I’m Ashamed That I’m in My 30s And Can’t Hold Down a Job for Very Long

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a man in my early 30s and I’m ashamed that I can’t hold down a job for a long time.

I work as a temp at a gym near my parents’ house. It’s a comfortable place for a person like me who has kept leaving full-time jobs in the past, and I can enjoy some work-life balance.

Originally, I was aiming for a full-time position here, but after a year passed, I began thinking that instead of working here, I’d rather work somewhere else. One reason is that I do not get along with my boss.

Having said that, I did not develop any skills or have any major achievements from my previous jobs, so changing jobs this time is risky.

The reason why I have kept leaving jobs is that I don’t know what I want to do and lack perseverance.

At job interviews, I say that I want to build up my career, but deep down inside, I feel that all I want is to get paid while still having a personal life. What should I do?

M, Tokyo

Dear Mr. M:

“What should I do?” is a question that only you can answer.

What other people tell you can only be taken as advice. And I think the most common advice is an accepted piece of wisdom: Your future is uncertain if you don’t have a full-time job.

You have criticized yourself for your lack of perseverance, but what you really think is that it would be nice if you could get paid while still having a personal life. In other words, it is a matter of how you would overcome the conflict of choosing between following a conventional way of living and living out your true feelings.

You are already in your 30s. Instead of being so quick to criticize yourself, why don’t you first think carefully about what kind of lessons you have learned and what kind of experiences you have gained from your previous jobs. People tend to gravitate toward what they like when they are unrestricted.

If you like your current job at the gym, the question then is how to apply it to your future.

Not getting along with your boss is something that happens everywhere. The experience of working through it is essential for one’s growth.

We live in an era where the types of full-time employment are becoming more diverse. I think it is time for you to be prepared to take on the challenge of creating the life you want, regardless of what type of employee you are.

— Megumi Hisada, writer