Everyone can get a job they love. Some people just get lucky and find it earlier in life. For those who haven’t found it yet, don’t stop trying! Actually ENJOYING your job can make a MASSIVE difference in your everyday happiness.
The waiting process can be hard, and what you do during that time can make all the difference.
The Golden Cage
People have to be very careful when they take a job that pays well, but they don’t enjoy. It can become a slowly moving trap that becomes harder and harder to break free from the longer they’re in it.
Here’s how it starts.
Jacob found a great job that seems like a good fit for now. It’s in different industry than he wants to eventually work, but he tells himself it pays well, and it’s a decent fit for now.
After a year on the job Jacob gets a nice raise and decides to buy himself a new car and a better apartment.
After two years, Jacob hasn’t found any jobs yet in the career he wants, but he’s doing well at his current one. The money is good. He’s had another promotion, which gives him some extra money to travel.
Three years in and the monotony of his job is starting to get to him. He’s thinking of quitting to take a job in an area he really likes, but… he gets another promotion. Jacob decides to keep working at his job while he looks for something better paying in the field he likes.
Four years in and Jacob just bought a house and another new car. He’s beginning to really dread going to his job. He’s found a new job in a field he loves, but the salary is less than half of what he makes now. How can he justify taking such a large pay cut? He’d have to sell his house, one of his cars….
I’ve talked to a few “Jacobs” in my time, and it’s usually the same story. The job wasn’t too bad. It paid too well, and eventually the only experience they had was in a career they didn’t really enjoy.
The cost to switch careers at that point can be pretty painful, and unless the REALLY don’t enjoy their current job, most don’t make the switch.
How can it be avoided?
Saving is the Key to Freedom
If you find yourself taking a job that you don’t enjoy for the money, you first need to realize this job is only temporary. Eventually you are going to switch to another career, and you need to prepare for that.
Switching career paths usually involves a pay cut, so you’ll need to be able to live off the lower salary. That means you need to keep your fixed costs low. Keep renting the cheap apartment if you have to; drive a car that’s far below what you can afford; don’t take expensive trips on your credit card.
Save as much money as you can while working at the “money job,” because that saved money means you’re going to have more options when it comes to what types of jobs you can take.
Don’t get comfortable with the money you’re making at the “money job.” It’s just a means to get to the job you really enjoy. Money does not bring happiness. Doing what you enjoy every day does.
I once worked a job that paid well, but would sometimes bring me to literal tears during my commute, and I can tell you no amount of money is worth it. I’ve walked away from multiple companies & jobs that brought in a lot of money, but were too taxing on my happiness.
Leaving those companies was the best decision I ever made.
It’s surprising how our minds can adapt to awful conditions. The longer we’re in them, the longer we believe them to be normal. It’s only after you get away from them do you really realize just how unhappy you were.