Reflections on “Work”

Ryan Eidson  —  January 31, 2014

On January 1 Patrick decided this is the year for him to get a better job. For some time, Patrick has felt deep down that he is capable of so much more. He views his current position as a dead end. The company he works for has not given any employees a raise for three years despite the local cost of living increase of 10% over the same period.

frustrated at work

Photo credit: flickr user Marvin L | cc

Patrick has a wife, three children, a mortgage, and all the regular bills. He is constantly frustrated at work. He brings his frustration home with him, often unloading on his wife and kids. He wants to get some job that pays better and would allow him to get home by 5:30 instead of 7 (or later) each night.

Because he’s so busy in his current position, Patrick has not had time to search for other opportunities. Early reports from his friends (who are looking for jobs for him) have led to no open positions for the same type of work he’s doing now.

What Patrick will realize soon is that he needs to take several steps back and intently look at himself in the mirror.

Reasons for Leaving Work

Patrick is just one example of millions of people in the USA who look for a new job each year. In fact, one in three employees planned to look for a new job over the course of 2013 (source: Glassdoor survey as reported by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, 1/2/2013).

Americans switch jobs today for one (or more) of the following reasons:

  • More income
  • More challenging opportunities; unfulfilled in current tasks
  • Get out of a “dead end”
  • Conflict with boss or coworkers
  • Desire more time with family, for hobbies, for leisure, etc.
  • Out of necessity because the family moved
  • Rediscovered their calling and are aligning new job with that
  • Take a less-demanding position to reduce stress
  • Start their own business or transition to self-employment
  • Work at home or closer to home; shorter commute
  • Lost former job (for whatever reason)

Patrick has his reasons for leaving, but he hasn’t left yet. He’s just getting started with his job search. Now he is in limbo: the time between deciding to quit and landing a new job.

I bet you’ve been there before.

This is a time full of questions, especially “What will I do next?” A time of researching and asking around. A time of figuring out who you really are at your core.

“Perhaps an artist lives in you that you have forgotten. A singer may be wishing to sing, a writer wishing to write, a speaker wishing to speak. Listen carefully. Can you hear a voice that you have repressed?” — Dr. David Hawkins, When Pleasing Others is Hurting You, p. 187

Is “What Will I Do Next?” the right question to ask yourself when you’re looking for work?


See also this post: Struggling to Make Ends Meet? You Might Need a New Job

Ryan Eidson


I have the unique ability to make complex ideas easy to understand. I am the author of A Couple with Common Cents and live in rural Missouri.