“I was busy but not fulfilled.” Are you, too?

Anyone could have said that statement and it probably wouldn’t have made such an impact as it did when I had it from the 43rd President. To say that I was stunned was an understatement!

I just heard Mr. George W. Bush, former President of the United States of America and former Texas State Governor, made the above statement during a short interview with Ernie at TNT’s Inside the NBA. I believe that Mr. Bush was referring to his job as President as being unfulfilled. He also said that he didn’t think he could paint until he read Winston Churchill’s book. He then said “if he (Churchill) could paint, he could too.” He started his artistic journey in 2012.

He was at the Dallas Mavericks’ pregame and got to be interviewed on his new book “Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants.” A book in which he painted 43 portraits of the immigrants he talked about in his book. One of such is Dirk Nowitzki former NBA Dallas Mavericks Star. Understandably because the former President is from, and resides in, Texas.

Who would have thought that being the President of the United States of America was unfulfilling? I could have understood if he said that the job was stressful but that he loved it.

There you have it people. If you thought that you were alone in dutifully showing up at work for a job you despised or are not fulfilled, now you know that even a former President was in the same boat. Brings me to the question: “but why do we do it?”

Why do people stay at an unfulfilling job or one they hate?

I think the main reason is because people depend on the regularity of their paychecks. Paycheck is a good reason to work a 9-to-5, but never a good reason to stay, especially for too long, at a job you detest. It’s not healthy and affects one’s wellbeing in the long run.

Contractual obligations. Some are locked in as a result of having signed term contracts
and feel that the cost of terminating the contract outweighs their health.

Fear of not being able to get another comparable or better job opportunity elsewhere

Fear of leaving or not knowing where to start especially if the person has been at the particular job for a long time. Which leads to

Fear of the Unknown. Playing it safe though it’s hurting. We’ve all heard the saying that “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.” Why does anyone want to stay with the devil? There is no concord with belial. Fear is torment and will keep one locked up on that job when better is calling them somewhere else.

Job Security. Similar to above … affects those who have stayed longer on-the-job and are vested. Non-managerial positions would also have some seniority perks. Leaving such jobs would mean that such people may have to restart and work their way back up at another company.

None of the above reasons might relate to Mr. Bush. His reason might have been any or all of Power, Global Recognition, and aspiration to the highest possible public office position. A position he held for two terms, yet unfulfilled.

What other reasons do you know or have heard that makes people stay in unfulfilled jobs or jobs they hate? Are you currently in an unfulfilled job or one you hate?

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