Do not share this post on your company’s network, your boss may find out. If you are a boss, then you should be comfortable that the following reasons do not apply to your employees, and to test that assumption, you can share it. You have been warned.
Doing a job is OK. I know a few people who enjoy the work they do, and are very happy with their current state of affairs.
But then there are reasons for doing a job that just do not make sense.
Reason to quit #1: There is no such thing as “Job Security”
Here’s what the society has somehow agreed upon: a business is risky, and a job is more secure.
For years, I thought I was taking a bigger risk because I was self-employed and my friends were more “secure” because they were doing a job.
Till one after the other, they got fired.
When you are doing a job, you really have all of your eggs in one basket (or in control of a basket case if your boss is an emotionally imbalanced, egotistical being).
You income is dependent on one stream; your job.
But if you are not ‘holding down a job’, you have the time and the clear incentive to build multiple skills. You can – as many entrepreneurs recommend – get multiple streams of income instead of just one.
Which is a riskier proposition now?
Reason to quit #2: You are paid for your time, never for the value your create
If I create a product or a service, I charge for it based on the market value. If someone hires me to do the exact same thing, they will pay me by the hour.
Companies pay their employees based on the value of the employee’s time. They hardly pay them based on the value that was created because of the time spent.
Trading time for money is just too inefficient. We ought to be trading value for money.
As long as you are doing a job, especially in one of those corporates, you simply can not get paid for the value your work brings.
Reason to quit #3: There are better ways of gaining experience
While in college, I was given this advice the most.
I was told that the best way to gain experience about business is to start a job at the bank; they deal with money and businessmen, so it only makes sense that you’ll learn from them.
Experience is very important, make no mistake. Einstein said that “Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.”
But next time you’re told (or you tell yourself) that you need a job to gain experience, just ask the person to define the word, “experience”.
If I want experience in playing football, the only way to do that is to get a ball and hit it. It will be stupid to try to gain experience of playing football by working in a football factory, or a sports shop. “Many footballers come here, you’ll know about playing football by meeting them”. No you won’t.
The real experience of doing business will only come once you start your business. You have your own mistakes to make. Sooner the better.
Reason to quit #4: You will have no social life / have a limited social life
Observe anyone doing a job, especially if it’s a high-paying job, and you’ll see that their social life is either non-existent or severely limited.
Maybe you feel the same way about your social life right now.
Meeting the same people everyday, and then meeting their families over the weekend, is not a social life. Well it technically is, but it is very limited.
I know a lot of people who WANT to meet new people, catch up with older friends, interact with different groups and communities, but they don’t have the time nor the energy left after 5 to 6 days of work per week. I know I won ‘t have the energy either.
The job sucks the (social) life out of you.
Doing a job you do not like, and then sacrificing the wonderful experience of meeting new people, is a bad tradeoff. To live a life like that is disastrous indeed.
Reason to quit #5: You will never have enough time left!
Want to start exercising? No time.
Want to get the hell out of here, go to the mountains, breathe actual fresh air? No time.
Hey, let’s learn a new skill! I know, let’s learn how to ride a horse? No time.
Mountaineering? No time.
Painting? No time.
I am bored, let’s go out for coffee? Huh, you crazy, I have a job! I have NO TIME!
Start a family? I am focused on my career, no time.
How about keeping a freakin pet parrot? Can you keep a parrot? Same answer, NO TIME!
Yup, if nothing else, it is this reason that would make me reconsider my job if I had one. One life to live, and there is so much to do, to see, to be! Sitting behind a desk is sometimes necessary but life doesn’t happen behind the desk.
Unchain yourself. Cut the tie that ties you to the desk.
Reason #6: You will be bored
The mind numbing job is what is on offer. Companies today have mastered the art of systems, and they want to hire only the lowest denominator.
Essentially, if you can “follow instructions”, you are a good fit. Everything else is just repetition and going through the motions. And for many, this repetition kills all creativity. That’s why you hear terms like, “working like a robot” because you follow a set of actions, as if your bosses are waiting for someone to invent a robot to replace you.
Most jobs lead to utter boredom. There are better options and people all around you are doing them. As Bertrand Russel writes in Conquest of Happiness, the opposite of happy is not sad, it is bored.
A man interested in his work is a happy man.
Reason #7: Your Life will be Your Job
This is a biggie.
Your work tends to define you. And that’s fine, I think it should. But the work that defines you is the work that you rather not do?
Forget the fact that to live a wholesome life, you need to make time for your spiritual, financial, physical and mental fitness. Forget the fact that life has more to it than just your job or your work.
But your life is based around the kind of work that you just don’t like!? Tell me, five years from now, will you be happier that you are doing the job that you’re doing? You may or may not have more money, but do you enjoy the work, and can find meaning within it?
That brings us to the only reason when it shouldn’t matter if you are doing a job or not.
The 1 Reason To Not Quit Your Job
If you love what you do, if you’d pay to do it anyways, then working that job is awesome.
I will always remember watching this episode on NatGeo. They were interviewing the pilot of the Harrier jet, and he said, “I can’t believe they are paying me to fly this. I’d pay to fly this.”
I have always tried to be working on projects that I can say the same thing about. I do not always succeed. But there are times that I do succeed, by God’s Grace. And that makes it all worth it.
And this whole “find your passion” brigade that has been around the internet, infesting your YouTube and your social feeds, I don’t really buy into that. “Find Your Passion” is bad advice at worse, and incomplete advice at best. It is translated as “if I stop enjoying it, it means it’s not my passion” which is ridiculous: some of the most important pieces of work you’d ever do may take everything from you! It may consume you, it may frustrate you, it may at times even defeat you. But you’d know that at the end of it, it is worth it.
So said another way, the only reason you shouldn’t quit your job is if you find it meaningful. If you are able to win the battle of desire vs duty, if you are able to sacrifice your now for a better future… then your job is indeed a gift to cherish. And to be the best at.
The employees working at a good company will find none (or most) of the above reasons to be true for them (If you are a business owner of such a business, I think it is something to be very proud of).
Please note, quitting one’s job, and starting one’s business is not for everyone. I never pretend that everyone should be self employed. The world has variance and that’s what makes it beautiful.
I do very strongly believe that everyone can be happy, creative and interested in the work they are doing. It is in fact a worthy cause to work towards, to fight for, to share across to your friends.
Do you think that your job is holding you back? Or is it a long term project that makes you happy? I wish you all the best.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Krebs