The equilibrium we all seek


By Glenn Tan on 27/06/2017


I believe everyone seeks equilibrium at some point in their professional life – a stage where I define as having established a stable relationship with his or her profession and/or organisation, and is at peace with the pros and cons that come with it at the present moment as well as the foreseeable future. The other end of the spectrum is probably a phase where one always has to change a job or profession every one to two years, unexpectedly.

It can then be presumed that for one to reach this equilibrium, one has to find that perfect job fit, or at least perfect to his or her unique situation and life expectation. Everyone’s idea of perfection differs, and some are still in the midst of finding their own definition. So the question is, do you know what you are looking for? It is not a shameful thing if one finds it hard to answer confidently, for I believe it is a struggle many, especially the millennials, are experiencing.

Not many of us are lucky enough to know, beyond the shadow of doubt, whether we will be a designer, chef or an event planner upon graduation – a possible outcome of our nation-survival-driven education system. For some, at best, we know what we don’t want to do. That begs the question of how do we find that guiding compass to make career decisions while we are in the midst of finding out what we want? For instance, how do you know being in an events agency and tasked with realising the execution dreams of clients can necessary be more fulfilling than being given the helm of creating event content that forms part of a mega marketing objective at the client’s side? This is assuming you already know that you want to spend your career in the events industry.

Many follow their intuition and take a leap of faith. Yet, the reality is that no one makes the right decision all the time. We aim to make the most informed choice based on all the facts and intelligence gathered at the critical juncture when a decision has to be made, limited to the options that life brings to you at that moment. Despite that, many times things do not turn out the way one expects – the leader whose vision wins you over decides to leave three months into your new job; the autonomy they promise is a mere lip service; your direct report has an opposite morale compass and value system from yours. What then?

It definitely takes a toll mentally if one has to return to the drawing board every now and then, and unexpectedly. One may even develop a phobia for commitment, just like a relationship, after rounds of “breakup” despite doing one’s utmost effort to contribute as well as to forge that lasting commitment with potential suitors. It rattles you because you value this commitment that you are ready to give but could not find a deserving party.

Having gone through all these, what are my lessons? Just two: Firstly, don’t ever give up, and understand why and how you make decisions. Secondly acknowledge that the world is never fair and you are one of the unlucky ones, for now, who does not get what you want whenever you want it. Accept the curveballs and never compromise your values and ideals because for every curveball or unexpected turn in this journey, you will understand a little better about what matters to you, and every decision you made will only get better than the previous one if you consciously take note of why and how you came to that decision. Looking through a positive lens, it is part of one’s self-discovery journey for those who may not be aware of what you want yet.

It can be trying times to keep the faith of eventually finding what we want in this somewhat merciless corporate world, but if we give in and conform, we will never be able to share that story we really want to tell in the end - this is what is keeping me going.

I was watching a sports movie and there was this quote that has stuck in my mind for a while: “There is no assurance of winning the game by trying, but you will definitely lose it if you give up!” So to my fellow comrades in the corporate world, take a deep breath, make effort to learn about yourself through the journey, believe everything happens for a reason, and never give up finding that equilibrium.

Graduated with an Engineering degree and now a professional in the Travel and MICE industry, Glenn is one who dares to follow his heart in seeking a purposeful career. He has contributed to the industry over the years with his competence in project management as well as his ability to drive key relationships. He is currently an account and business development manager at a global destination and events management company based in Singapore. 

 

Article code: 4136



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