Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.” – George Carlin


A regularly debated topic to get a job or to go self employed. I always found it interesting though how people (including myself in the past) who are for the ‘job as an employee’ side always use safety and a peace of mind as reasons why you should remain at a ‘stable job’. Which leads us straight into reason number 1:

 

1. IT’S NOT SECURE.

Contrary to what most people have been led to believe getting a full time job as an employee is not secure. You can’t have security if you don’t have control of the situation and in business, employees have the least control. “Your Fired”, there it is, two words and your entire income has been cut off, the business had to make sacrifices and it’s all out of your control, does that sounds like a safe and secure position to put your self in? I go into realistic alternatives later…

Market turbulence affects all organisations and all industries. In more dynamic and turbulent conditions there is no such thing as long term stability. People get tossed around from place to place, companies go under, new companies emerge, and this cycle happens increasingly more often.

Even machines are replacing people through automation. Eliminating the need for “human resource” as “machine resource” takes over– self-serve checkouts at retail stores is just one example. Employment came as a result of Industrial Age and as we transform into Information Age this evolution in the way we work is naturally going to happen. Is your job something that could be automated now or in the future?

“We can create the ultimate job security by becoming less dependent on the organisation for which we work and more dependent on our own resources.” – Bo Bennett

forget-to-make-a-life-job

2. LOSS OF TIME, YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET

“The most dangerous risk of all is trading all of your time not doing the things that you love on the bet that you’ll be able to buy the time to do it later.”

How does actually living only one third of your life sound?

There are 24 hours in a day. On average you use eight hours for sleep. You trade another eight of those hours for money doing things you likely don’t enjoy. And so you are left with 8 hours per day to spend exercising your freedoms, that’s before you’ve commuted, eaten and watched a few hours of mindless television. When compounded over your lifetime, you will have actually only lived one third of your experience on Earth.

Trading hours for money is placing monetary value on a priceless commodity. What is your time worth to you? Remember, you can always get more money, but you can never get more time.

“Find a job that you like and you add five days to every week.”

3. LIMITING YOUR LIFE EXPERIENCE

Getting a job to gain experience has some merit but ask yourself if you are actually learning anything new as opposed to becoming stagnant in your position repeating the same tasks over and over again. That’s limiting experience and time that could be better invested into a new skill set. For example, getting a job to gain experience is a bit like saying you should play golf to get experience playing golf. You gain experience from living, regardless of whether you have a job or not. A job only gives you experience at that job, but you gain ”experience” doing just about anything. What if your limited skill set ever becomes obsolete, then your experience won’t be worth anything. In fact, ask yourself what the experience you’re gaining right now will be worth in 20-30 years. Will your job even exist then? Will machines replace it?

Trust not what inspires other members of society to choose a career. Trust what inspires you. From this decision alone will come over a third of your satisfaction or misery in your life. – from The Lazy Person’s Guide to Success

 

4. YOU BECOME DOMESTICATED

Not only does full time employment limit your time and experience, it also limits your creativity, full potential and income. Unless you are on a competitive commission basis (which can be even more stressful when lack of sales is out of your control) then your income is limited not by your performance but by a pre-agreed pay cheque. So then, from here arises the obvious problem of lack of motivation to work harder in a position that gives you a fixed return. Sure, you can beg for a pay rise, for your time to be valued more, which normally involves the expansion of responsibility (which really means more work to do) but that’s the point, you have to beg.

The infinite potential within you is crushed and constrained into the activities your master orders you to do, limiting creativity and stopping you from obtaining control over your own income.

Steve Pavlina said that “Getting a job is like enrolling in a human domestication program. You learn how to be a good pet. Does your master reward your good behavior? Do you get told what you need to wear? Do you get disciplined if you fail to obey your master’s commands? Look around you. Really look. What do you see? Are these the surroundings of a free human being?”

 

paid-just-enough-not-to-quit-carlin

 5. YOU PROBABLY DON’T ENJOY IT

Trading time for money doing something you love to do is entirely worth it and there are innumerable examples of people that genuinely do but it seems they are generally a minority. A recent study even showed as many as 70% of Americans hate their line of work, so there’s clearly a trend here.

Ask yourself, is my only goal in this job to generate income?  If so, I feel that solely trading your time for money by doing something that you do not love could very well be the biggest mistake to be later regretted I have ever heard of. In our article ‘top 5 regrets of people dying’ from elderly people on their deathbeds I quote “All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.” as the second biggest regret of their lives.

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. – Confucius

 

Still want a full time job?

