During spring break my sophomore year of high school, mold was found in our school. After a three-week spring break, our entire school was closed down and the school body was shipped to a school across town. We had half days for the rest of year. Lets just say, it was a pretty fun time.
The following school year, our original school was under construction to get rid of the mold. Since it wasn’t an option to have half days for an entire year, our high school took over a middle school.
The best part about having an entire high school moved into a building that was too small, was that study halls were in the cafeteria. They were no longer monitored in a classroom. It was like having two-hour long lunches in one school day.
Beyond doing the occasional gallon challenge, we had a lot of time on our hands. One day, I brought in the board game, Family Feud. It ended up being a hit. By the end of the school year, people were ditching class, just so they could play Family Feud. At one point, we had to have a waiting list to get into our game.
We Surveyed 100 People…
Let me refresh your memory if it’s been a while since the last time you played the feud. At the beginning of every round, the host says, “We surveyed 100 people and the top X answers are on the board…” Then he gives a specific question for the families to answer.
You might be wondering by now, where I’m going with this. Well I have theory. If I surveyed 100 members of Gen Y, asking them “What’s your biggest problem?” My guess would be that the #1 answer on the board would be, “I really hate my job.”
I’m no career expert, nor do I care to be. The concept of trying to plan your career, when you don’t know what skills are in demand ten years from now, is a fools game. Plus, if I hear one more person say, “Follow your passions, and the money will follow” I will jump out of my first story office window. It’s just not that easy
Lucky for me, I have never hated my job. But I have been in enough conversations with people who have. I cringe the entire time, they are telling me what they are doing to get out of their current job that they hate.
The purpose of this post is to explain what I would do if I were in their situation. It’s a bit different perspective then most, but applied I have seen it work.
Reduce Monthly Expenses
I would do everything I could to keep my expenses to a minimum. I would cancel any monthly services such as cable, gym membership, or cell phone plan. I wouldn’t eat out.
If I wasn’t married, I would contemplate in moving back in with my parents until I get things straightened out.
Knowing that communication skills separate bosses from technical workers, I would take a speaking class. More specifically, I would join a local Toastmasters club.
I would separate everyone I know into two different categories.
- Friends with connections
- Friends without connections
I would send a mass email to my friends without connections and tell them about my situation. Asking them to let me know if they hear of anything.
People I know who have a strong network (people who can hire me or know someone who can hire me) I would personally call them. On the phone I would explain my current situation, asking them if they wouldn’t mind getting together for a beer.
Recently, it took a friend of mine six months to find a job. The first five months, he spent looking up jobs online and sending in resumes. The six month, he spent time going through his personal network. After a few lunches, with some of his parents friends, he was back working in a job he wanted.
Know My Strengths & Develop Skills
If I wanted to quit my job, instead of trying to find my passion, I would find my strengths.
Knowing my strengths, I could concentrate on developing skills that fit my strengths. I would make sure that these skills are in high demand today. I would learn these skills by reading everything I can on the subject, taking a night course, and asking people in my network who have these skills for advice.
Increase My Mobility
If I really hated my job, I would increase my mobility. I would sell most of my stuff, so if I had to move, I could do so easily. I wouldn’t buy a house or sign a long-term lease on an apartment.
Learn to Sell
I would learn how to sell. This doesn’t mean I would go out and join network marketing agencies or become a telemarketer at night. I would develop the skill of convincing someone that it is in their best interest to do something, even if they don’t realize it at the time.
I would start small. Maybe seeing if I can get my wife to watch The Big Lebowski instead of some Nicholas Spark’s movie. I would read books like Getting to Yes, Influence, and Bargaining for Advantage. Once I understand the basics, I will try to sell myself to someone in my network on hiring me either for a freelance job or full-time.
Stop Investing and Start Saving
I would only contribute to a 401K, if my employer matched. If my employer does match, I would only contribute the minimum. I would then build as big as an emergency fund as possible in a high interest savings account.
Burn the Ships
If I hated my job, I would set an exact date in the future to quit. I would make sure by that time, I have talked to my network, I have skills that are in demand, and I have saved over at least six months of expenses.
You know what sounds like a lot of work? Waking up early every morning, heading to a job you don’t like, spending the next eight to ten hours in misery, having it drain all your energy, then doing it all again the next day.
Tasks such as asking friends out for a beer, joining Toastmasters, selling stuff, sound like a breeze compared to the above.
If you’re sitting at your computer saying to yourself, “I really hate my job,” just remember the definition Einstein gave to the term insanity. Einstein said, “”The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
In the comments let me know what you would do if you hated your job and wanted to quit.
Photo by: blakeemrys