A common topic of this blog is how much I hate my job. I talk about the reasons why a little in this post.
I honestly don’t know how long it’s been since I actually enjoyed my job…since I felt fulfilled…since I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning. My best guess…it’s been over 2 years.
That’s a long time to be miserable.
Fortunately, I’ve realized that it’s all my fault. Every morning, I’m choosing to get up, get dressed, and drive to a place that makes me miserable and surround myself with people who have no ambition.
And for what?
Money, I guess.
A steady paycheck is a fairly good incentive apparently.
Plus, I’m decent at my job. It’s become second-nature and I’ve figured out the ways to deal with the corporate bullshit. I’ve gotten really good at being on autopilot.
But that’s not much of a life, is it?
I’m constantly trading stress, depression, copious amounts of caffeine, high blood pressure, boredom, and the constant thought that I’m wasting my life for a paycheck.
I’m better than that. My co-workers know that. My customers can sense it too. I often get compliments on how I’ll be the boss some day from customers. I know that they mean well, but no thanks.
Besides, those are all shallow relationships. I’ve gotten good at the small talk but that’s not something to be proud of. They don’t know the real me. They don’t know that it’s a struggle to go to work every…single…day.
Who knows what they’ll think if they knew the real me and what my ambitions really are.
Not that that matters much.
What does matter however is why the f*ck do I continue to force myself to go to work when it clearly makes me miserable and it feels like a waste of time?!
I guess because it’s convenient and because I don’t know what I’d do for money instead.
Both those are just excuses that I keep telling myself.
The real reason is because I’m scared. I’m not sure of exactly what so this post will hopefully clear some things up for me….and for you if you find yourself in the same boat.
Bullshit Excuse #1: I don’t know what else is out there or what I’d be good at. I just know what I don’t want.
Solution: Well, no shit. Besides thinking about being a freelance writer, I haven’t really looked into anything else. I didn’t fully research that either because I was too busy with the 180k Word Challenge. That caused me to be busier but that didn’t make me more productive.
I don’t think another job would be the solution though. I’ve realized that hourly pay isn’t the way to go but that will be another post in itself soon.
So that leaves the self-employment route, otherwise known as starting a business. I have a couple of ideas that I think are awesome but haven’t executed on any of them. Again, I think the 180k Word Challenge was hampering my progress with this but now I don’t have that excuse.
It’s time to take action.
Bullshit Excuse #2: I’ll have a hard time finding something that pays as well.
Solution: This is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I think it’s hard, it will be. It’s like that saying, “if you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”
I’m going into this completely wrong.
I make a lot for the position I hold, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that much. Plus, it’s not all about how much you make, it’s more about how much you can save.
I could probably take a lower paying gig and we’d be okay. I could always figure out some side hustles to make up the difference. Coming up with a couple hundred dollars a month probably isn’t as difficult as I’m making it out to be.
I’ve done this before. I got this.
Bullshit Excuse #3: Banking is all I know!
Solution: I need to realize that it really isn’t. I’ve only done it 3 of the 26 years I’ve been alive. There’s a lot of other facets of my life. There’s gotta be a way I can make some sort of income from those! I’m selling myself short.
Bullshit Excuse #4: Where else can I find such good benefits?!
Solution: They really aren’t anything extraordinary.
Plus, I’d be still be able to have health insurance thanks to my wife. Paid vacation and paid time off is pretty sweet but the ability to set my own schedule and control my time would be even better. Not to mention, I’d save money from no longer holding my job.
The big difference would probably be no longer having a 401(k.) The employer match is pretty sweet but there’s still plenty of others ways I can save for retirement.
Bullshit Excuse #5: I have bills to pay!
Solution: Build up a “F*ck You” Money Fund. It’s a fancy way of saying that I need to save up a decent amount of monthly expenses so I can afford to say “screw it, I quit” when things get really bad at work.
Cutting back on expenses won’t hurt either.
Bullshit Excuse #6: I’m comfortable with my job. I might not like whatever else I try to do even less.
Solution: Realize that being comfortable isn’t necessarily a good thing. It’s actually quite bad.
I’m not being challenged; I’m just going through the motions at work. You’re either growing or declining so in this sense, it’s a huge negative.
Feeling like I waste 40 hours of my life each week at work is a bad thing.
I know what the current situation is like; all the cards are on the table. I won’t know if I like anything else more if I don’t even try! Plus, that “F*ck You” Money will come in handy with this excuse.
Bullshit Excuse #7: I know how to put up with the corporate bullshit so why rock the boat?
Solution: Being numb isn’t a good thing. It’s nothing to be proud of. It’s not a skill to brag about.
I need to use the corporate bullshit as fuel to help me finally make my escape for good!
Bullshit Excuse #8: Not every day is bad and I don’t mind my co-workers that much.
Solution: What’s good about being forced to wake up early every week day morning, spend 5 minutes “enjoying” breakfast, and sitting in traffic for 30 minutes on the way to work? What’s good about having to rush to eat lunch in 30 minutes? What’s good about counting down the minutes until you close starting 5 minutes after you open?
