How important is your job?
Let’s pause and take a moment to really think about something - your job. How important is your job?
It’s eight hours of your life, five days a week. Let’s think about that for a second. Let’s assume you start working at 16 and you don’t finish until the retirement age of 65. That’s 49 years of eligible work. With roughly 52 weeks in a year and 40 hours in a work week, that’s over a hundred thousand hours of work, more than 4200 days. It’s a little more than 11 years of work.
And the best part? This doesn’t even include the commute, or getting ready for work, or the extra shit you have to do on the side to make a deadline, or the blood sucking lunch hour that doesn’t count towards your normal 8 hour day.
Want to know more? This doesn’t include how insane the commute makes you, or all the pressure that builds up from having to be nice to co-workers or clients, or the feeling of being dead after you come home and vegetate in front of the television night after night.
This doesn’t include bitching at your wife because your boss pissed you off. This doesn’t include losing friends you don’t see because you just want to sit at home and relax. This doesn’t include being a periphrial in your children’s or family’s lives.
Phew. You know what it does include though? A paycheck.
You are a mule that carries the stability of your future and your family’s future. It’s up to you, right? You have to work for that paycheck.
Everyone needs money. It’s true that you need to pay rent, and buy food, and go on vacation when you burn out. It’s true that you should save up for retirement so that 49 years from now you can stop and say, “I lived a fulfilling life.”
So, how important is your job?
Answer: Really fucking important.
What can you do about it? It’s simple.
If you wake up in the morning and you’re not excited to go to work, or if when you get there you’re not learning anything, or if you spend time there and you’re not building anything worthwhile, or if when you leave work you’re not satisfied that you’ve accomplished something, immediately quit your job.
Quit it and don’t turn back. You’re doing your wife a favor, your kids, your friends, but most importantly yourself a favor. 11 years of not having happiness and satisfaction is 11 wasted years. You should be learning, challenged, pushing your boundaries into uncomfortable territory.
Yearly salary is only a tiny portion of a paycheck. A paycheck is walking into a coffee shop and seeing someone on their laptop login to the website you built. A paycheck is seeing your company name in a news article talking about how you just built an amazing new piece of technology. A paycheck is when you buy a round of beers for your coworkers because you simply enjoy their company.
It’s taking your wife to exclusive parties with founders of some of the hottest companies on the market because you were invited. It’s coming home at the end of the day knowing you worked your ass off, and you’re glad you did.
A paycheck is building something that will last longer than you will.
I work for those kinds of paychecks. I want my 11 years to matter.
Okay, now you know that a paycheck isn’t money you earn for 11 years. It’s a little more than that. But there’s still a problem. Do you want to be working for someone else over the course of 49 years? That’s a long time to do what other people tell you to do.
The bad news is that aside from winning the lottery, you will still have to put in those 11 years sometime, but you don’t have to spend your whole life doing it.
Today, in the age of Internet startups and industry disruptive technology, you don’t have to spread your work out over the course of 49 years. You can condense your 11 years. It’s a two-step process. Here’s how it works:
- Learn to program via any means necessary. These days, a college degree takes too long, so I would suggest taking courses for free at Stanford’s (or whatever) online catalog and then building a few practical apps, When you’re finished, showcase those on various online communities, who will help you learn. Once you find something that you enjoy, run with it until you’re good at it.
- Join a startup and spend 2-3 years working harder than you’ve ever worked in your life. You come in the office early. You leave late. You are pushing product as fast as you can, sometimes cutting corners, sometimes cutting sleep. When you’re not working, you’re learning the latest technology, best practices, newest trends, and you introduce these things into work.
You do this until your startup becomes a success, fails miserably, or until you burn out. This is the hardest step. Most people can’t work 12-14 hours a day for 3 years. Most people don’t see the point of that. Most people think you’re a crazy workaholic. Then again, most people spend 49 years of there life working for monthly paychecks.
The path of failure
Most startups fail. It’s an undeniable fact. If you’ve got the energy, go join another startup, or better yet now that you know how they work, go start your own. The difference this time is that you know what you’re doing.
If you don’t have the energy, go join a big corperation. Congratulations, because you just spent 2-3 years working your ass off, you’ve just done in 2-3 years what it would take 10 years to do in a corperation. It’s blatantly obvious that you know more than your corporate peers. You’re a superstar now. Enjoy your promotions and your $150k salary. 9-5 it all the way to the bank.
The path of success
Congratulations. You’ve just cut your 49 years down significantly. Take a break for a year, maybe five. Go hang out at coffee shops and watch people login to your website. You’ve earned it.
I warn you though. All those good memories of being satisfied every day at a startup might come creeping back into your head. You might start to work again sooner than you think. You might stop counting how many years of work you do.
You might work because it makes you happy.Sharing is caring -