Passing Glances


I have been thinking about an email that I received from a friend this week. The long and the short of it is that he does not really like his job and is being passed over for a promotion. Quitting is tempting but not practical as he is over fifty and has a child to support.

The most frustrating thing about his situation is that there are plenty of guidance and training opportunities for his younger coworkers but no one really seems too interested in addressing his predicament. Apparently, he is of an age where he is supposed to have learned everything and it is no longer worthwhile investing much energy in developing his skills and leadership abilities.

Am I the only one who thinks this is a little nuts?

Why is it that society has evolved to a point that oldsters are no longer valued and have become pawns in someone else’s payroll analysis? (My friend has been told confidentially both that he is underpaid and that it would be great if he left the department so that they could hire someone “less high powered”)

Yet better; what can we do about it, and what should I tell my friend?

On the one hand, I would like to be outraged for him and tell him to stand up for his rights and make a fuss; but the wiser part of me is tempted to tell him to let it go. There is more to life than work and maybe it is time to be content to have a good job and focus more on other things.

I am not saying that he should give up on the idea of a promotion, rather that he should focus on the things he likes about the job and let the rest of it go for a while. After the age of fifty your job should support the fulfillment your life goals; not just your career aspirations. What is the point of being miserable every day at work when so many other people are out of work and would be thankful just to have a job at all?

Maybe leaving at 5:00 pm every day with a smile on your face while others struggle in the quest of unobtainable goals really is the best revenge.





2 responses to “Passing Glances

  1. Something similar happened to me. I decided that God was telling me to focus on something else, that I put too much emphasis on work. So I did. I also calculated how much I needed to retire, saved like crazy and calculated to the day when I could retire.

  2. Barbara deAngelis in “Real Moments” makes the distinction between a job and work. Jobs are what we do to survive physically and support ourselves and our families. Work is what we do to survive emotionally and to support our spirits. A job can support our life’s work. Hopefully this fellow who doesn’t like his job can find consolation in a pay check that may allow him to fulfill his life’s work outside of his job.

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