Social conditioning often promotes alot of defensiveness when it comes to discussing this topic and that is expected. We’re challenging your choice in how you spend 1/3 of your time and challenging the current system that your survival and livlihood entirely depends on. But consider that if the above didn’t have a grain of truth to it, you wouldn’t have an emotional reaction at all.

“This is only a reminder of what you already know. If any of this makes you mad, that’s a step in the right direction. Anger is a higher level of consciousness than apathy, so it’s a lot better than being numb to the situation. Any emotion — even confusion — is better than apathy. If you work through your feelings instead of repressing them, you’ll soon emerge on the doorstep of courage. And when that happens, you’ll have the will to actually do something about your situation and start living like the powerful human being you were meant to be instead of living through a domesticated mindset that’s limiting your entire existence.” – Steve Pavlina

 

reasons not to get employed job

So what are the alternatives?

Realise that you earn income by providing value — not time – so find a way to provide your best value to others, and charge a fair price for it. One of the simplest and most accessible ways is to start your own business. Whatever work you’d otherwise do via employment, find a way to provide the same value directly to those who will benefit most from it. It takes a bit more time to get going, but your freedom is easily worth the initial investment of time and energy.

Another is to forget the money and ask yourself, for example, would I be happier earning less money in a job I really enjoy doing? One example is recently a friend quit her job as a banking clerk to work with the RSPCA helping injured animals part time, a job that she finds far more rewarding and which she’s far happier with, despite a large pay cut. Additionally, she now uses her extra time saved from full time employment to start developing her own business.

 

Final Notes

One of the greatest fears you’ll face the feeling you may not have any real value to offer others. That being an employee and getting paid per hour is the best you can do. That you just aren’t worth that much. This line of thinking is all just part of your conditioning. It’s absolute nonsense. As you begin to dump this limiting mindset, you’ll soon recognise that we all have the ability to provide enormous value to others that people will gladly pay for. There’s only one thing that prevents you from seeing this truth — fear and do you know what fear stands for? False-Evidence-Appearing-Real. Fear of an experience that hasn’t happened. All you really need is the courage to be yourself. Your real value is rooted in who you are, not what you do.

There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.” Christopher Morley

Sources:
Steve Pavlina
Robots Will Take Our Jobs

  • Max Gistaplo

    This makes me fucking angry. But it’s true.

    I’ve been stuck in the cycle of being paid just enough not to leave for years. As of now I’m going to take full responsibility for my life and time, your right it severely limits what you can do with your life. I’ve always wanted to follow my passion for carpentry and work towards hand building my own musical instruments. So that’s what I’m going to do.

    Thank you for this article, it’s the kick up the ass I’ve needed for over 5 years.

    • Joe Mufalli

      When you go broke following your dream, make sure to come back on here and let us know.

      • Kris Fisher

        “When you go broke following your dream, make sure to come back on here and let us know.”

        Spoken from the boundaries of your own limitations 🙂

        • Howard Ziegler

          Try following your dream and then you will know what the real limitations are.

  • Steve Henderson

    The self-employment journey is not an easy road to walk – it takes some serious courage as in the beginning its a lot of hand-to-mouth – but I wouldn’t have it any other way:)

  • Jax Anderson

    That final quote from Chris Morley – Damn, is there some solid truth in that!

  • Lollipop

    I totally agree with Confucius! I will have a job i love, i will enjoy it and i will be happy!

    I love this website by the way! GREAT JOB , like we say in my country “BRAVO”!

  • Maria

    Sam, I really resonate with this and the platform you are building. I wrote and designed a guide for free-spirited women who are looking for alternatives to the 9-5 corporate job and have been getting a really great response (I also talk about the obstacles, in addition to fear, that prevent women from going for it) – I think it’s time for a lot of people to make the leap even though it feels scary. Thanks for the work you do!

  • Lilach Bullock

    Interesting article. Whilst I’ve been running businesses for nearly 10 years I disagree with your trade for time. I’ve worked far longer hours running at my own business than when I worked in the corporate world. There are pros and cons for both

  • Alexis Langston
  • R 4 F u s i o n
  • alph42

    I enjoy the ideals expressed in this article, but I disagree with them in practice. Most people cannot provide enough practical value to others to support themselves on their own in a “modern” society. Modern society is based around two main elements: 1) those with expertise, and 2) mass production and distribution of goods and services designed by those with expertise. Our society feeds off of the incredible skills of a select few and is built upon the cheap labor of the masses. Doing what this article suggests will usually lead to homelessness and/or reliance on welfare. There are exceptions, but they are uncommon if not rare. We all know about the low success rate associated with self-employment. It is only going to shrink as time goes on.

    Were we still a simple agrarian society then the ideals of this article would have a much more realistic practical application. However we do not live in such a society anymore.