Grateful Dad #4: Greener Pastures

February 02, 2022

In this edition of Grateful Dad, I share my thoughts on the most common reason for seeking another employment and that is greener pastures.

I find it quite amusing that, in job interviews, the default answer as to why we transfer to another company is to seek greener pastures. I’m also guilty of it; I never thought that at my age, I still say greener pastures as my reason for leaving with much conviction during job interviews.

Grateful dad because of greener pastures

Grateful Dad #4: Greener Pastures

Anyway, I think it’s a statement that’s accepted both by the HR interviewer and the interviewee. It requires no further explanation or expounding because that’s what it is.

We work to earn and that’s it. But is work really just reduced to such triviality? I think it’s a complicated answer. At the very core of it, work equates to livelihood so it’s really just about making money. However, we are not mere machines. We are humans with emotions, aspirations, and goals.

Yes, we do work because we need to earn. Aside from that though, work can be a creative outlet, a distraction from something else, and even an opportunity to start a relationship, whether romantic or friendly.

There will come a time when we would have to leave our current employment because of an opportunity to graze in greener pastures. There may even be something deeper, like inequality in the workplace, harassment, a terrible boss, a job that’s too demanding, or eventual misalignment of values.

For me, all of the above reasons are acceptable because we are free to feel whatever it is that we want to feel. Again, we are humans and not machines. What frustrates me though is why we can’t be transparent with our reasons for resignation. We should always try our best to appear or sound civil.

I really appreciate a company that gives opportunities to employees who have been transparent about their not-so-ideal situations from their previous employees. I’m not saying these companies are a rarity.

In fact, I think there are still many companies like that, especially those that belong to the same industry. Of course, they know what goes on within their industry, including the well-known executives and other interesting personalities.

This brings to my mind a conversation I had last year with a headhunter. We went through the usual interview questions until it finally came to the reasons why I left my last employer. I wanted to be fully transparent because I wanted them to be able to put me in a company that would value my skills and experience while taking into consideration the circumstances that transpired in my previous employer.

I know that being too transparent in job interviews could be a risky move, again if you are trying to gain employment in an industry outside where you are currently in.

But what I’m just trying to point out is that I want the headhunter to be able to place me in a company that I could spark a long-term relationship with since I’m not getting any younger. Plus, they have to know my strengths and weaknesses so that they can properly sell me.

The interview ended well and the headhunter promised that they would get back to me with hopefully an ideal fit. A day after that, I got another phone call from the headhunter telling me that they’ve found a potential interview for me.

I was happy with the way things were going. Just the same, the catch is that the headhunter advised me that instead of being too truthful, I should just state the acceptable motherhood statements like seeking greener pastures, proximity of the workplace to my house, practicality, and so on.

Employers get turned off when you state reasons that are too, well, controversial for lack of a better adjective. I know that but I still wanted it to be considered acceptable for saying that you are, say, being forced to do something that you are not adept at. We’re still a long way to that.

Speaking of employment, an interviewer jokingly said to me that it seemed like I’ve been through most of the banks in the country. Since the interviewer was also a banker, I gave hints as to why I left my previous companies instead of the usual generic statements. The interviewer understood me, as I had expected, and it made me happy.

It’s not really my goal to hop from one bank to the next but those in the banking industry would understand the pressure of working for one. It’s not just the demand of the job but more so on the personalities involved. I won’t delve into that as I’ve written about my experience in previous posts.

I do want this article to be a tribute to one bank that I truly appreciate as an employer and that is EastWest Bank. I initially didn’t want to disclose the name of EastWest but it wouldn’t be a tribute if I did that.

If I were to consider a TOTGA (the one that got away) in terms of employment, then that is EastWest for me. The situations are not ideal all the time, which is pretty normal in any company.

I do remember all the good things that happened to me in EastWest though. I experienced my very first airplane ride because of a job assignment in Cebu. I was able to explore some of the best places in Mindanao because of an event in General Santos City. I met my wife in EastWest Bank and also a lot of wonderful people from the different departments that I dealt with.

I got to learn new things and even experienced taking on a leadership role in EastWest Bank. I considered myself fairly successful during my last year in the bank. Looking back, I had some regrets for leaving and even told myself that I should’ve thought things over more carefully before resigning.

Anyway, that’s what life is. We make bad decisions, we live with it, and we try our best to move on. If we are lucky enough, then we might just have the chance to go back to where we were before.

Related to trying, failing, and getting back on track, I remember the movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” I’ve actually rewatched it, having first seen it in 1996. 

The Nightmare Before Christmas poster

I like rewatching movies and rereading books that I’ve seen and read when I was younger because the messages are clearer now that I’ve gained many different experiences over the last few years. That’s not to mention that it gives me joy to relive memories from the ‘90s as I was growing up.

In The Nightmare Before Christmas, the main protagonist Jack Skellington becomes bored with the annual Halloween routine and decides to give Santa Claus (Sandy Claws) a holiday. It turned out it was a bad decision after he almost ruined Christmas so realizes later on that his one true calling is to be the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town.

Relating it to our own lives, well, we’ve all been in the same situation as Jack Skellington where we suddenly have the desire to break free from our routine only to realize afterwards that it’s what we were really destined to do all along.

In a way, it’s just a different way for life to tell us that we really were meant to be where we’re currently at.

Do you agree with that? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Grateful for greener pastures

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  1. Joaquin Eli Bacod2 February 2022 at 08:56

    Yes agree ako sa lahat , lalo na sa mga employer na tingin ata sa atin mga robot , opo hndi lahat pero pansin ko mas sila pa ung ngbbgy ng stress sa atin hndi ung work natin . Kaya madalas tlga my mga desisyon dn tayo na biglaan . Thanks for sharing ❤️

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience po dadi iv i really agree po na minsan yung sobrang pagiging totoo nagiging reason ng hindi pag tanggap sa atin sa bago inapplayan natin kaya swerte mo pa din po. Minsan talaga hindi rin natin maiwasan magkamali ang importante naitatama natin

  3. Samantha Nicole Jorge12 February 2022 at 21:45

    Yess totoo po ❤🤍❤🤍❤ we fail po talaga pero wag natin kakalimutan na laban ulit wag tayong mananatili sa failure