So here is my situation. I am currently on a leave of absence from my job. I have never been in this situation and would have never anticipated it. My life has always been stable. It's only been this year that I had to learn how to embrace the fear of the unknown.
Prior to this, everything in my life has come so easily for me. I have always been the type to do well in life without trying too hard. I easily obtained good grades with minimal input throughout high school. College was easy to say the least. I had a great social life, partied 4-5 times a week, yet had a decent GPA. I then got a great job in recruiting after college, working for two years prior to attending law school.
Continuing on in the next chapter in my life still putting my social life as first priority, I partied a lot during law school but somehow managed to survive with little to no effort. I passed the bar with minimal studying, and got a stable, good paying job (with a great work/life balance) where I thought I would comfortably remain until retirement.
Looking back, I realized I never had to make any difficult decisions. I took what was handed to me - the path that was created for me and I simply passively reacted.
I reacted despite being unhappy with my job. I reacted because I made a decent salary. I reacted because I didn't have to think for myself. And throughout the years, the lack of will and passion started to bleed into my work product, and moreover, my overall well-being started to slowly deteriorate.
I have lost my gusto for life. I found myself in a perpetual zombie state simply going through the motions at work with no ounce of passion for what I do, and frequently asking myself if I can do this for the next 25 years (for which I previously wrote an article - click here to read the article).
Yet I continued to react and go against myself (my dharma, as self-help books call it), telling myself to remain at my job because I get paid well and I receive great benefits, and because I can stay until I retire - basically all the reasons my parents gave me while growing up as to why I should get a stable job.
So fast forward to the present day and I am now taking a leave of absence asking myself tons of unanswered questions that were lingering for quite some time, the main question being what the hell have I been doing for the last 6 years (and especially the last two-three years)!
Given that I never really made a huge, affirmative decision in my life, I am having a really difficult time letting go and moving on. I realized that I am a reactor, so despite all the negatives about remaining at my job, I put more emphasis on the consequences of leaving. I never thought I would feel so beholden to my job, as though my identity is tied to this position (although trust me, I am thoroughly enjoying the freedom that comes from this leave of absence).
What if I cannot find another job? I have no idea what it is like to struggle, so I think to myself why struggle when I can make easy money with this job? But at the same time, I am starting to understand the magnitude of the effects this job had on my overall happiness and health.
I'm one step closer to pulling the plug. My question for you is if you are at a job you dislike, what are your reasons for staying? If you have left your job, what were your reasons for leaving?