What’s good about not having any time to go to doctor’s appointments and stuff like that so you have to do it on your half days off?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
They say you’re most influenced by the top 5 people you spend the most time with. If that’s really the case then they’re mostly all miserable, lack ambition, and don’t want to lead an extraordinary life. They’re used to playing it safe.
Where’s the fun in that? Plus, that won’t help me any in my quest for self-employment!
Bullshit Excuse #9: I only have to do this for about 5 more years.
Solution: No, I really don’t!
We have a huge goal that will take about 5 years to accomplish. I haven’t shared it yet because we still have some research to do before it goes “live.”
This job should be like my fall-back school…if nothing else works, I know I can always do this. As long as I don’t burn my bridges and they find out that I know how to work the system, I’m good to go.
I need to treat this job as my safety net; not as my number 1 choice.
This is the time to try out those business ideas! If they fail, I at least have a steady source of income. If they’re successful, I can put in my 2-weeks even sooner.
Bullshit Excuse #10: I got a degree in Finance so I should stay in the Finance industry.
Solution: This was the reasoning that made me go back to banking in the first place. It’s flawed logic.
I shouldn’t pigeon-hole myself into a corner.
I should leave if it makes me miserable…I shouldn’t stay just because I have a background in it. People change industries all the time.
I’m not necessarily looking to change industries; I’m trying to change lifestyles so it shouldn’t matter what subject I got a degree in…or even the fact that I have a degree.
I won’t need that where I’m looking to go. And you don’t either.
This exercise helped me figure out the plan for me to escape from my dead-end job. Basically, I need to save up as much as I can and start working on those business ideas. It also wouldn’t hurt to look more into freelance writing gigs.
Ignorance isn’t bliss. Creating a plan is. It makes going into work this morning a little more bearable.
Give it a try if you’re in the same boat. What’s the worst that could happen?
(Photo courtesy of Gary Vaynerchuk.)
Yeah, we all use a lot of bullshit reasons to keep doing what we’re doing. Truth is that it’s easier for most people to deal with a known quantity (let’s say “Weekly Suffering X”) than it is to change things up (which results in an unknown quantity of Weekly suffering. Might be > X, might be <). There's so much fear, uncertainty, and inertia around making a move that we just tend to punt the move until things reach a head and we feel as though we don't have a choice anymore: We *must* make a change.
If you're miserable every day and having trouble going to work, your body is trying to tell your mind something. It's probably time. And as you said, what's the worst that can happen?
Good luck thinking things through.
Fear and greed drive a lot of decisions. Fear of the unknown is a big one. I wonder if weekly suffering is quantifiable and if so what my score would be!
Ah, “Stop doing shit you hate” – love it, though many would say that it’s easier said than done. But my response to that is, common to this very blog post, “bullshit”. It’s a hell of a lot easier than most people think it is, but when you already have a negative attitude going in, it’s tough to break out of that.
To me, 5-year plans are the best kinds of plans to have. They are far enough away that you still have a lot of time to make happen, but it’s also not so far into the future that you lose sight of what you’re striving for. I bet that if you save every penny for the next 5 years, you’d be pretty close to covering your expenses based on those savings, leaving any additional income you’re able to generate through writing or any other side hustle to be icing on the cake. No more bank work.
I too once had a fear of the unknown, but as soon as I realized that things usually work themselves out if you go into it with a positive attitude and an expectation of success, fear generally melts away. At least it did in my case.
It is a lot easier said than done but as long as you spend some time each day getting you closer to your goals, you’ll get there eventually.
We have a pretty solid 5-year plan that includes a huge life change but it helps us get excited to go to work each and every day.
I could stay at the bank longer and we’d have a lot saved up but I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it that long!
We have a solid idea of where we want to go and how to get there, it’s more so a question of when now.
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[…] over at Self Employed Movement penned an impassioned post about bullshit excuses that we tell ourselves that keep us working the same bullshit jobs. If you’re heading […]
It’s great that you’re asking yourself the tough questions and not pulling your punches. Good on you. One tidbit of advice: if you see yourself as “better than” a job, it’s a slippery slope to misery. When you do the whole self-employed thing, you will have to do a lot of things that may seem beneath you, and if you reach FI, you’ll stay financially independent by being willing to do unglamorous tasks rather than paying other people to do them for you. And, I should say, I totally understand feeling better than a job or a task or a company! It’s natural, and comes from ambition and aiming high. But it’s still toxic, mostly to the person feeling that way, so be better than that feeling and let it go. Doing so will make it easier to stick it out in the job as long as you need to, and that same humble attitude will serve you well when you forge out on your own.
I get where you’re coming from so thanks for that.
I don’t feel like being “just” a teller is beneath me or anything like that. I’ve always been very ambitious with everything I’ve done…always looking forward to what’s next so it’s tough to remain constant in my job without seeking a promotion or anything like that.
I’ve worked with my dad and I did lots of the dirty work which I never minded. We’d have to do it all because literally there’s no one else that would do it if we didn’t. Working in a classic motorcycle shop, I had the less glamorous tasks but I’d rather bust my ass for myself than just go through the motions like I’m currently doing.
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