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Why you shouldn’t settle just for anything? Prepare to answer some questions honestly

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Why the self-deception?


“Would you accept any offers?” – asked my unemployed friend the other day.

Tough question. Especially today. Especially if you are above the age when your parents should finance your needs. But, I think it is a tough question from all angles.

Usually, our needs (mainly financial), our ego (me, without a job?), our social upholding (I am indeed somebody), or simply our character (I can’t just sit at home, I need to do something) float us from one job to another. We are proud, thrilled and grateful if one job title flows into the next one (hopefully a lever higher) with the greatest smoothness and silkiness.

Usually, we love if our career path is taking a step on the so-called career ladder one by one (or skipping some would be even better) without any involuntarily stops, pauses or step backwards.

When I talk with my friends about their jobs, they all feel they would worth more, they are being used, they are doing something that has nothing to do with their education, diploma(S) or – forgive me to even mention -, their personal interest. They complain and complain each time we meet. They check-in at 9 am and check-out at 5 pm (best scenario) and receive their salary on the 5th of each month; marking the only joyful day when it all worth the hassle.

Flazingo Mind-map
Photo credit: Flickr/Flazingo (Mind-map)

When I interviewed candidates for the asked positions they could come from the most diverse backgrounds, they had a common denominator: they all promised me the stars, the Moon and the whole Universe.
They prepared their Oscar-winning motivation speak and tried to convince me (or themselves?) that this position was exactly what they wanted. If they played well enough along the whole selection process, they got the job. After all, who am I the HR to question their desires?!

But what happened next is clear: full disappointment – both sides.

Why do we settle? 

So my question is: why do we settle? 

And please, to make our point clear, let’s not consider the money aspect now – just for a second at least. Why? Because mature and conscious career choice or job change doesn’t come from money-hunt (or well, at least we certainly shouldn’t).

So why do we settle? Why do we cheat on ourselves? Why do we lie not only to the recruiters but to ourselves? Why are we afraid of pause for a second and reflect? 

Do we settle for security? Or do we settle because it is convenient? 

There are endless number of motivational quotes pumping up on the internet each and every day: ‘do what you love and you never have to work again in your life’ – ‘follow you passion and you shall succeed’ and so on, and so on. Everybody seems to ‘like’ them, ‘share’ them, and seemingly, believe them.
So it seems that in theory we are all aiming for THE JOB, and we do feel when something is off, but what stops us in practice?

What if I ask you the ultimate yes or no question? OK, let me ask it right now:

What is your answer?

Don’t think too much. Answer before the little voice in you lines up all the explanations, justifications and excuses one can think of.

(If your answer is YES accompanied by a smile and content, self-assuring thoughts, then accept our congratulations and let us save you some time:  move on to the next article)

However, if you are one of the many, aka majority; then you would have a gentle hiccup now that reveals you the definite answer.

Your answer is: NO.

How is it that we select our boyfriends/girlfriends with great care, with unreachable expectation lists and clearly defined features – and if finally we manage to find somebody close to it, we still dump them after their first mistake?! We are so easily settling in our career life for something we don’t enjoy and spend 80% of our days with it days after days, weeks after weeks and years after years?!

Why is it OK to be single for years and waiting for Miss Right / Mr. Right but it is shameful to pause for a few months and find Miss/Mr RIGHT JOB?

Where are our care and consciousness when we accept a job offer?

Have you ever considered going to an interview with the inner mindset of ‘great! Now I can check them out’ – instead of shaking from up-to-toe and answering their questions as a diligent pupil?
Have you ever left an interview assessing whether YOU would actually be happy working with them, instead of praying for their next call?

I understand that we all want to work. Of course, we want! But such as you don’t go to bed with everybody who smiles at you charmingly, maybe you should not sign every contract either just because it was printed on a silky-colored-appeling paper.

Don’t settle! That is the easy way! Go, find out what makes you happy! And yes, sometimes you will end up changing your jobs more than you planned, and sometimes you would even make total U-turns reach your next role, or you would even get on hold for a time. Let me tell you something: IT IS OK!

But, I ask you, don’t settle for security, don’t settle for titles – settle for happiness!


Virag was born in Hungary but currently lives in Belgium. A former ballet dancer, who after leaving the stage started to build up her life #2. While being a diplomat and a communication & marketing coordinator, Virag slowly started to give in and listen to her heart. That is when she started to write and gave birth, first, to her own blog, and then to several published articles. She believes in honesty, openness and that women are the strongest creatures on earth. More about Virag

Virág Gulyás is the founder of MissCareer/Less, a startup dedicated to women who embrace change, and works as a freelance creative project manager. As a former ballet dancer, she faced the challenges of what it means to change a career and start a new life in a culture where success is defined in linear terms. She believes that raw, honest storytelling is the new generation of women empowerment. Virág is an author, speaker and develops workshops to empower women and young (un)employed people.

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