By Bipad Panumas Tongsakul
Recently, one morning, I received a notification on Facebook that showed a post I had made years before.
Facebook now reminds us of our old posts through "Memories" and "On This Day" notifications. What I saw that morning was an angry post I had written six years before, which expressed my frustration with my life at that time. It was so harsh that I could hardly believe I wrote it myself. Fortunately, I am in a better state of mind these days and, since the message was not useful to anyone, I simply deleted it.
Seeing this old post made me think about all the "After Resignation" articles I have written over the years. Although most are written to help the new generation of workers improve their life management and financial planning skills, some of my old articles contain complaints about employers and demands for justice for employees and my followers who were treated badly. These types of negative posts have gotten an inordinate number of "Likes" over the years on Facebook.
Even though those types of posts were popular, I do not want to send out negativity to others through my writing anymore. I used to suffer a lot while working at my job, and it felt like I was stuck in a pit of despair. It got so bad that I tried quitting for a time. It wasn't until I started to travel more and interact with people from a variety of backgrounds that I began to understand how life teaches its truths only to people who want to learn. This is how I managed to pull myself up by my bootstraps.
Being an employee is not necessarily a bad thing, and very many people feel it's a good way to live. Being self-employed is really not as enviable as some people think. The life of most freelancers is hard because they always need to compete directly with other individuals. And owning a business often involves running around frantically in search of new work to help cover the endless streams of expenses that seem to come from all directions. When seen in these terms, being an employee looks like a more attractive proposition because they are only responsible for a narrow range of specific tasks assigned to them by a boss, under clear conditions and with the guarantees of time off and other benefits.
After I quit my regular job to become a freelance writer, I found that I had a whole set of new problems to deal with. For instance, during the times when I had no work that I needed to do, I felt terribly guilty because this free time suddenly felt like time wasted. The freedom that I won by working for myself became suffering. Doing what I wanted to do sometimes feel the same as not being useful at all. Even though I changed jobs recently, when a bored office worker asks me, “Should I quit my job?” my answer is always, “I’m sorry because I don't really know.”
It would be easy for me to say, "Yes!" to people who are sick of their job and ask me if they should quit, because it would make them feel better for a while. But from my experience, the answer to this question really depends on the unique situation in each person's life and his or her own personality. That person is the only one who really knows enough to make the decision. For me to decide for them is about as useful as helping them toss a coin. After they quit their job, they may end up with a better life or a much worse one.
I have made many mistakes in the past. Looking back, I have a lot of regrets about quitting some jobs too soon. If I had been more patient, I would have waited for a better opportunity. Quitting your job is not always the right solution to your unhappiness with it. Even though it may provide some temporary relief, it can also cultivate bad habits to run away every time a problem comes up. You can not keep running forever.
Our negative thoughts often create illusions, like the idea that a choice we made is worse than the choice we passed over, which will always make us feel like we are missing something. When we compare the reality of our present situation to our imagination of something that might have been, it will cause unnecessary suffering in our lives.
No matter which life you choose, it will come with its own set of limitations. There is no kind of work without some problems. If you are thinking of quitting your job in order to avoid having problems, then I can tell you that it is a bad idea, especially if the problems are only in your mind. You will find the same problems come up again and again, regardless of the changes you make to the type of work you do. But if you learn to gradually adapt your thinking so that you do not resist or try to run away from things that do not go the way you expected, then you will be better able to solve the real problems facing you.
I know that many people who are sick of their job imagine that starting a small business will be all blue skies, unicorns, and lollipops. They tend to run off in chase of a rainbow without thinking it through carefully first.
Are you sure that starting your own business will be better? We have all heard of people who quit their jobs and became famously successful in their own business, but you must understand that these people make up only a tiny minority of all the people who ever attempted to go it alone. We never hear about the enormous number of would-be entrepreneurs and freelancers who were struck down on the battlefield. And today's economy makes it an even bigger challenge than it was in the past. To have a regular job and a monthly income means security and peace of mind, so, before you make your decision, you need to think very carefully about whether or not you can overcome the barriers and face the challenges that you will encounter at every step.
In a way, we all choose the life we live in. It is, after all, the consequence of all the choices we have either made or failed to make. If you feel confident in your ability to face challenges, then you should always follow your heart. And when you are faced with difficulties along the way, as you always will be, avoid using social media to express your frustration and negative emotions. Nowadays, it is so easy to find a little sympathy online, which may serve to cheer you up in the short term. Unfortunately, it can also cultivate a bad attitude in you and the people reading your negative posts. It isn't only Facebook that reminds us of these bad memories; they are also stamped into our psyche.
You can simply hit delete in Facebook, but our hearts and minds have no such function. When we focus on bad experiences, it's like having unpleasant notifications pop up continually. When we are unhappy in our work, it can spread through all our thoughts and have a destructive influence on our lives.
We are not born only to work, make money and die. Life itself is the only thing of value you have, not the status and rewards that work gives you. But we cannot avoid the fact that every day at work we are accumulating memories, and so it is a lot better if these memories are not the kind that we would rather delete.
I will not want to delete this.