You Are Not Your Job: Why Hating Your Source Of Income Isn't Worth Your Energy
It was supposed to be easy.
Follow the formula that's been working since the 1950s: Go to school, then to college; find a job, get a house and build a family. Rinse, repeat. Somewhere along the line, the master's degree became important, and then the PhD.
Education was the focus for a moment, and you were rewarded for it. Then, the American Dream realized that this was too much work, and decided that, sometimes, you can just steal your way to the top without education.
Bullying took over wisdom, and we were left with the remnants of that by the time this generation got to college.
Now, a lot of us are out there with degrees on the wall, and nothing in our wallets but receipts from our student loan payments. This has bred discontent, desperation, depression and even discomfort between those who go to college and those who don’t.
Those who start working in a restaurant or retail to pay bills are different from those who have chosen it as their career. For them, this is a waste of time; this is a simple way of paying the bills before you hit the job of your dreams.
When that job doesn’t come, however, your feelings get hurt each time they say no, and for some reason, you seem to resent the job you have for that. Why is that? Because it goes against the plan? Because this was only supposed to be for a couple of months?
Your whole spirit is defeated, and you feel your current job is a daily reminder of that.
What if I tell you that resenting your current source of income may be the reason you aren't succeeding? What if I tell you the attitude, with which you approach this part of your life, is a clear indication of what is not working in your search?
It's not that you are wrong -- you kind of are; I was for years. It's the way in which you let it take over you. It's the fact that you let yourself deflate every time you leave work as you talk about moving on, but remain trapped in your sense of entitlement.
For you, however, your current job might be one of the most important parts of your success.
Listen, I know, it sucks. We go to college for years for an education and end up in debt. All the while, people said we would have a great job at the end of it all, but now, we're working jobs we could have obtained right out of high school.
However, this is just another stepping stone to get to where we want to be. A job is a job; we need to survive somehow. When we resent our source of survival, our progression is stalled.
When anxiety is controlling our lives because of a thing that, years later, we may not even remember, we need to realize that maybe it’s a little silly to feel that way. It's a little ridiculous to hate a job that puts food on the table. It's a little arrogant to look down on the job many people have made their career.
It is no different than our dream job; we are just not passionate about it.
You see, every job will have an assh*le boss, a dick, a bitch and a guy that is annoying, but likeable. Those people will exist wherever you go. Now, the difference is that when you are doing the job you want to be your life, this matters.
These people become part of your history, and how you act towards them will affect your path. When you are in a survival job, however, who are they to you?
Do they still affect your life? If that’s the case, I must ask, why? Are those annoying coworkers costing you anything? Whatever they're costing you is your fault, not theirs.
Let the work stay at work when it doesn’t matter to you. This job is part of your plan as much as going to college is. Here, you will meet amazing people who will be part of your life forever if you are lucky. The people you don’t like, you will probably never see again.
Why let them take time from your life when they are probably not going to be there in the future? As a waiter, I’ve seen and been part of this negative circle.
What I notice is that if I went in at 4, I would wake up anxious, cursing the fact I had to go to that job.
I would spend the whole day relaxing because the shift was going to be hard. If not relaxing, I would be recovering from a major hangover. I would see some shiny faces, people approaching the tables with legitimate enthusiasm, and I hated them. Even if they were cool, I hated to see somebody happy.
I realized that the coworkers with the biggest smiles would always be the first to leave the job. Those people would be the ones to get the job and leave on a high note. The rest of us were just standing in the pantry talking sh*t and acting like our booze lives were so much better.
We fight the man; we don’t let this crappy job define who we are -- that’s how we saw it. Now, I think that circle was a big black hole, into which people sadly got sucked and didn’t come back the same.
Most end up giving up and going back home; others stay in the same hole without realizing their own bad vibes are creating it.
This is why your survival job is one of the most important parts of your journey to success; it is how you act that will determine how you will succeed. It only exists to make you money to continue your journey.
The thing is, money is a HUGE part of your journey, no matter which path you take. You need money to eat in-between auditions; you need money to take you from interview to interview; you need money to network.
Once you acknowledge your current job as the means by which you are able to live alone, to eat whatever you want, to meet some of the best people and to sustain your lifestyle, then you will realize how useless is to harbor hate for it.
The things you hate, you will not have to keep. You may not be looking to grow at your current position, but you can use it to build upon your assets and set the foundation for future growth. Your career growth should be your long-term goal; let it be a positive one. I promise, the good will come.
Photo Courtesy: Lions Gate Films/American Psycho