How many times have you heard the old cliche ‘love what you do’? I’m guessing too many times. I actually hate that saying! It feels like one of those unattainable ideals that we’re supposed to live up to; like having a supermodel body, having a perfect relationship or never getting a zit. What if you just like your job? You don’t hate it, but if you won the lottery tomorrow you’d be handing in your notice lightning fast and packing up to travel the world or do whatever it is you ACTUALLY really love. If you all of a sudden had endless amounts of cash and wouldn’t change a thing about your life (you’re lying!) then yes, maybe you actually do love what you do but that’s not the norm…not even close. I bet there are way more people out there that hate their jobs with a passion than love them with a passion. And you know what, that’s ok? Well, maybe not hating your job that much but there’s nothing wrong with just being so-so about it.
For a lot of people (me included) working is a means to an end. I go to work, put in the hours, cash my pay cheque and use that money to fund the things that are important to me. I’m lucky to have a great job and work with great people, so I enjoy my hours at the office but I enjoy my hours out of the office even more. And really, what’s so bad about having to put in the time to earn money and build a life for yourself? Everything can’t be all champagne and chocolate all the time! Having the ability to work for yourself is a relatively new concept. Our parents didn’t have the technology to become famous on Instagram or Twitter or even to make money through blogging. Sure, some people ran their own businesses, but it’s been a recent phenomenon for the entrepreneur lifestyle to be so highly regarded. I’m sure many of my fellow ‘Millenials’ (whether they’ll admit it or not) would be all to happy to bump up their number of followers and run a successful blog. I’m not judging…I totally get it! However, it’s worth thinking about how your parents made their money and if that was really so awful.
“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Ever heard that one before? Let’s be honest, no one actually believes that right… Even those people who have a total dream job have bad days, and I bet those bad days feel a lot like work. Think of a person who you think has the greatest job in the world. Maybe it’s a big name Hollywood actor or a blogger who works for themselves and brings in six figures a month. I guarantee you even those people have to deal with crappy co-workers, online trolls or just plain old lack of motivation. Having days where you hate your job doesn’t mean you’re in the wrong line of work, it means you’re human…just like everybody else.
There is so much hype out there about becoming your own boss and having an entrepreneurial spirit, but that also comes with a lot of added pressure. Working for yourself means that you no longer have a steady salary to fall back on and you are 100% responsible for every dollar that comes in and goes out. In some ways, that’s great and might be exactly what you want, but there is a downside. People who work for themselves are rarely off the clock and are more likely to be answering emails at 10 pm, always interacting on social media or waking up in the middle of the night in a panic because they forgot to send something out.
You should also consider the added group benefits that are often included when you work for a large company. Health benefits, profit sharing, pension plans, and insurance are all things you’ll have to pay for out of your own pocket if you’re your own boss, and those things aren’t cheap. Sometimes having a day job where you can leave work at the office and your weekends are all freedom doesn’t sound so bad right?
I’ve got a foot in both worlds right now. I have a (mostly) full-time day job that I enjoy but never imagined myself doing, and then I’m a part-time blogger. When people used to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was never once a ‘financial advisor.’ It’s something I sort of fell into and have stuck with for almost 8 years with no signs of quitting anytime soon (unless I win the lottery!) I finished University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and no real plan for what I was going to do with my life. Topping my list at that moment was to work for a bit, save money and then maybe go back for another round of university (I like school, what can I say). My previous work experience had been mainly admin jobs, so that’s what I started looking for. The hunt brought me to an interview with a financial advisor to be an administrative assistant and, well, the rest is history. I started out doing pretty basic work but was reliable and was eventually given more and more responsibility. After a few years, I had to make a decision whether to stick with it and hopefully continue to grow or pack up my things and go back to school. Obviously, I went with option #1, and that brought me to writing my Canadian Securities exams and becoming an advisor. The takeaway from my employment history? Don’t knock it til you try it…that bridge job might just turn into your career.
Working a day job might not give you the same thrill or instant gratification as being an entrepreneur, but it’s also a lot less risky. There’s nothing wrong with being satisfied in a job you just like and it’s often the most reliable way to hit your long term goals.
How do you guys feel about your current job; love it, like it, hate it? Are you willing to settle when it comes to your career or are you on the path to your dream job?