Overjoyed, Underwhelmed

Dear Reader,

Do you jump on opportunities when they present themselves? If yes, do you always follow through with these opportunities? At a few of my jobs, the team is having problems with employee attrition. To me, the core problem is that many people, myself included, see new opportunities in a different way than they see reality.

What I mean is that sometimes we have a tendency to see new opportunities with rose-colored glasses. For many, it seems that the ‘idea’ of the new job is more appealing than the ‘reality’ of a new job. This situation happened to me a year ago. Back then, I was working 3 jobs, yet when I learned that I could take on this interesting teaching assistant job, I immediately said ‘yes!’ to the opportunity regardless of how busy I already was. I was drawn in because of the pay, flexible hours, and the responsibilities which I was sure would help my professional development. When I started the job, however, it turned out to be good, but a whole lot of work! The thing is, the amount of work should not have been a surprise to me. I should have known what I was getting myself into, all of the information on the job was readily available. I in my excitement, however, wasn’t able to see the “work” side of the job, I just saw the components which made it a cool opportunity. I didn’t quit the job though and I’m glad that I didn’t because it was an overall good experience (minus my self-inflected stress).

In one of my jobs, I see employees come and go at a rather alarming rate. Although I have only been with the company for just over a year, I am one of the most experienced members in my position. The online reviews for this job were too good, which made me nervous when I was first considering accepting the position. However, weirdly enough, they were mostly true! The job I work is a good job! I swear! The only thing is, that it is an hourly position (no benefits) and many who are interested in this position are only looking for something temporary. However, some come in starry eyed, because the job description is great, the hours are flexible, and the pay is decent. The ones that come in with unrealistic expectations are the ones that quit the soonest, when it turns out that work, believe it or not, turns out to be work.

Managing our own expectations is important. If we allow ourselves to see opportunities with rose-colored glasses, we can easily end up disappointing ourselves when expectations do not meet reality. If we consider the details about new opportunities, rather than just the sparkly image, then perhaps we can better prepare ourselves to confront reality. There are plenty of great opportunities out there! So let’s not ruin the experience for ourselves with unmanageable expectations.

Dear Reader, I do not know what opportunities lie ahead for you on the horizon, however, I do hope that you will take them for what they are and only pursue what will bring you the most long-term happiness.



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