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Why do we work? (a story about quitting my job)

robencom profile image robencom ・3 min read

This is my story, of how I quit my job and then went back to it. It might help you decide what to do, in case you are thinking of quitting your job.

Why do we work?

We never really, and I mean, REALLY answer this question.

I worked for 5 years as a PHP developer for a big company, and I was fortunate enough to climb up the company ladder from a junior to a senior developer.

I thought I understood a thing or two about my career, but I couldn't have been more wrong!

So, I quit that job, seeking adventures.

First stop: freelance.

In the past years, I've heard so much about freelance and remote working, that I wanted to give it a shot as a full time gig. Long story short, I didn't like it.

Second (and last) stop: find a new job.

The good news is: there's lots of jobs in IT!

Even before I start sending my resume, I got invited by several companies for job interviews (you can check my past articles about job interviews). Some were awful, but most of them were beneficial and informative.

I still believe that the job interview process should change radically, because it really doesn't reflect the work that you have done nor the work that you are gonna do. But well...

Almost a month later, I landed 2 jobs. I had to pick one of them. A PHP Superhero! Wow...

The thing is, just a week before I get the job, I started thinking about my whole journey.

From quitting my job till finding the new job, it took about 5 months. But those were incredible 5 months! I learned a lot about myself, but most of all, I got closer to answering the question: why do we work?

Let me change the question: why would you leave a company for another?

More money? Benefits? Prestige? Acquaintances?

Well, there's lots of reasons why you would change jobs. But why do we work? It is because we need money. Well, Duh! Usually, the answers are so simple but we still fail to see them because we see the simple answer but we want to give more complicated, self-righteous, purpose-filling answer!

Simply put, you are a specialist of some sort. There's companies that are running businesses, and they need someone with your specialty to work for them, to produce results. Why would you spend your time and energy for them? Because they offer to give you money (and benefits). What's the difference between these companies? Not much, really, nor there is any difference between you and the other chump with your same specialty.

A company picks you for some minor reasons over the next person, and you choose them over some minor reasons over the next company.

They pay you, you produce results. And so on, until one gets fed up with the other.

Working for company A or company B doesn't change a thing!

You work for money.

Career? It is a fancy word for work-timeline.

.................................................................................

We work for money and we live for whatever reasons we each have.

I quit my job to find adventures, and I did. I have learned a lot, but the most important thing that I learned was APPRECIATION. I now appreciate everything I got, but I also have ambitions to get more.

Appreciate and be ambitious!

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robencom

@robencom

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Discussion

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I agree with you that we mostly work for money, that's what our society is all about.

But i disagree with you on this part.
"What's the difference between these companies? Not much, really, ..."

TL;DR
The difference is finding a company which really values it's employees and whose product/service you are passionate about.

I used to work in a huge, global consultancy company and they just cared about getting customer projects done, thus getting money.
They did not care about employees, making them always work overtime to reach deadlines and not really supporting learning etc.
They even did not care when i announced my resignation.

Then i moved to a small, local consultancy which puts employees first. The company relies completely on the employee's self discipline.
We are free to choose which projects to work in and if we feel like it's time to move on to a different project we can make up a plan to change for ourselves.
I have a day off customer projects once a week to connect to colleagues and learn new stuff.

"... nor there is any difference between you and the other chump with your same specialty."

The difference between "you and the other chump" is passion. I would always prefer an employee who is passionate about my product and industry over the one who just does it for money. If you are working on a product you really like, you will always produce better results.

 

Time overcomes all. Passion goes away, company's policies and strategy change, but one thing remains throughout the time: you.

You are the only constant in your life, everything else changes.

In this article, which I wrote poorly, I wanted to make that point, that one day you would like a company, a year later you would hate it, then 5 years later you would love it more than ever. You are constant, but the company and your feelings (and perspective) about it keep on changing throughout time.

My experience was to appreciate everything that happened to me and learn from my experiences, and look forward to the next challenges.

 

I might be missing your point but I think you are oversimplifying this.

Yes, we live in a roller coaster. There is a moment when you are happy and there is a moment when you are not. Passion can either fade away or be killed by a workplace or some other external reason. If you constantly bump to that same wall, you either try walk around it or tear it down. And sometimes after giving it a try or two you get to a conclusion that it is not worth wasting your time and try to move on.

Conceptually every company is reaching for the same goal but they are just taking different approaches to reach that goal. And that is where you find out whether your values align with theirs (ideally).

Why would you wait for a change if its obviously not going to? If you dont care to them, why would you care about them? You are selling your time, so you better make the best out of it and most importantly dont feel like crap at the end of it.

I agree with your last thought. At least I try to look at good and bad things that happened to me that way. But it does not mean that you should not learn from bad things.

 

Totally agree with you. Often times we quit our jobs over silly disputes like disagreeing to new architectures etc.

In the end, it's all about the money and growing yourself up and becoming the best version of yourself.

 

Someone once said, that you don't leave your job, but your manager. I totally agree with that

 

I’ve always subscribed to “Do what you love, love what you do”.