That’s how much of our day is spent at work, not including the time we spend getting ready for work and the commute.
Imagine hating your life for 1/3 of the day. If that seems like a lot of time to hate your life, it is.
So why do we put up with it and stay in jobs we hate?
The time and money
We spent a lot of time and money to get where we are today. Student loans, 4 years of university, time we’ve spent at our jobs — it all adds up. But more often than not, it’s not the time and money we’ve spent that gets in the way, it’s our pride. We don’t want to admit that we spent tens of thousands of dollars to get into a job we hate, that we spent 4 years in college and then worked another decade doing something we despise.
But that time and money spent is what us accountants call a sunk cost. We can never get that back and staying in a job you hate isn’t going to help turn back time and you won’t miraculously start loving it.
If you’ve already worked a year, even 2 years in your field of study, you’ve probably already made your money back. The only thing we can’t get back is time and if that’s that case, why sink anymore of your time into hating your life for 8 hours a day?
That dreaded question
I wrote a whole blog post on why I hate this question.
“What do you do?”
It’s the very first thing that people ask you and they have no qualms about it. It’s become the natural go-to question when we first meet someone.
There’s something about this question that encompasses all of society’s judgement into these 4 little words. It insinuates how much money you’re making, what you’re good at, what kind of person you are, the list goes on.
We want to impress people, complete strangers we don’t know and will possibly never meet again. We NEED their approval.
We don’t want to say we’re currently unemployed and trying to find a career we love. That just makes us look like we don’t have a handle on life. If we have a job, even if we hate it, we can tell this stranger something about ourselves. In essence, we spend a third of our day hating our jobs in order to impress a stranger.
We listen when we shouldn’t
“Half the time you think you’re thinking you’re actually listening” ― Terence McKenna
We need to be very careful who we tell our “pipe dreams” to because there are 2 types of people in this world: those who tell you to go for it and those who tell you not to. I truly believe the latter group have the best intentions. They’re people like our parents who don’t want to see us fail. My family is a “find a job and work there until you retire” type of family.
When we think about leaving our jobs, what often ends up happening is rather than hearing our own voice, we’re listening to another’s in order to make our decision. My “other” voice usually sound like my parents.
And that’s ok.
Their voice is your source of protection but we also need to listen to our own voices it’s up to us to decide which voice to listen to.
We don’t know what to do
We don’t want to be seen as drifters and we’re scared to admit we have no clue what we want to do with our lives. So we stay at our jobs because if we’re working, at least we give the perception of having our lives together and we know what the hell we’re doing.
Clarity can be a real b*tch to find and when we find it, we have no clue what to do with it and we doubt our abilities to even start something with it. Nothing magically happens. We have to put in the work to make magic happens and that’s the part that people are afraid of because we don’t know what that work is.
We’ll never know what we need to do until we try something out. We tend to wait for clarity to start but I argue that we need to start in order to get clarity. We can’t just wish for clarity to come, we need to move towards it.
“If you’re miserable every day, you’re doing something wrong” — Unknown
As much as we hate to admit it, our jobs and careers make up a big part of our lives and it’s hard to quit something that’s formed part of our identity for so long.
It’s very easy to let a day slip by and then another. I believe that a lot of courage is needed to quit comfort and security and I think we all need a little courage in our lives.
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