Day 264: Jobs that suck the life out of you

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This morning as I getting my whits about me to start my day, I was struck by the thought of how many people work at jobs they hate simply because they are too afraid to leave…and how that infects nearly every aspect of a person’s life.  You know those people…or you’ve been one…or you still are one.  Sunday night rolls around and you aren’t focused on the late night NFL game…or curled up on the couch with a good book.  No, you are already dreading the next five days.

Reluctantly you grab your phone or go to your computer to see what the morning may have in store for you.  Maybe there’s a wave of relief that washes over you as you realize there’s no impending doom waiting for you…..or, the bottom falls out of your stomach as you read some email that is sure to ruin not only your night, but also the next day and probably the day after that too.  It’s no different than the feeling we used to get as kids when we didn’t want to go to school the next day…only there is one big difference.  You had to go to school.  You don’t have to go to a shitty job that sucks the life out of you.

Usually, the worst jobs disguise themselves as something not-so-terrible.  Where they almost make you feel lucky to have the job…or any job, really…but super fortunate to work where you do under the stress you do.  Because, after all, it takes someone really talented (insert the word “dumb”) to be able to do the job you do.  It’s not something that just anyone (smart) can do because only someone with your skill set (insert the words “low self esteem”) can handle.

You know the job I’m talking about.  The one that acts like every crisis is the end of the world.  Where every minor dust up makes you wonder if your brief case is packed full of baby hearts instead of annual reports.  I mean, it has to be something that can solve world hunger because there’s absolutely no reason for a grown ass man to through a child like tantrum….right?  I mean, surely someone is going to die if we miss the deadline, right???  Um. No.  No one is going to die…not even you.  Remember, this is just a job and you aren’t a brain surgeon…unless you are.

You probably just work in an environment with a lot of people that need a certain level of chaos to feel needed…useful…important.  And as a result, you are turning into one of those people too.  No matter how much you said you wouldn’t…it’s happening.  How can it not?  Maybe it’s not happening at work though…because too many chiefs running around solving problems means the tops guys (insert the word “dicks”) won’t have anything to do.  That’s right, you’ve learned the delicate art of letting some shit slip past you so they can feel worthy of collecting, cashing, and spending their massive paychecks.

More than likely, you’ve brought this learned behavior home.  It’s infecting your life and possibly the lives of your friends and family as everything around you takes on a certain edge.  You can’t just be happy for folks because you are now programmed to look for the smoking gun.  If someone is too happy it’s because they are hiding how miserable they are…or aren’t being honest with you….or worse.  You see evil where there’s simply something different than what you were expecting to see.

You have resigned yourself to keep that shitty job because you now believe you aren’t capable of finding as good a job somewhere else…because that’s what they’ve been telling you for months…or even years.  They use phrases like “Don’t ruin a good thing.”  or “Don’t make a decision you’ll regret.”  or “Did you ever think you’d have this title or make this kind of money?”  Those are secret code words that translate in all languages to “RUN”  “GET OUT”  “DO NOT PASS GO OR COLLECT $200”

Now I’m not advocating for you to pack up and walk out tomorrow without a contingency plan.  Not at all.  What I am advocating is that you spend some time this holiday season asking yourself some important questions.  Do you believe the shit you’re being fed everyday?  Does this job make you happy or progress the goals that are important to you?  Is this job leading you somewhere or is it a pitstop from which you can’t get the engine to start?  Does this job contribute to the happiness of you and your family?  

Only you know what are acceptable answers to these questions.  But I’ve been watching far too many people settle for shit lately…and seeing how it’s impacting their lives outside of work.  I see people that are becoming shells of themselves and for what?  A so-so paycheck?  To make someone else’s life easier because quitting would mean they have to do extra work?  Don’t stay out of guilt.  The only person that you’ll disappoint if you do is yourself.  And you won’t even realize that’s the case until years later when you’ve wasted even more time.

So in 2015, what’s important to you?

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