The last time I thought of what I want, I ended up working for what I need.

Originally posted here.

No, I’m not here to re-sell the career choosing drama. I’m here to talk about the situation that the statement suggests. Well this may be partly because I’ve nothing to do at the moment, partly because I (or perhaps we) seem to always encounter the same thing, and partly because I’m experiencing a severe bout of verbal diarrhea that I better put in here so I could be a little creative with it.

So when was the last time? I guess the last time, the serious one, was when I was on my way home after taking a series of exams and a short interview in a (forgive me) small time IT company. For someone like me who has his own share of being “choosy” it could have been easy to say that I’m never gonna go back to that company. I don’t like it there. The place was just not fit for any business concerning technology. It reminded me of this lousy office that I visit at least twice or thrice a year in the past four years where everybody talks more and works less in a room brimming with papers and bulky file jackets that I certainly do not want to work at.

A more pleasant office, that’s what I want. A place where you can breathe without worrying about taking in a lung-ful of dust. One that has a perfectly working air conditioning unit that has no pails under it to catch the dripping water. One that you will at least appreciate seeing after waking up early in the morning (your house being far from work) and traveling the distance trying for hours to get a good seat in loaded jeepneys and buses. One with decent looking workstations. One you cannot call perfect but at least okay.

But considering the country’s economy… whoops let’s not dig too deep into that.

But considering the current situation in the country where a lot of businesses, even in the IT industry which are supposed to be in good status right now with all the demands, struggle for stability, I guess it is understandable that providing the employees’ every desire is not that easy. After all, what I was talking about in the last paragraphs was just WHAT I WANT. Obviously, although you can suggest such things to your employer, they might find it quite selfish. Why? For a starting company like the case of that one where I took the exams, they will surely prioritize what they need. Legalities, clients, and good software developers. They would rather work for WHAT THEY NEED.

How about you?

That afternoon while I was on my way home I was thinking. I don’t like the place but as always said, beggars can’t be choosers. I needed a job to pay for everything I cost people when I was still studying so I gave the exams my best. My college fees barely reached a thousand in those four years of stay and people will surely call me lucky but come on, that’s not all you pay for when you try to earn a degree. Just the stress will cost you platefuls of a good meal. How much more is your daily fare, emergency expenses, personal things, clothes to keep you decent, and the other stuffs? Mahal!

Truth is, sometimes the things we want are too grand for us, for our current state. Sometimes we’re too in a hurry for the things we want and we don’t attend first to the things we need, when in fact it should be a step-by-step process. At home, when one of us thinks of something grand that they want, they will surely hear this from another saying it in a loose sense. You don’t have the right to dream of that. Not yet. And it is not suppose to discourage people of dreaming big. It’s suppose to keep people sane that there are still stuffs they got to deal with on their way there to that big dream, not to mention to make them laugh as well for the seemingly unfortunate situation. I know I sound like your father now, but hey this is reality at least for people living a barely average life.

How about that company I was talking about?

I assume we know that any starting company wishes they can offer something good to applicants they really want. Perhaps a good paycheck, plus a little more than the basic benefits, and a good work environment. But they need something to work on. They need clients and projects and equipments and certainly they cannot afford to lose everything to demanding applicants no matter how excellent those applicants may be. And I think that’s just the right way of viewing things. Unless your goals are too low, I guess it’s always a struggle to achieve them anyway.

Just a quick evaluation, how many of your long term goals are things you need? All? Long term goals sweety, I doubt it.

Reality check, how many small time companies NEED excellent professionals who do not WANT them?

This is not to condemn these professionals for turning down these companies. After all, they have every right for it. We just want to expose both sides of the story. It’s not always them offering you a small salary, but also them offering you a small salary for a good reason, and we always want to be reasonable.

That afternoon I prayed. I said I don’t want to work for that company but if they will offer me a job I guess I have no right to decline it. I’m jobless, I’m not a Suma Cum Laude, maarte lang ako. I asked for a sign. Since I knew I didn’t have the right to be choosy I asked God to choose for me. I said “Since I don’t feel I have the right to decline an offer, give me just one offer and let it be it, for I’m afraid that my judgement is clouded by the things I desire.”

Well I guess He listened and recognized my effort stressing myself thinking of stuffs like this. I didn’t get a call from the company, I didn’t have to bear that place. And I can say I got to learn a few things from it.

So for now, I’m keeping my “wants” achievable. I want a life-size cow paper mache in our living room and I don’t care if it will fit there. I want that one they call Holstein. I know the breed, I searched the net for it. Give one for this poor soul please. 🙂

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