You despise your job. You hate the person it is making you become. Stressed. Bitter. Angry. Tired.
But there’s hope. A friend knows a friend who’s hiring. They’ve put in a good word for you and set up a meeting. It’s a job doing exactly what you’re doing now. There’s no question about your ability to do it.
But it’s not the best pay. You won’t have any more responsibility or a larger sphere of influence. There’s no potential for upwards mobility. Actually, you don’t even know your friend’s friend that well. And the companies core product doesn’t exactly set your heart aflame. But you do despise your job.
Now you must make a choice. Do I go for this? Or do I endure and wait for a better opportunity?
When you’re well fed, it’s easy to eat with grace. To cut your food up. To eat slowly and in small mouthfuls. To maintain a conversation throughout. To savour the taste of whatever it is you’re eating.
But when you’re hungry? When you’re ravenous? When you haven’t eaten for days? Or had a proper meal for months? Manners are irrelevant. You can’t stop yourself from wolfing down whatever is in front of you.
When we’re hungry, when we’re starving, we snatch. Our problem has festered and compounded for so long that anything resembling a solution, or offering slight relief, is seized upon. Often without thought. In the case of serious job dissatisfaction, we snatch at an opportunity. But it’s an opportunity that solves one problem—how much you hate your current job—but trades it for another—new problems in the new environment.
We snatch when we’re hungry. It is at this time, when our impulses are at their strongest, that we are most likely to do something harmful. To ourselves, to our wellbeing, to our careers, to our moral record.
There are two ways around this tendency to snatch when hungry. The first is to never put yourself in a position where you’re hungry. To never let anything get so bad that you’ll choose a course that you wouldn’t normally take. The second is to practice exercising your self-control until it can dominate any impulse a situation creates.
The first is easier. Although it is not easy. It requires you to be proactive. To keep on the lookout for emerging problems and catch them before they swell to larger proportions.
The second requires a lofty feat of will. It requires you to exhibit the highest level of control when you are at your most desperate. There’s only a few people who can do this. Not many can turn down a meal when hungry. But sometimes, it is what you must do.