I always get a laugh out of reading your stuff, and I’ve really needed it lately. Will, I absolutely HATE my job. I make good money and I shouldn’t complain, but I just can’t take much more. I hate my boss, the people I work with, the work itself, the building I’m in. Everyday feels like I’m dying inside. When I leave, the worry comes with me, and even on Friday, my weekend is ruined knowing that I have to come back on Monday. My wife and son both think I should quit, but we really need the benefits and the money I make. I’ve been in this job for more than 20 years. I have 16 more before I can retire, but I don’t feel like I can do it for 16 more DAYS. My friends all say I’d be crazy to quit. I don’t know how to do anything else except what I’m doing. What should I do? What would you do?
The first thing I wish I could do is to buy you cold one. Not that drinking will solve your problem, but I wish I could buy a beer for every man and woman in America who drags their butt to work every day to put food on the table for their family. There’s honor in that, whether you sit in The Oval Office or pass French fries through a drive-up window. So, if no one else has said it in a while, “Thank you for doing your job.” Now, I can’t tell you exactly what to do, but I can give you some food for thought to chew on while you figure it out for yourself. Here’s what I think:
THINK YOUR WAY FREE. You know what they call three nasty meals, a hard bed, and a door that you can’t open when you want to? They call that “jail.” You know what they call three nasty meals, a hard bed, and a door that you can open and leave whenever you get ready? They call that “my mom’s house.” The only real difference, aside from prison having better food, is the ability to open that door. Maybe, part of what makes you so miserable is feeling like you can’t leave because you can’t do anything else. If you could go do any other job, what would you do? If you could start your own business, what would it be? Sure, you dream of dropping your pants, mooning your boss, and doing a funky in-zone dance on your way out the door, but where does your dream take you from there?
INVEST IN OPTIONS. In six years if you do nothing, you’ll either be sitting in that same office or you’ll be worm food. But if you’re willing to put in some really hard work and a lot of late nights, in that same six years, you could be Dr. Dan. In less than four, you might be Dan: attorney at law. In less than two, you could be trained in any one of a hundred thousand other jobs. In less than a year, you might be able to get a small business loan, buy a van, and drive around selling ice cream and smoking glaucoma medicine. The choices are endless, but to do any of these things, you have to be willing to invest the time and energy that it will take to make the change. You won’t be able to quit your job tomorrow, but depending on the path you pick for yourself, you WILL be able to quit eventualLY, and just knowing that you’re working toward a better life can give you an attitude adjustment and make your job seem less permanent and therefore more tolerable. Who knows; you may even decide your job isn’t all that bad and stay where you are. (HA! Yeah, I’m just joking. Your job sucks.)
JUST COMPLAINING WON’T HELP. My dad used to say, “Whenever you have a problem, you really have two choices; either shut the hell up and fix it, or just shut the hell up.” That man could have been psychiatrist. See, what my dad knew was that complaining not only won’t make it better; it can actually make it worse. If you start every day expecting crap, then crap is all you’ll see. You’ll spend your rainy days sulking and you’ll spend your sunny days waiting for rain. So, decide for yourself, right now, that you want a better job, decide what you’re prepared to do about it, and then START DOING IT. Start taking classes. Rework your resume. Go on a job interview. Talk to people who do the jobs that you think you might like. Just start doing something. I’m not telling you that it will be quick or easy. I’m not saying that there won’t be any more bad days. What I’m saying is, don’t sit in a burning house and cry because it’s on fire. Find a door, a window, or a thin wall, and break out of there.
The road might be hard, but if things are as bad as they sound, then your choice should be easy. I’m praying for you and the MILLIONS of other folks out there that are in the same boat. Keep your head up.
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William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing. Follow him on Twitter @goodenoughguy1.