Dear Tita Pacita: On Day Jobs And Dream Careers
Dear Tita Pacita,
When is the right time to quit your job for you to be able to follow your dreams?
Simang, 24, enjoying life in UAE
I think this is the overarching question of most of us today, millennials young and old, and I am only glad to be able to provide you with answers of some sort, which of course, aren’t definitive, but I hope would give you insight to help in your decision-making.
Also, I am happy to know that you are enjoying your life in UAE. I haven't been there myself and I hope you will be blessed and given the chance to ride camels.
Meanwhile, below is what I would recommend, and these are based on my own experience, tips I have heard and read, and what I’ve learned from mentors and friends who have no idea that I am inspired by them:
IT’S NEVER A ONE OR ANOTHER THING
I believe that you job, meaning your source of income, isn’t supposed to be absolutely a separate entity from your dreams. Of course, we all do have that astounding dream career, the end goal you imagine your life to be in terms of work. But that shouldn't necessarily be independent of your day job.
The reality is, we cannot let go of our current jobs, because it is what pays the bills. But another reality, at least for me, is that we can never really not follow our dreams. The drive and desire will be too overarching to ignore, especially for people our age. Or age range.
I do believe that if you do your part to work hard and hard enough, and trust the rest to the universe, chances will somehow lead you to your dream. Don't take your day job as a burdensome task, or work that you're forced to do. Think of it as a tool, a means or a stepping stone towards this dream. Try this shift in perspective.
YOU DON’T QUIT A JOB IF IT’S DOING YOU GOOD
Why get the job in the first place if it isn’t your interest? In one way or another, I believe that the day jobs we applied for and have chosen are at least a percentage interesting to us. That said, I think the only reason to quit a job is if you do not feel that you are growing, learning, or expanding your knowledge, horizons, and network; and if it has become too stressful or toxic that it’s become bad for your health.
If you're in a completely unrelated job, it's not a dead end. There are still skills to learn from the said job, which could be time management, multi-tasking, dealing with different personalities, et cetera. Such skill are the ones that you'll find useful, wherever you go. I believe that if your current job does not fall under the conditions mentioned above, don't take it for granted. It's an opportunity to make your current work place your training ground.
They say it’s entirely up to us to make our jobs interesting. We have to actively take responsibility to make sense out of the job we have, find purpose in what we are doing. Because really, the type of job doesn’t define its purpose (we don’t all have to be medical practitioners or teachers); instead, it’s part of everyone’s job description to be purposeful in what we do.
LIKE THE CARABAO AND THE HERON, YOUR JOB AND YOUR DREAM CAN BE A CASE OF MUTUALISM
Use your dreams to motivate yourself to work harder towards achieving that end goal. Find your diskarte within the limits of your day job to bring you a step closer to your dreams. If you're motivated to do well in your day job to save up for your dreams, then there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
At the same time, while still currently employed, you can begin—on a very small scale, and in itsy bitsy steps—building your dream career, but with the mindset to make profit from it as an end goal. Turning your hobby or passion project into a profitable thing is easier said than done, I know, but I am a firm believer in the old, romantic notion that your truth and craft will shine and get the attention it’s worth, if you give it time and put in a lot of heart into it. Of course, don’t forget your diskarte.
Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso (1988) photos via Film Grab.