During a time of keen competition for employees, I know an employer who chose to hire someone who might not have been hired in a more employee-rich market. The new hire, intoxicated with the unfamiliar experience of being sought after by employers, made insufferable comments during his interview, such as "what can your firm do for me?". During his term of employment, he perpetually assured all who would listen that he felt his work beneath him. In fact, he barely met the needs of the employer. Subsequently, when he lost his job because he declined to do well something he considered too menial for him to be assigned at all, he learned in his next, less impressive job, that he was much less valuable and much more expendable than he had realized. The treatment he considered beneath him was in fact the courtesy of an employer who kept him on, despite his lack of top competence in the position. I offer him this tribute--he said later that he only then realized that he had had it so good in his first position. He lived the rest of his life so far, as far as I know, a bit more humbly, and a bit more focused on things that matter.
I think it's so easy to see one's triumphs as defeats.
I do not think that people realize how elusive some things can be--a workable job, a nice family, a home of one's own (whether owned or rented), the ability to sleep at night in peace. I believe in reaching as high as one's grasp can reach--but I also believe that the good things one achieves must be treasured, and savored, because they don't come to all, and sometimes pass.
A wise lawyer told me once 'when you win one, be sure and revel in your win, because you don't always win 'em'. I extend that metaphor--sometimes I just have to breathe in, and feel the air, and bless the damned respiration.
I add to this post the observation that I came upon the idea for this post when, despite having a good job and a good home and a great wife, I found myself saying out loud that it might be time someday for a career change. It's like a need, this desire thing--one always wants what one does not have!