7 Hints to Know When to Quit

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The post over Instagram made me smirk,

“Mondays are not bad, it’s your job that is”

Later at tai chi class, I asked my Shifu for advice over stress management.

“Why do you want to MANAGE stress? Why not eliminate it?”

The question was poignant, yet vague. Stress and jobs inevitably co-existed, and the thought of dispelling such a pervasive element such as stress was clearly impossible. At the end of class, Shifu summoned me and said,

“It’s not about stress, it’s about asking yourself the right question. What is it that prevents you from enjoying what you do?”

Many of us are fraught with a besetting loyalty towards our work places (or atleast pretend to be), and procrastinate a crucial choice between the obstinacy to stay and the reasons for leaving, despite clear and conspicuous hints that point to the latter. In my career spanning more than 10 years, I have now come to realize that many (including myself), keep the faith that events will eventually conjure a positive turn, and until then do not wish to disquiet themselves. However, ‘waiting’ may only perhaps undermine opportunities for betterment elsewhere. Therefore, I have compiled a checklist of 7 must-haves, to know when it’s time to pull the plugs and move on:

  1. Are you progressing? Increased stress, work overtime, or an increase in salary are not indicators for progress. Always pally with professionals in the same field from other companies and make a healthy comparison. Are you given regular training, refresher courses, advanced software workshops, competitive tests? Or are you on the same level of knowledge since you started? If your answer is the latter, then this will dangerously hamper your chances outside the organisation where others with lower salaries than yourself may probably be a lot more productive than you are. This is a primary question, that must determine your reasons for staying.
  2. Has your Income advanced? Life and inflation are two inevitable realities that your management must acknowledge. Human needs increase and so do expenditures. If your organisation has been unable to contend with these realities, it will leave you stifled. But if you seem content with your regular annual appraisal, then its best to stay.
  3. Are you appreciated? Appreciation does not have to always come in a pay package. A good leader must show no diffidence when saying a few warm words of thanks to the employee. Understandably, staff are paid to face vitriolic customers, maintain pressure deadlines, and remain pleasant in the face of delayed productivity, but their steadfast loyalty is priceless, and must be acknowledged. If the CEO needs to value the goodwill of his organisation, staff appreciation must be initiated.
  4. Can you trust your colleagues? Your peers, whether at the noisy cubicle or at the coffee machine, form that social unit that you could be stuck with for a major part of your career or profession. No matter what your supervisor may tell you, the ‘other’ team too gets their paycheck from the same common employer, so ask yourselves are you behaving like united team mates with a common goal, or are you on a battlefield everyday with conniving, back-stabbing and deceptive players waiting to knock you down? Which sounds better: trust or insecurity?
  5. Work to Live: I must admit that while on my previous job, I did not even muster the time to enjoy the view of my next door neighbor’s sprightly bougainvillea, under the false notion that I was a hard worker. Our world is competitive, but if you have forgotten how to live in it, then you will have missed much. Your family, friends and health are what stays with you, during your bad times, and years after your retirement. Not all tracks are meant for running, so slow down.
  6. “Should be able to handle pressure”: This can be tricky. All jobs have their pressure points, that is the ability to reach designated targets within agreed deadlines. With thorough experience over time, you can overcome pressure mayhem by prioritizing the tasks in order of their importance as well as keeping required reports updated. Know when to draw the line over too many responsibilities, and when to ask for assistance or additional time. Remember to keep yourself human, and not an order taking machine.
  7. Do you like what you do? Last but not least, this is an integral question that we must ask ourselves. Did you give up your dreams for this profession, or is it vice versa? Once the initial basic needs have been met – loan paybacks, mortgage, family support, education, etc, you need to appraise your talents and live out what you have been born to do. It could be a path less taken, it could involve risks, you could even end up alone. But the attempt will assuredly be rewarding. Remember, that any dream can be successful, all you need to do is wake up.
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Moving away or Moving on..?

*sigh*…its been more than a month since I haven’t written a single expression on this blog, but I can explain. My Samsung Note crashed, with its motherboard completely damaged; I lost my contacts and my photographs….yes all of my lovely food pics! Something went terribly wrong on an unsuspecting day at work, resulting in me getting a warning letter, plus a pay cut! (all because no one else in the work team is single and hence can’t afford to be penalised). Year ending is coming up, heaps of things to do, and now with my pay cut I may not be able to afford several things for Christmas.

*sigh* *sigh* *sigh*

Like my mentor told me, it is better to keep many options open, so that in an unforseen circumstance I am less upset. That’s precisely what I decided to work upon before I am given the axe myself. FB friends contacted, Appointment Times screened every morning, online applications etc all in tow, and its been 2 weeks and yet no response or call from anyone :(. So I guess I’m looking at finding something only after the New Year which means I will have a very ‘axe-i-ty ridden’ Christmas season. Till then I try to tell myself that this had to happen, and in no way I could’ve prevented it; so its all for the best. I try hard not to pin my hopes too much, but can’t stop myself from thinking of the relief of not having to explain about my marriage anymore to my colleagues or my boss when I finally work in another place. This seems to be my only consolation for now.

In my 30 years in the UAE, I have never had to think of December 2 as a working day. Whether school or work, it was some day to look forward to its events especially at night. Over the last decade, National Day in Abu Dhabi is remembered more for its fireworks display and Corniche parade. While some drivers do go overboard with their innate displays of enthusiasm, overall it is a loud and engaging display of colors and glitter on the streets. It is recommended to avoid taking your cars on the roads tonight. If you wish to enjoy the evening, travel on foot, wear something warm and take a coffee to go, along with your camera for some candid shots.

As obvious, I am a little broke right now, and a lot on my mind, so I won’t be too regular with my restaurant reviews for the time being. Hopefully with an improved situation, things will go back to normal, and I will restore my restaurant hopping once more. Until then, do pray…and enjoy the lovely Christmas season!