My job sucks – in the new economy

Yes, it is true my job sucks – What about yours? There is a difference between toil (having a job) and work. Toil is what you do to pay the bills. Work is when your vocation and avocation are aligned. The issue is most of us, but not all, are still stuck in phase I that is toiling away at a J.O.B, or just over broke. Yes, it is the economy. Unless you are living on St. Thomas More’s ‘New Island Utopia’, where sloven and scarcity are mitigated by a six-hour workday and no commute, mind you,  drudgery for a meager living is not the way to go.

In the end, all jobs and human effort are noble. It is the way we serve each other. It is almost a virtue to do some boring labor as society needs someone to do this. The point of this post is simply saying start thinking about being an entrepreneur.

You have two options:

  1. Flounder around going from sucky job to sucky job
  2. Take action and start working on your own idea to sell to others
Work puppet masters
At the office there are so many puppet masters, it is either, plays or be played.

Your author is still doing both. Update, I left my job. It was too stressful and not worth it.

Yes like everyone I need to pay the bills while working on my own venture. Yet if your day job is affecting your life adversely hold you back, take a risk and leave.

Below are some reasons I recommend to start thinking of your own entrepreneurial ventures. The main reason is, in the new economy there is more chance of you giving yourself a raise then anything spectacular bonus from industrious servitude to your overseer.

Working is fun but jobs today seems to be either

  • Chaotic jobs – The last guy left your current position for a reason. If he felt slighted (usually the case) human nature kicks in, and he did not go out of his way to set it up for you. Your predecessor gets a slightly twisted pleasure to hear about your struggle through the grapevine of co-workers. This will validate their worth. Even in my current job the last person who had the job before me gave me no training but just jumped ship. When I got there it was pure chaos. Of course, my boss did not tell me this during the interview.
  • Crafty Puppet masters at work – It is now part of corporate culture in America to have puppet masters who stir the pot and play the game of corporate politics at a new level. Take a look at the guy in the cube to the right of you and the left of you. One of those ‘team players’ is really just a player. The best corporate puppet masters are those who act innocent, but plant the seeds and step back and what it all unfold from a distance. Machiavelli takes notes.
  • Co-workers are petty – Since companies do not pay well, the human brain will crave stimulation that is lacking outside their work life. This is because lack of R&R and money to spend on real fun. It is the new economy. For example, people take their kids to corn mazes in the county instead of a month at the beach or second summer home to regenerate. Therefore, to compensate they thrive on the drama at work and gossip too.
  • Ridiculously underpaid for the cost of living – What is my evidence? The housing market, the amount of disposable income and savings people have. Sure I know companies do not have money, but they actually do. See it is just the variable cost of labor is an easy place to squeeze more productivity per dollar so those management’s bonus kick in. I have been on both sides of the fence and this is how it works.
  • Education does not matter – Yep forget the 100k you or your folks invested in your graduate education. It seems for stability all you need is a six-month certification from an online or local school. Sure there are still a lot of professional jobs out there, I am a professional, it is more about very specific skills for a concrete duration, rather than a career and a gold watch anymore. Get an education for your own humanistic enrichment, not for your career. I mean come on an average CPA makes like 60k a year. Why not just get a certification in IT security and make double that. I could work at the outlet mall as a manager and make 60k. What is the point in getting an education? Personal enlightenment.
  • Boomtowns require relocation – Oklahoma and North Dakota are booming for example. But for me a preppy New England-er to move to the Midwest and watch the corn grow, I think I would rather move back to Europe. I looked at my old company that is relocating to Minnesota. Yep, F-ing Minnesota. Yeah right, I can see talking my wife into moving there from the semi-tropical island where we live on now, to be glued to in MI, anticipating the next Canadian arctic air mass. Therefore I am stuck in the local economy which sucks.
  • The economy should come back soon. Why? Why should it? Markets are not in equilibrium and we have more debt than ever. Prices were not allowed to deflate and people do not have money. Just because we have had a prolonged recession or slow growth does not mean anything. Look at Japan, they never came back. Their middle class works too much and live in small quarters and eat a lot of rice. Do you want that? Time is not a factor in economic recoveries if markets are in disequilibrium.

