Sunday, February 16, 2014

Intense food for thought

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/02/why-writers-are-the-worst-procrastinators/283773/

The title, and the first half of the article is actually kinda boring. But the second half really made me furrow my eyebrows.

The writer is describing me, along with many of my friends, and others of my generation.
"I’ll hire someone who’s twenty-seven, and he’s fine,” says Todd, who manages a car rental operation in the Midwest. “But if I hire someone who’s twenty-three or twenty-four, they need everything spelled out for them, they want me to hover over their shoulder. It’s like somewhere in those three or four years, someone flipped a switch.” They are probably harder working and more conscientious than my generation.  But many seem intensely uncomfortable with the comparatively unstructured world of work.  No wonder so many elite students go into finance and consulting—jobs that surround them with other elite grads, with well-structured reviews and advancement.

Today’s new graduates may be better credentialed than previous generations, and are often very hardworking, but only when given very explicit direction. And they seem to demand constant praise. Is it any wonder, with so many adults hovering so closely over every aspect of their lives? "
Before I delve into the article, here's a couple of updates of my life so far:

  1. N has received an unconditional offer from a London university, and is slated to start school (all over again, so 3 years) in September of this year.
  2. I have actually had enough with my job, and how I am constantly being criminalized and unappreciated for the good things that I bring to the team.
  3. My boss actually IMed me "i would like to know why you are angry and carrying an attitude about you." After I replied, "sure, we can talk about it over the phone some time today," she has ignored me since.
  4. I am ready to quit on Monday.
The article has bang-on hit the nail on the spot. I am fucking terrified of how unstructured the working world is, outside of professional jobs like law, medicine, banking, consulting, accountancy. Everything else seems ridiculously vague, and I can't deal with it. My boss constantly chides me for requiring her to explain everything to me, and I have not been able to sleep well because all she has done is to constantly criticize my work without praising anything. 

I'm definitely a victim of this whole shebang. I have been brought up in a way where I am just terrified of failure, and I find it very difficult to press on when constantly criticized. I also tend to take criticisms very personally (albeit, my boss is indeed a cunt for saying things to me like, "this is such common sense it is very atypical of someone who graduated from a top American college to be like this" well fuckubitch), and it has really have had a bad toll on my mental health. I can't sleep at night. I have strange uncomfortable anxious thoughts in the middle of the night about my work performance. I second-guess everything I do, because I keep being told that I am wrong. 

Anyway, I'm quitting. Yeah I know. I'm horrible. I've really given this whole "taking the path not taken" shit a shot though, with my two jobs so far. And honestly, after reading the above article, I feel that I just need to go back on the bandwagon that I initially was adamant to not be a part of. 

I need structure. But I crave freedom. I don't want to be a robot, but when left to "roam" and take "initiative" (which basically means read our fucking minds) while confronted with the very real possibility (and sadly, eventuality) of being chided once I "fail," I am unable to handle it. The entire process is just not conducive at all. You tell me to do whatever and stop asking for defined instructions all the time, and then when I screw up, you berate me for not having better "sense" which can only come about when I have years of experience like you. Well I'm sorry - my fragile coddled ego cannot handle your shitty mentoring anymore.

Maybe I should just turn back and be a goddamn banker or consultant. Sure, I would be miserable with very long hours, but at least I would be surrounded by all my fellow elite grads who would understand me, relate to me, and the structure will keep me feeling safe. 

I am now in the midst of applying to master's in London, so that I can be with N when he goes back. I dread going back to school, and I do find that I have very little to relate to British people, but this is the most viable option for me to move to London. 

Btw, Happy belated Valentine's all. Mine was very quiet since N was working night shift, but we both put it on Facebook that we're in a relationship so that's cool (except, we didn't put each other's names haha). 

1 comment:

  1. Is there some middle ground when it comes to work? Doesn't your workplace have written policies and procedures manuals that at least tell you what to do, not necessarily every step by step? Do you always have to go to your boss for help? Why not tap into the knowledge of co-workers.

    On thing that isn't taught in school, but is very important in a work environment is to be able to get along with others (not saying you don't already). My experience is if you are likable and willing to show some initiative (if you don't know how to do something, look it up using help or google, whatever resources you can find) rather than simply asking someone for help, makes a big difference. People will go out of their way to help you. Act like a jerk and people will secretly cheer for you to fail.

    Maybe this isn't the field for you? Better to know that know than invest a lot of time and effort in something you don't like or cannot tolerate.

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