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Focused on the Grass

Chris Bowler:

I’ve noticed an issue with our young industry. I’m not sure of the exact problem, but the symptom is this: people rarely stay at a job for long periods of time.

Chris is right, most people don’t stay a long time at their jobs. In my experience, someone staying 3 years or more is first, pretty rare, and second, must’ve found a really good fit.

Chris alludes to it being something about our Western culture, and I agree with that in many ways. I come from a family of immigrants, and most of my aunts, uncles and grandparents worked at the same place for 15+ years, and never quit a job.

Our generation has a different opinion on these things though. Our generation wants to “change the world,” which to a certain extent is supposed to give meaning to life. I personally wouldn’t go that far, but I do realize you spend a lot of the time working so you should enjoy what you do.

That’s the main reason I think people move jobs, they want to enjoy doing what they do. We are an industry of smart people, who want to work on new challenges and often those are only found by moving on. I think that’s completely understandable.

The last part is very interesting though:

For myself, I want Wildbit to be the last stop for a long time. Part of cultivating contentment is to keep your eyes off the grass.

You need to decide what the bar for contentment is. There are things that will exist no matter what job you go to, and how awesome they say their culture is. That’s where to develop contentment, because no job will ever be perfect. But I do think that if you fundamentally don’t align with the values of an organization, fitting a square peg into a round hole will only make you bitter and not fun to be around.

In the end, it’s not about keeping your eyes off the grass. It’s about being realistic and knowing when to look.