When Money Shouldn’t Matter
Falling into the “steady income” trap is easy when starting a career. You graduate college looking to save up, move out, and maybe alleviate a little college debt as soon as possible. An understandable, very practical way, in fact to approach your finances post-graduation. Yet there’s something strange going on in today’s young workforce. More people are quitting cushiony jobs in favor of taking time for themselves-- whether it be to travel or focus more on passion projects. In a population so riddled with student debt, why is it that so many young people are looking to jump their financially-stable ship to, essentially, take a work gap year?
As of yet, there is no clear answer, but there are a couple of theories. It could be because of the current economic boom-- young people feel more comfortable playing the field when it comes to finding a job. Or, perhaps it’s because younger generations are more willing to work side hustles, using technology and apps to find odd jobs to make ends meet. It could well be any of these possibilities, but there’s one possibility that can't be counted out; one that has served as great cause for motivation for millennia . . .
In a previous article, I discussed how millennials were raised on the idea that they could go to college and, essentially, get any job they wanted. Of course, this proved untrue, and the resulting influx of post-grads in the market left millennials no choice but to work jobs that had little to do with what they studied in school. They became subject to working for condescending bosses who knew millennials were dispensable.
A miserable card to be dealt, indeed, however, folding is still an option.
If you are unhappy in a job you didn’t want in the first place, what is so wrong with quitting? Yes, not all of us have the luxury of leaving an unwanted job, but, as unrealistic as this may seem, the very same hustles I mentioned earlier could come in really handy here. There is no shame in quitting a job; your health and happiness should not come at the cost of a paycheck-- especially if this paycheck also comes with long bouts of regret.
On a personal level, I spent two years at a media agency. It was a job I had gotten straight out of school, and being as green as I was, I didn’t realize what the job entailed until I was in the thick of it, and at first was impressed by just how much I was making at 24 . . .
Then I started to dread getting up in the mornings. I couldn’t stand being in the office, and cried almost every night on the phone to my parents. It was a terrible job, in a terrible environment; I searched for jobs for almost a year, to no avail. Until, having had enough, I sat down to seriously see what could be done about quitting without a backup. I looked over my finances: how much I spent, how much I had saved, and realized I would be okay for a year with no set income. So, I quit, worked as a bartender and made it a point to have plenty of contributing writer positions. That was it-- as soon as I put in my two weeks, I felt like Andre the Giant had stepped off my chest.
When following your dreams, you want to believe that money isn’t important, but the truth is, it kind of is. But there’s a fine line between making a living and signing your life away for a paycheck. Money may be important, but life shouldn't revolve around it.