Why, Really, Do You Want A Job?

pexels_jobRecently I’ve been missing my friends at Bamboo (the company I worked at for 9 months). I even miss the people who weren’t my friends, but were friendly. The vibe there was mostly pretty cool. It was chill, but there was an enormous amount of success and momentum that felt addicting. Going to work and being a part of something that big and successful was just exciting.

I kind of miss my income from there, but to be honest, it was less than what I asked for, and apparently I had maxed out the pay scale.

I found myself feeling the feelings of missing, but not longing for the 44 mile round trip commute and the not what I should have gotten pay.

Why would I want to give up 9+ hours a day for not enough pay?  That sounds kind of dumb. But I had the feels. Confusing.

As I have been pondering it, I was reminded of a colleague I used to work at who complained about how much they made, and how it just wasn’t enough. Wait, did I say “a colleague?” I meant a bunch of colleagues. For most of my career I’ve heard conversation about how people needed more money.

Going back to Bamboo (I give it a 1% chance) would not be for money. It would be to be a part of the momentum. I was always proud to wear my Bamboo shirts, and to tell people I worked at Bamboo. It was definitely cool. I loved sharing in the excitement. And I loved the office culture.

To be clear, I didn’t love everything. There are plenty of things to fix. But no company has everything.

As I was wondering about all of these things, it made me wonder why people want a job. Going back to the person who said they didn’t make enough, why did he stay? Why didn’t he look for something more or better? Why spend so much time grumbling and unhappy and not making ends meet… instead of going somewhere else or starting his own thing?

I assume it’s because there was enough of a sticky draw from the same things I mentioned above… the excitement, the momentum, the team, the culture…

There’s also, obviously, something great about going and doing a job and getting a money drop every two weeks. Entrepreneurs and freelancers don’t always get that (the term “feast or famine” comes to mind).

Why stay? Why not fight for what is right for your circumstances?

I then thought about you, the person who reads my blog. Why do you not work for more? Why do you not look for more? I’m not talking about greed, I’m talking about meeting your financial needs and objectives.

I wondered, how many of you are looking for a job simply because it’s what we’ve been trained to have. A place to go, a desk, a security badge, a paycheck, and people who know what our title is.

Do we want a job because it’s comfortable? Because it’s “the way we’ve always done it”?

WHY are we so anxious to get a job?

They say we are moving to a “gig economy.” That means we will all be freelancers, we will all be entrepreneurs. One day most of us will not work for a company, rather we will figure out what our services or goods are, price them, and get our own clients and customers.

Scary? Or exciting? For me, it’s both.

I live in a neighborhood where a lot of people own businesses. From construction to excavation to services to brick and morter, my neighbors are entrepreneurs. I think they “play hard.” I see a lot of them working very hard. And smart. And they are happy. Of course, most of them have been at it for years, even decades. That’s okay. One said to me he’s “unemployed and unemployable.” It’s common for entrepreneurs to say they are unemployed… I’ve been saying it for 13 years. And once I started writing my blog, I figured I was pretty much unemployable (because I tend to spout off).

WHY are we so anxious to get a job?

Is it the finances, or the insurance…. or the status?

Look, I’m not down on jobs. I help people get jobs. I also know that we can have jobs where we are financially fulfilled, and make great money. They are out there, especially in this economy.

I am questioning, though, how many of us get a job just to be normal. Do what is expected. Go to a building and have “friends” to talk with.

Is that your motivation?

Once you dig deeper, and ask more why questions, I think you might change who you think you are, what you want to do on this third rock from the sun, what your purpose is, and how you want to spend your time. I know I’ve been rethinking that a lot lately.

How about you?