Hot jobs I do not recommend

  • Military – In my area, it is the Military or DOD connected or with defense. Not my cup of tea. People get sucked into this career and after they are out, they drift. I was talking to one ex-Marine Colonel who out in the real world is an assistant manager a KFC. Then he quit and went to work for a security firm in Afghanistan. Once they have you, they own you in many ways. A see a lot of tattooed Vets who can not compete with a wunderkind in IT, for a job. Sure Vets get 10% discounts on everything in the USA but they have trouble integrating back in the workforce. Many are on partial disability and have TBI. Do not join the army, yes it is a quick fix to your personal economic hardship and an ego inflator, but the army, really. Better is to hitchhike around Europe and chase girls and find yourself, reading books on philosophy and learn graphic design. When you get your feet back on the ground, your brain will be expansive and you will be an entrepreneur or employable. In the military, too much programming and you will have a hard time competing when you are out. Also, I know US history too well.
  • Government jobs – Met a guy last week that his first job out of school was for the government and worked 30 years of ‘public service’ and that was his life. He had zero personality. Yes, you too can have a boring, mind-numbing hopeless, white-bread life living in a D.R. Horton home (actually these home are not that bad) if you work for the State or Federal government.
  • Retail – Sure that is my dream, be a retail slave. Folding clothes made in China for low wages not enough to really have a life in the USA.
  • Cell phone companies and sales etc – These are hard jobs, commission-based. It does not matter what you sell, your boss will pump you up in the interview telling you top producers make over 100k. Troll Craiglist and ask yourself why there are so many sales jobs out there.
  • Careerism – Marketing, banking, insurance – not bad nor good. If you are starry eyed 20 something saying ‘I love my job”. Or like girls often say, ‘you have to love your job’. This is OK. Good for you. I love my family and I love God. Work is noble but a corporate career is not to be equated with virtue or goodness. Watch your back. It is just a paycheck. Do not forget the work/life balance.
  • Management – After working in management most of my life, I would rather be a senior analyst making 80k a year with low stress than make 100 +k and have everyone dump on you. The only real jobs are when they give you equity ownership in your efforts.

What jobs are good

  • Hospital or medical – Taking care of the sick is a calling and noble. It pays also. Not a bad profession.
  • Consider alternative careers where people are happy – I would say yoga teacher (only 200 hours for certification), massage therapist, writers, tour guide. Things that are really fun to do. Not for the money, so when the economy does bounce back you will be happy anyway. Find something that is fun for you. You will never get these years back, so you might as well do something fun.
  • Your own company – The only way to make money in a capitalistic economy is to be a capitalist. Own the process. My friends, make a cookie, another make popcorn, has a tour agency, sells hotdogs, makes sandwiches, another a yoga studio, and another daycare. They all do fine.
  • Anything – This post might seem a bit jaded because I have been working in corporate America, but there are many paths to a happy employment life.

What to do?

  • Pray – Do not give up. You can not give up. Ask God to help you in your life and work and your financial situation.
  • Read books – Read investing books and ideas to make money outside the traditional workplace. Books take time to write and a lot of thought has gone into most. I think you can read your way out of most problems in life as they are distilled wisdom and experience. Look everything can not come from China and Americans do not want it too. Use your imagination. Even I have entrepreneurial ventures in the fire.
  • Wait until the answer reveals itself to you. – Be patient. Do not factor in playing scratch lotto as part of your financial plan. Just know there is an answer to every problem. Money issues in rich America are not on par with financial problems living in the third world for example. Count your blessings.

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15 responses to “My job sucks – in the new economy”

  1. Greg

    For the most part what I read here is frustration. Frustration that there can be a better way of living. Frustration that a true utopia can be achieved in free market capitalism. Frustrated that this is good as its going to get. Full time jobs with part time pay.
    The name of the game is full employment. Military, government jobs, retail, toll takers, etc… Nothing has change since the Roman’s built walls in England. Today we call those jobs adventures and careers.
    What seems to be missing is joy. Simple joy and fun. Games that are not competitive. Hobbies that provide peace of mind. Dancing and loving. But we are the product of exactly what our parents wished for. Successful minions for whom they can boast about removing themselves as far away as possible from any responsibility in raising unhappy offspring’s. So today we have jobs. Once told to me as “just over broke”. Just enough work and money to keep the big wheels of discontent greased with out them ever breaking.

    1. Mark Biernat

      It is not frustration it is more shock. I moved from Poland to America and thought the American dream was somewhat alive. yes it is after a lifetime of hard work you can make a reasonable life. But unless you are an entrepreneur you will not break out. If that is the case moving to America does not offer a great advantage except for things like nice weather. I guess I expected something more upon my return.

