end up leaving or being miserable should you decide to stay. Take it from me. I worked with three different companies in three years. Or don’t take it from me. Take it from someone you know who has found success (and more importantly, happiness and fulfillment) by doing work that he or she loves.

Doing work that matters—to you and to others—is the only way out. What matters is not how much we earn, but becoming the best version of ourselves through the work that we do. And we can only become the best version of ourselves if we’re doing work that we love and living fully each day. Being the best version of yourself is a daily decision.

You only have a finite time here on earth. How are you going to spend it? Please, don’t spend it like how the immigration officer or the cashier spends it or how I used to spend it. It’s a miserable way to live your life. Find a way out—the only way out. And, in every moment, be the best version of yourself.

“Anything you turn your hand to, do with what power you have; for there will be no work, no planning, no knowledge, no wisdom in Sheol where you are going.” — Ecclesiastes 9:10