Golden Handcuffs & Day Job
The standard convention in life regarding jobs. You go to a job you hate, work hard at it, get to the end of the day and feel exhausted and unable to work on anything else. You assume everyone else feels like this. This is just what everyone does, right? It’s the standard protocol in life. And you would be right, many people do go to jobs they hate, and they put up with it because it’s what they have to do.
This is true, you do need to work. The world revolves around performing a service for someone during a set amount of time for payment, and it has worked this way ever since the industrial revolution. But what if you want more? What if you had ideas for something greater that you wish to pursue?
Do you have ideas? Ideas that you want to action on, or a side project that you want to branch out, create an audience, make it bigger, turn it into a side business. We all have these ideas and plans for what we are going to do. We all want to explore life on our own terms, start our own businesses and be our own boss. It’s the ultimate goal, and one of the most satisfying.
Golden handcuffs refer to the problem that arrises when you are doing so well at something that you are locked into it for the wrong reasons. In the case of a day job vs. pursuing your passion. It means your being paid monthly/weekly, medical & dental plans, great benefits, holiday pay and other perks to working in that day job. From the outside this looks impressive and can make others envious, but if you hate that job, hate waking up to it, hate the people, hate performing it, then what’s the point?
You feel like you can’t quit because of the benefits and the salary. It would be crazy, right? Wrong. If you hate your job. Get out! Seriously.
You need to start with a day job that can pacify you until you are ready to make the leap.
The worst thing you can do is stay in a day job that you hate, that drains you of your creative energy when you get home. So much that you are too exhausted to work on your side project. It sucks the energy out of your passion. This is the worst case scenario, and the reason you shouldn’t stay in a job you hate, even if the benefits are attractive.
Earn a living by day, build your future at night.
The truth of it is, when you start working for yourself, as a freelancer or otherwise, you will face a different set of problems. You will find there is a lot more risk than when you were working for someone else. But when the risk is higher, the reward is greater. The satisfaction of overcoming these problems is insurmountable compared to working for someone else in a day job. You earn your own income. You make the decisions. You grow how you want to. You can work to your values and what you believe in.
When you work for someone else, you wont get a choice of what decisions are made, even ones that are made for you that directly affects your work. You can’t choose who you work with in the business, so you are stuck with someone, even if you don’t like them and they don’t align with your values or your process. Sometimes a businesses values and how they work with and deal with customers/clients don’t align with yours so you may be forced to breach your values and how you would handle certain situations in your professional career. Always start with your values.
With a day job, there is a feeling of being safe and secure. Your expectation is set. You know you are getting your income every month/week. You know what money will be used to pay what bill. It’s the same set of problems to solve day-in and day-out. You have a stable income which you are happy about, with no risk or danger. But, there is risk and danger, and plenty of it, you just don’t see it.
Job security is a falsity.
You are never fully secure when you work for someone else. Even if you think it’s secure and that the company is doing well, you never know what is around the corner, or what imminent danger is facing the company. Anything could happen in a day job. I can testify to this with a previous day job of mine. I worked in an internet startup. 4 years of going strong, national brand recognition, and owned by the possibly the largest media company in the country. Then a couple of bad months of revenue, and it was gone. Done. No warning from those above, and although the people working there knew what was happening as it was happening, there was no clear reason for what was responsible for the swift decline and closure. Something that was one of the most powerful platforms at what it did 6 months prior, was now closed with 50 people out of a job.
You have no idea what will happen in your market, no idea of financing, or what decision board members or management make in your day job, and it’s not your job to know. You have no say in what happens.
This is the benefit of owning your own business. You have transparency to what is happening within your business. And ultimately, you have the satisfaction of doing what you love.
Are you living a life you hate? What’s the point in hating what you work at? Why do you go to college, or take courses, and study for something you don’t enjoy? Find what satisfies you the most in life, whatever it may be, and find out how to make a living from that.
You need to plan. Take small steps at a time to building what you love to do. Cover your expenses with a day job that fuels your passion when you come home from your day job. You will always live within your means, no matter how much you’re earning from your day job, €25k, €50k, or €100. It doesn’t matter the amount. What is money is you’re not happy? If making this money means that you have no time to do what you love then sacrifice luxuries and gain more time to build the future you want.
I’m not talking about being foolish, but taking a calculated risk to do something you love.
“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.” – Jessica Hische
Are you thriving or are you surviving?