Career Decisions and the Job Hunt
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it” (Simon Sinek, “How great leaders inspire action”)
“Instead of thinking what you want to do, think about who you want to be. Picture how your identity will change as the result of your decision.” (Jayson Demers)
Those two quotes are a big part of why I left my previous job for a career in web development. Small tech firms are sprouting up everywhere in order to solve problems they truly BELIEVE need to be solved. They care about solving problems and creating solutions, and employing people who value the same. In my previous job I worked as a contractor for multiple firms supporting Department of Defense contracts. They may smile at you and tell you they care about you, but their actions tend to show the only thing they care about, is being able to fill a billet on a contract and make money. It is a very uninspiring feeling, and it is hard to maintain a high level of motivation for delivering value. Whenever I would bring up this dissatisfaction, multiple people would tell me that “your job doesn’t define you, just collect a paycheck, and your free time is your time to enjoy life”. WHY?! Why is this the status quo? I understand the fundamental need of making money, in order to purchase things for survival (i.e. housing and food), but I don’t care.
Full time employment consists of 40 hours a week at the job site (probably more due to overtime here and there), as well as commute time. When I worked my “9–5” jobs, I would wake up at 6am so I could be in by 8am, and I would leave 430pm (half-hour lunch). I would spend anywhere from 35 to 60 minutes in traffic, depending on accidents and other variables. So I would get home around 530pm, then grab something to eat, and now it’s 6–630pm. Cool, I get a couple of hours to explore my passions before I have to go to bed and repeat this process all over. Do this till I’m 65, give or take, and that’s (52weeks x 40hours working x 1.5hours commuting x (65–29)years) 112,320 hours of my life. There are (365days x 24hours) 8,760 hours in a year, so I’m spending roughly 12.8 years at work. Depending on how you look at that number it may not seem like that much to you, but to me its a huge number, and therefor it’s a huge part of my life spent working for a paycheck.
I’d rather take a $12 an hour job at a company I believe in, than work at a $77k a year job just to fund my life. I’ve recently gotten into the minimalist life style and I’m loving it, so I have no problem living on the bare minimum lol. That’s part of the reason why I want to consider my career as playing a big part in my life. I want my career to mean something, because I feel that it will define a part of who I am, and I want it to.