One-third of your life is spent sleeping, one-third of your life is spent at work. What can we deduce from this?
1) You better have a quality mattress and pillow
2) You better get satisfaction and fulfilment out of your work
Number 1) can be solved with a Dunlopillo and a medium-firm mattress that is rotated throughout the year.
Number 2) is easier said than done, but here are my thoughts.
You need to find a career or job that clicks with you. Not what clicks with your mum/dad/sister/brother/uncle/friend – what clicks with YOU.
It’s easy to get caught up in placing too much emphasis on what your (well-meaning) family think. After-all they brought you into this world, supported you in your most vulnerable times and taught you many life-long skills.
Here’s some advice I’ve heard from family and friends:
“Stay in school and finish your degree”
“Don’t leave your job, it’s easy-work and you’ll make partner soon”
“Don’t invest in the stock market, it’s too risky”
“Buy a house and save your money”
For some, the above might be appropriate but for most this is counter-productive.
What To Do
If you are not happy with a situation you need to have a plan to escape. Nobody knows you like you, listen to your gut and no-one else’s. The sunken cost fallacy is everywhere – from completing degrees to climbing the corporate ladder, to marrying the incompatible partners.
As I’ve said previously procrastination is a symptom of doing work that doesn’t align with our nature. Similarly, if there is a rumbling of discontent early on in a career- get out quick. Yes, that means that even if you have a degree – bail! Think about this analogy:
If you had a high-maintenance girlfriend/boyfriend that would start fights in the first 6 months of relationship – would you settle down and marry them?
I sure as heck wouldn’t. Any issues early-on will only be magnified later on. The same is true for finding the right career- don’t settle until you’ve found work that clicks with you.
Not enough people play the long game. We are all too focused on short term gains. When I ask someone who is miserable in their job, why they don’t leave – they’ll say – “I can’t take the hit to my cash flow”, “I like the perks of my job”, “I don’t want to put my degree to waste”.
You know what’s a waste?! Spending 40 years of your life doing shit you don’t enjoy.
Those who have the balls to take short-term hits to cash and lifestyle are the ones most likely of landing a job that will set them on the right course.
Am I advocating jumping from job to job? Of course not.
It requires self-awareness and a serious dose of introspection (not by asking others!!) to uncover your strengths and interests. Once you gain some insight, you can begin trialling a few side-gigs. Jumping from job to job without learnings is equivalent to banging your head against a brick wall. To some people this insight comes easy, others will need to make more of a conscious effort – but whatever you do – be ruthless until you’ve found work that clicks with you.