. quarterlife crisis: the age old question .

Now that I’m a month into my new role at work, the initial anxiety has eased and I’m slowly but definitely settling down in my new job. With a change in responsibilities, it’s inevitable that many friends and colleagues have been asking if I’m coping well with my new portfolio. There’s no denying that I am certainly in a better place and that I am finally getting a sense of job satisfaction. After all, nobody should work in a job that they dislike (in theory). Sure, my current position isn’t my ideal dream job (yet, does this dream job ever exists?) but it provides me with the appropriate skill set that I need in order to pursue a career in the long run. Grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow and not simply exist in the company. 

Having said that, I was recently hit by the age old dilemma of money vs satisfaction. Of late, a handful of my peers have received relatively good pay increment – be it through a change of jobs or a promotion – and while I do earn a decent amount, I cannot help but feel that I need to “up” my game in order to “catch up”. Our society has always associate success at work to a higher paycheck and the competitive streak in me has made it difficult for me to let go of the  predisposed fear of “losing out”.

Time and again, I try to convince myself that work is not and should not revolve around money. Had money been the main motivation, I should have gone into sales or property, both of which are lucrative industries for making big bucks. But I know, at the end of the day, that’s not what I want. It’s an internal battle that I’ve been struggling with – The pressure to meet the societal standard of “being successful”. This is particularly so when relatives/people from the older generation start comparing the salaries and job status of their children among one another. Oh my god. I bet this is a typical scenario that many of you have faced, especially during family gatherings! On this note, I must admit that I’m very blessed to have cool parents who do not engage in such conversations so it does take the pressure off me to live up to the expectations of parents. 

I read from somewhere that money and success cannot remain elusive. Of course, it will be perfect if I am able to find the common ground between making money and finding job satisfaction. However, more importantly, I will need to stop inflicting unnecessary pressure on myself and learn to let go of this self-imposed fear of “losing out”. For this fear might possibly permeate into the other aspects of my life. Then, it will be even harder for me to get out of this “trap”.

*pic taken during F1 weekend by CC

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One response to “. quarterlife crisis: the age old question .

  1. Hi Steph, you posed such a brave comment here, that I felt moved to stop by to comment. If I can make a joke, I’d say that all of us who grew up in Asia (or connected via family) have a complex about our salaries if we wander off the beaten path. I found it particularly hard also watching my childhood friends go into the lucrative careers, while I didn’t.
    Since we are each living our own lives, I don’t think there is anything intelligent one can say regarding “advice” on such matters, but for what it’s worth, I’ve thought long and hard about what “success” means (in fact, that was one of the exam questions I set my students, I think young, educated people need to consider this). I’ve noticed that if one takes the “other” road, and if they become good at what they’ve chosen, or noteworthy, suddenly everyone (who once questioned them) rallies around them again. But one needs a lot of belief – or in my case, I’d describe it is an inner need – to make it through the beginning part of not doing what everyone else is. Beginnings are always the hardest. Greta

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