Living in the times which present us with more freedom and opportunities than ever, it makes one wonder why there are still so many people in the world who voluntarily work in jobs which they openly admit to hate. It has become a plague of some kind. There’s even a trend for music videos and songs which talk about these dreaded workdays and the desire to escape: Laurent Wolf’s ‘No Stress’, Avicii’s ‘I Could Be The One’, Stromae’s ‘Alors On Danse’ or Hilary Duff’s ‘Chasing The Sun’ to name just a few.
However, what amazes me the most is that when I talk to these people, it seems like they think it’s the way it’s supposed to be. Have we become so used to hating our jobs that we have come to believe that its the way life simply is?
The saddest truth that I was lucky to realize very early in my life is that in the end work is where you spend the most of your time on Earth. If you’re working a 9-5 job 5 days a week, with a couple of weeks of vacation per year, you’re spending around 70% of the time you’re awake in your job. It makes me wonder how so many people can stand to spend the majority of their life doing something they hate. To me, it sounds like a rather gloomy perspective for living ones life.
One of my friends recently told me that he wants to have a family in the future so that he has something to look forward to while he’s stuck in the office the whole day. He said that as long as he will have this perspective, he is willing to work in a place he doesn’t like. However, for me this sounds way too close to the scenario of spending the whole day doing something he hates only to come back home exhausted, spend maybe an hour or two with his family (if he’s lucky) and then collapse onto the bed, sleep, wake up the next morning and do it all over again. Wow! What a lovely life ahead of us…
I do not understand why even people my age who are only entering the job market, already assume that they will be doing something that will make them feel miserable. It’s like they have given up on their passions and dreams, because they have been taught that this is a sign of maturity and growing up.
When faced with all these reflections, people often come up with excuses, such as: ‘I need to earn a living somehow’, ‘I can’t afford to leave my job’, ‘It’s impossible to turn my passion into work’, ‘It’s to risky to start something on my own’, ‘I need to gain experience first and then I will think about setting up something on my own’. I do not want to offend anyone but let’s face it: when you look closely, you will realize that these reasons are all driven by either fear or laziness. It’s a lot harder to actually take the time to look for a job you might like and to even get to know yourself well enough to be able to tell what could bring you real fulfillment. It’s a lot more work to set up your own business. In the end, people who are serious about creating their own reality, do not wait for the right time or bother about gaining experience first. They just go ahead and take action, often struggling for some time, surrounded by fearful and disapproving voices of their friends and families. The truth is, people who stay stuck in their hated jobs simply choose the comfort and the illusory safety of having a stable salary appear on their account each month. And they’d rather keep complaining and blaming other people, economy and circumstances than do something about it.
Don’t understand me wrong. There are obviously situations in life where you have no choice and you need to have the money to put food on your plate. Maybe at this particular moment it’s the only job you were able to get. But the biggest mistake is to give up and stay in such a job. You can still choose to be proactive – search for better opportunities, think about the steps you need to take to reach your desired destination, think about the ways you can turn things you actually enjoy doing into profitable ventures, learn new skills that will help you move forward. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. There are hundreds of stories about people who went from nothing to millionaires because they had the courage to act on their ‘childish’ ideas. It takes real courage to admit that you are responsible for the position you are in right now. It’s the choices that you have made that have brought you here and perhaps this realization is the hardest part of the journey to a better life.
I believe that every single human being deserves and is capable of creating the life of their dreams. And yes, this also means YOU! YOU deserve to spend the most of your life doing things that you’re passionate about, spending quality time with your family and friends. You simply need to wake up and take action! I agree with the classical economist, Adam Smith who said that only if people are lead by their seemingly egoistic desires, can they make the true contribution to the society as a whole. If you’re doing what you love, you’re creating the positive energy and oftentimes great products or services. Everyone is better off when the community is filled with people like that.