      I mean there are pockets of prosperity, like you can go to North Dakota and live in a man camp and make money with the boom there now.

      1. Greg

        I’ve recently spent time with a several people looking for work. The whole process is so impersonal as they are online filling out forms. Often rejected because there are check box missing a check. Personal information missing,etc…. And then once your resume is sent off, you might get an email acknowledging it was received.
        Which brings me to opportunity. The days are long gone when a person of good faith, hard work ethics, enthusiasm could be referred by a friend or knock on a door and request to do a job application. Unless you go to the man camp.
        It appears there was a generation where everyone would get an education therefore never getting their hands dirty. Their education was more an entitlement than anything else. They use this entitlement like a bank robber with gun.
        Opportunity is a balance of shared wisdom, education, socialized work effort, and offering a basic sense of dignity to those who wish to grow within the culture of any particular business environment. What we have today is a system owners who really only offer a paycheck with little or no intent to offer a piece of the action. If you are good and tough enough, go for money because it appear nothing else really matters.

        1. Mark Biernat

          I keep on asking myself is it the economy or the region I live in? I tend to think it is the economy as a whole. Pretty much all my friends are not as thrilled with their job as they were when I left the States. The US has gone down hill at the work place from what my friends all grip about. In would be curious to hear if anyone is thrilled with their job and pay who lives in the USA? I am sure there are many people.

  2. Plasticmoney888

    Good post Mark.
    I say: Frustration with good reasons.

    “It is now part of corporate culture in America to have puppet masters who stir the pot, and play the game of corporate politics at a new level.”

    That is unfortunately to often the reality.
    They are Corpocrats, Career Co men, Company Social Climbers, The “It’s not what you do it’s who you know crowd”
    and the modern educated robots following them.

    “Get an education for your own humanistic enrichment,not for your career.”

    That’s exactly it.
    To many, it’s an automatic entitlement to better income.
    Sure, it’s part of your baggage but it’s not a result, it’s a tool. We can make use of it but we should not expect to be paid for it unless it is used to create value. The sad exception is working (Doing time)for the Government that still operate in the twilight Zone, a kind of parasites paradise.

    “Time is not a factor in economic recoveries if markets are in disequilibrium.”


    The FED is presently bailing out Europe.
    Yes I am not kidding check it out: Now “in 2013” despite what we hear they are still on bailout mode. Look how the Euro as moved up recently. Does this make any sense? Tel me why they have pumped so much money at the rate of 205 billion in Euro Banks having branch in the US “in the last 4 weeks”? This is huge and all this wile telling us via the media that the “open-ended QE is going on to take unemployment down.

    We have all been hijacked by Bureaucrats, Central Banks, Government and the Financial Sector. A free market does not work this way.

    “Met a guy last week that his first job out of school was for the government and worked 30 years of ‘public service’ and that was his life. He had zero personality.”

    A normal young men does no look for security first. This is the result of central planing and social engendering and guess what?
    He will have a nice funded pension fund and your paying for it.

    It is surprising that in a country that offered so much innovation
    so little is done to change or improve entities such as corporate structures. They have become magnet for narcissistic power hungry leaders and when it come to Government you wonder if sociopath tendency is not an attribute.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Government workers do get a free ride with benefits complement of my tax dollars. It is an issue. And I do love your point that young men should be creative and out to move mountains, instead often the aspirations are to get a government job.

  3. Greg

    I figured that Florida with its high percentage of retirement must has a fast turn over rate for things like housing. I’v read that areas of the west coast have become ghost towns to some respect.
    Perhaps what we need in the states is some kind of pol tax to start replacing this idiotic socialistic property tax. The property tax issue is putting people out of their houses. IN NJ where I’m living it seems that the school teacher and school administrators are living liking kings while real wages in the private sector is going down and down. Their is an absurdity to think that this nonsense can go on much longer. And what happens in America if you own your house but can’t pay your property taxes? You lose your house. Because the skewed tax system is destroying the true free market spirit.
    This all leads to the great post by Plasticmoney. I can’t say or add anymore at this point. Only that we are running out of place to go to gain some true market place freedom. Perhaps we forget the freedom and develop a welfare mentality and suck from the state, take a few happy pills to deal with our conscience, and just pretend we are free.

