TIME FOR A REALITY CHECK. It seems there are still way too many people who are chasing after something they don’t really want. Wanna know what my definition of work is? Getting up every day and doing something that you don’t want to do. THAT is work; a grind that wears you down in a hurry. Life is too short to live like that. I know, I have been there. One Saturday morning, I sat in the parking lot at work for ten minutes trying to talk myself into getting out of the car and going into work. I didn’t usually work on Saturdays, and the fact that I had to, for a job that I had grown to hate, really rubbed me the wrong way. I started looking for a new job the next day.
You have to understand what motivates you, what drives you, and then you can start the process of finding a job that fits you for the long haul. Once you dial this in, you now can look into a career; everything else before that will just be a job, and jobs are temporary. Self reflection is key to discovering what makes you happy, and the goal in life should be Happiness. You are a better person to the world, and will have more to contribute to the greater good, if you are a happy person. It doesn’t matter how many commas are in your ATM receipt, money does not make you happy. It buys better toys, and allows for much bigger distractions, but at the end of the day, it does not bring fulfillment and happiness.
Here is where I think way too many people get it wrong: buying into the myths that society creates. Many years ago, you were striving to get a factory job and work hard to make it to the day shift. If you were good, you got promoted, took on more responsibility and got paid more money. Eventually you put in enough time that you retired from that same job, got a gold watch and your pension, and road off into the sunset. That was your grandparents and maybe even great grandparents reality, but not yours. It is increasingly rare that someone stays at the same job for more than ten years. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, the average person will have 12 different jobs over a lifetime. If you spent forty years in the labor pool, that is just over 3 1/3 years at each job. If you hate your job, bail out ASAP.
If MOST people are switching jobs that often, why are you still at the job you hate? THAT is why you hate Mondays. It’s not that you have to go to work, it is because your job is sucking the life out of you. This is something you can change. Yes, I realize that it is not easy to find a job that you love, that pays the bills, etc., but it can be done. You are not destined to stay at what you are doing forever. Instead of letting things build up to the point of depression, misery, or boiling over and you quitting in a huff, start planning your escape now. Be sure to put money aside so that if you do quit, you have a safety net. Nothing is going to cause panic in your life more than driving out of the parking lot of your former job with no money in the bank and no job to earn money from in the meantime. Avoid setting yourself up for this scenario, start PLANNING an escape. Don’t wait until you make a decision and then have less than optimal consequences to deal with. Everyone knows the best time to find a job is when you already have a job. The smell of desperation lessens when you already have money coming in.
If you have read some of my other blogs, you are probably familiar with my contention that you should not make a job out of something you love to do. I firmly believe this will make the thing you love to do lose its appeal, and now you have ruined a former passion of yours. I know; I do it with racquetball. I scratched a living out of the sport I loved, and after five years in the Pros, I was burnt to a crisp. A lifetime’s worth of struggle and hard working, and I only was operating in my target zone for a short time. It was all racquetball all-the-time and I paid the price for that. I have played only a handful of tournaments over the past two decades because of this, despite having spent ages 16-30 on the court chasing that goal. My point is this: find something that you like to do as your job. You spend a minimum of 40 hours a week…2000 hours a year… at work. You need to find something that fits the bill of some level of enjoyment or pride, and paying the bills as well.
I believe making this leap will be the best thing for every part of your life. You will be a happier person overall, and of course this new attitude will spill over into the rest of your life. Instead of coming home in a grumpy mood, tired and emotionally spent, you can walk in the door happy to see whoever is waiting for you. Whether it be a spouse and kids or just a pet, everyone will benefit from you being a happier person. You will have energy and enthusiasm to do more, give more, BE MORE. Life is too short to live any other way. YOU deserve to be happy, and when you are happy, it is far easier for you to make others happy too. But it has to start with you; yes, there are others to consider and consulting with your spouse should be a big part of this decision, but there is only one person who can make that change.
Be bold, dictate what happens next. PLAN to extract yourself from this unhappy situation as soon as possible, but as strategically as practical. You can pull the plug any time, but if you want to ease the transition as much as possible and avoid as much of the stress from that as possible, map out a plan now.