I pulled into the parking lot of the well known mortgage banking office. The sun was just coming up on December 31st, New Years Eve. I am not even sure what day of the week it was, as this job was considered a 7 day a week gig. I was giving myself a pep talk as the one I had given myself in the mirror this morning wasn’t quite doing the trick. My hands were sweating as I walked up the stairs to my desk. It was the last day of the month, one more day to stripe a couple loans and turn in my numbers.
I had been at this job a little over a year. It was a very high stress job with a lot of pressure to perform. Monthly, weekly, daily and even hourly goals were highly scrutinized. It was common to work 10-12 hour days but it always seemed that it was never good enough. There was always one more loan to write if one just stayed a bit longer… according to management anyways.
My desk was situated by a window facing one of the main freeways that encircled Phoenix. I watched as the cars zoomed by and wondered if those people were having a nice holiday vacation. I hadn’t gone home for Christmas again this year because we had just one day off. That was not enough time to travel to California and back, and then to trudge into the office.
What seemed like a great job and career path just 18 months ago was now the worst part of my day… the 12 hours I was at work. The pale lighting and sterile cubicle furniture of this office had become a prison. My morning commute was now a death march. I had nightmares about being at work only to wake up to my alarm and realize that I had to go to that personal hell I called a job. I watched people live their lives through my window seat as I traded my days pushing home refinances on people. I was stressed out, depressed, sad and angry all the time.
Why was I doing this to myself? Sure this job paid well but was it worth it? I didn’t even have time to spend the money I was making. Was I giving my life up so the monthly goal of this mega company could be met? I had come to realize that this was not the job I wanted to do the rest of my life. So why did I stay? Was I stressed out so the top brass could afford one more luxury? What was I killing myself for?
That was my last day there. I emailed my supervisor that I would not be in the next work day and clocked out for the last time. I felt a literal weight lift off my shoulders. The pressure was gone. Within days, my friends and family noticed a change in my demeanor. I was getting back to my old self. I was no longer a walking zombie and I was actually in control of my life. I was happy… I had forgotten what that looked and felt like. I had no clue what I was going to do next. In fact I had taken a job as a bouncer at a local bar just to get some human contact that was not work related… I would just make that my full time occupation as I figured out the rest.
The point of the story is, that if you are not happy with your job, don’t be afraid to change it. Have the courage to make a change to your situation. I currently make half the income I did as a mortgage banker and I couldn’t be happier. I have a flexible schedule, with overtime available and, if I needed to take a day off, it would not be a problem. A job is a place that you will be “living” a good portion of your days. Make sure that it is not a place that causes you stress or angst. That pain will carry over into other parts of your life, leaving you with overtime on the miserable clock. You are worth more than that.