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:
- Flounder around going from sucky job to sucky job
- Take action and start working on your own idea to sell to others
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 weather.com 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.