    1. Mark Biernat

      I have been 100,000 + for many years as well as mi minimum wage depending on my life situation. The main issue is there is a hollowing out of the middle class. A lot of 10 dollar or less jobs and then executives.
      You can find professional 60k jobs also, but not as plentiful and still requires a lot of work. So low wage jobs that are not enough. 60K jobs that with the commute demand your whole life are not the way to go for this economy.

      I do think tax relief and reform work help. It is a good point. I do think Fed policy is out of control. In the short term, for me, I am going back to entrepreneurism as working is not the ideal situation for the long term.

  4. Plasticmoney888

    The AC business is almost constant in South Florida.
    You can’t live with out AC.
    Invest in a few adds in the local papers, the phone will ring and there you go. I know this is an over simplification but repairs of all kinds are still very good businesses for young entrepreneurs especially if they do “quality work”. Labor quality, to say the least is questionable in S Florida so when you are qualified and do a excellent job you will be in demand.

    Note: (It’s s hard work)

    1. Mark Biernat

      Good idea, that type of trade is fun as is a combination of physical and mental. I am a director of a hotel right now (man that is hard work) and I think the maintenance guys changing light bulbs and AC air filters make better money.

      I personally and sticking to mental work, as I have a bad back from working at UPS in school.

      That being said I have a Masters and years of experience in IT and Accounting. Jobs are not hard to find, just not where I live in Florida. I guess the choices in Florida are the big cities of Tampa and Miami or Jacksonville but the quality of life is not the same as I might have living on an island like Anastasia island or any rural setting in Florida. Basically you have the metropolis or nothing.

      I have a few irons in the fire for mental entrepreneurship, as selling intellect, can pay more than physical work. Yet if I was 21 I think I would do AC.

      Your point is good, you need a niche or a skill. Unskilled labor is the worst paying.

      I might swap my ‘responsible job’ (heavy is the head that wears the crown) for a easy space out job until I can finish my other projects.

  5. Plasticmoney888

    I am positive on some opportunities but I am not naive about this so call recovery. A recovery with 48 million Americans on food stamps is only possible with mysterious statistics and a bias financial medias.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Unemployment went up, GDP went down, retail sales since the increase in taxes for some reason went down, Europe is slipping a bit and this does not help the USA. We all drank the same message.

      See when a politician or economist says lets fix this crisis by taking from one group of people and give to another group and let government spend our way out. The message is simple and gets a lot of support.

      Yet when the other side tries to explain that wealth accumulation comes from years of work, saving and innovation, people’s eyes glaze over as they want it all now.

      So the economy could recover but needs a reason why. Maybe it will be all this North Dakota oil or some metaphorical perpetual motion machine, but there needs to be a greater reason than forced wealth distribution.

  6. Plasticmoney888

    What I don’t get are economist like “Keynesian’s” P Krugman (Rock Star of the Leftard)that still suggest that the economy need even more stimulus but at the same time suggesting higher rates of taxation. How do you get a Nobel prize contradicting your self this way?

    He seems to think that the US should look at Sweden but such example is a combination of misleading comparisons and ignorance.

    Sweden as a lower population than Georgia and a cultural homogeneity that certainly does not apply in the US but at any rate such a example is misleading and he should know that the Corporate taxes in Sweden is lower than in the US it’s about 22%, one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Western Europe..”Sweden has cut its public debt to 33% of GDP from a high of nearly 80% in the 
    1990s. It has also kept the budget at or near balance.”
    They have learned from past mistakes.

    The US administration and all there Pro Keynesian ideologue are doing the exact opposite and still growing and funding the hold welfare state utopia. In a way we could say they are funding poverty.

  7. Greg

    I visited an Amish community in December. You don’t know what you are missing. No unemployment. But no electricity. Perhaps all our employment ills are directly related to having electricity. Our dependency’s are our drug. We’ve have contaminated our lives with machines that seem barely serve anything but the manufacturers and the repair men. We’ve have now reach a new low with high tech devices. We have put ourselves at the prey of electronic socialization and information. Go to the store, forget the list, call home to see what we need. Need to talk to someone, text them endlessly. Forget meeting them. But if you do meet them, you may be disappointed with their company. Because they may spend all their time texting.
    So why not just turn off your electric for a few days. And find the peace that other cultures still practice.

  8. Plasticmoney888

    One positive thing about the Amish community they don’t operate on excess credit and that a big plus.

    Other than wars,Excess Credit and Leverage is the cause of almost all economic collapse.

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