We've all heard of the seven-year itch. Some of you may have experienced it. Some of us, who aren't married yet, live in fear of it.
I think I, and many of my generation, suffer from the one-year itch. You know, that phenomena where, after a year in a job, you feel the urge to jump to another one. Where you start to feel restless after a few months. You feel it's not gratifying, you're getting stagnant, even the coffee starts to taste like dishwater, and the hot receptionist (in the case of guys) starts to resemble your 50-year old aunt.
My dad's getting retired in May this year, after serving 37 years in BSNL. Thirty-fucking-seven years.
I don't think I can ever stay in one job for three years, let alone 37 years. And I take relief in the fact that it's not the problem with just me. My friends are pretty much the same. My roommate quit her first job after 11 months, and is thinking of quitting her next one soon as she completes one year there too. Another friend worked in four different places in the span of one year (he recently completed six months at his current job. It was like a celebration akin to a golden jubilee for him), yet another friend couldn't get along with her bosses, so she quit each job after a couple of months. There are more from my batch, who quit jobs after a few months. I think compared to them, I'm marginally better off, coz I held my first job for one year and four months, and don't plan to leave this second one anytime soon (But then, you never know. Once the itch comes, you gotta scratch it baby. I know. Grossville).
The other day, I was talking to dad, and he asked me "So when are you going to start looking for another job? You'll complete a year in September, right?" I didn't know what to say. Was our reputation for job-hopping so notorious? And I surprised myself with my answer. "I don't know dad, let me complete a year, then we'll see. If I still find it interesting even by september, then I'll stay on. I don't see any reason why I should quit." He was quite surprised too. So were my friends, when I told them about it.
What makes us change jobs so often? I don't even change my wardrobe so frequently. And I just can't seem to think of any reason other than 'generation problem'. Ya, to an extent, I guess that's what it is. But then, I also see other friends of mine, who did engineering, holding on to their jobs for 3-4 years. Yes, they complain, they gripe, they bitch, but they stay. Then is it just the problem with being a communications graduate? Maybe...
We need interesting jobs, something that'll be creatively gratifying as well as well-paying. We can't just work, we need to love our jobs, otherwise we won't do it well. And the best way to do it is to change jobs often, so that your interest never wanes. Soon as you get bored with one place, look for another job. It's all about building a good resume, so that there will be takers for your skill and talent. We want to follow our passion. We all want a 'career', but can't stay put in one place for long...But if that's the case, was my father bad at his work just because he was in it for 37 years? Quite contrary.. He was, and always will be, one of the most respected employees in his office. I wondered, what made him stay on in a 'boring, government job' for so long?
The answer, as it turns out, was quite simple. For him, the job was more a means of earning a living, than a vent for his passion. True, he loved his work and is a self-confessed workaholic, but he also had a family to take care of. He had responsibilities. An aging mother, wife and kids, kids' education, a house, middle-class aspirations. And let me tell you, he has done a brilliant job so far. His government job gave him security, it earned him respect in the society. He is proud of the fact that in spite of studying in a Malayalam medium school, he rose up to the level of a DGM. He could put his daughters in a central school, educate them till PG level, get his elder daughter married off lavishly, buy a flat,a car- all on his 'boring, government job' salary...
We're single, free from responsibilities, have the option to explore, and thankfully, have families that support us. But is it really going to help us in the long run? Will we ever find our passion? Will we ever be happy with any job? Sooner or later, either creativity or the money will play the bitch. I would know. I loved my first job, I thought I had found my calling. I used to slog. But gradually, I wasn't happy with the salary, And once you start to feel that you're not being paid for what you're worth (whatever that means), then you'll start to lose interest in what you do. So I quit. My current work, well, I don''t love it, but it's comfortable. The pay is better, the timings are flexible, and the best part is, I get a two-day weekend!(Yup, sometimes happiness can be as simple as a two-day weekend). I get home early, I get time to read, I get time to write. As for my passion, well, screw passion. I like my saturdays and sundays better. Ha!!
So has this rambling changed my view about the job-hopping? Will I hold on to a job even after one year, or will I succumb to the one-year itch?
I guess we'll know by september...