“You choose your dysfunction.”

I've used this phrase for years to describe changing jobs. Maybe I was wrong...

Every place we work has its own dysfunctional elements. And when you change jobs, you move from one group of challenges to another. Every job has challenges. You choose which challenges you'll face.

I had coffee a couple of months ago with some friends and one of them was in the midst of a job search. I relayed my standard "choose your dysfunction" advice. One of our friends piped up:

"I don't know. I think that sometimes, we bring our dysfunction with us."

I still haven't been able to get that thought out of my head.

Yes, it's true that each job brings unique challenges. But it's equally true the we cause many of our own issues. Too often, we blame the environment around us for something that we, ourselves, are causing. 

The key to addressing those issues – to finding happiness or fulfillment or whatever you are looking for – is being able to tell the difference between the dysfunction you find and dysfunction you carry with you.

Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, creative director, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. In his spare time, he is trying to figure out how to use all the ink he has purchased. Follow Bob on TwitterInstagram and Micro.Blog.