The default reaction is to start looking for a new job.
This makes sense. After all, when you have a job you feel safe. You become acquainted with your routine of going to work and receiving a steady paycheck. So even when the job is stressful, unfair, or not enjoyable, you can always feel safe by reminding yourself: “It’s a paycheck.”
Wait a minute — this makes sense?
Selling yourself into indentured servitude just to feel safe make sense? Strong emphasis on the word feel because you’re not actually safe — not when your supposed safety zone can be vanquished with the simple phrase: “You’re fired.”
I know what you’re thinking — that won’t happen to you. You’re good at your job. You’re a hard worker that’s been with the organization for umpteen years. They’d be crazy to get rid of you. In other words, you feel safe.
Fact of the matter is, layoffs aren’t always made as a result of employee evaluations. Budget cuts, downsizing, buyouts and outsourcing are all circumstances that are economic, not personal — meaning your job is at risk even if you’re a model employee.
I’m certain that the two people who just lost their jobs imagined it would never happen to them, because while still employed, both of them suggested I apply to work for their respective employers.
It’s as if they felt sorry for me that I am unemployed, and wanted to help me by reaching out and including me in their safety zone — as if they were saying “Come on in Shaun, it’s safe here.”
Although I appreciated their kind gestures, I declined.
I had my own plans, and working for someone else didn’t mesh well with them — I wanted to work for myself.
LifeReboot.com is currently my only source of income. Some days I make as little as ten cents. Other days I make between five and ten dollars. I can’t pretend that I am unconcerned about finances — but I will proclaim that I am happily unemployed.
In other words, it feels empowering to be responsible for my own earnings. When I fail to publish new content to my blog, I notice a definite decrease in my site revenue. On the other hand, if I manage to write a popular article then my site revenue naturally increases.
By choosing to work for myself, I am made responsible for my own fate.
Admittedly, it’s challenging to accept this responsibility. If I fail, then it will be my fault. Consequently, I don’t always feel safe, I occasionally become discouraged, and the difficult path I have chosen often intimidates me.
By the same token, fear can be a powerful motivator. Since I don’t want to face that feeling of self-induced failure, I’m determined to succeed.
Being faced with a feeling of self-induced failure is probably the primary reason people are so anxious to work for someone else. What else could cause them to so willingly seek out jobs where they’re overworked, underpaid, and/or miserable?
“To feel safe” is not a valid reason for me anymore. I’d imagine someone that’s had the unfortunate experience of being unexpectedly fired would feel the same way — but I’ve learned that’s not true. The so-called need to “get a real job” has become so standard that people are evidently blind to alternatives, even after you’d expect them to have learned the hard way.
Fact of the matter is, there are alternatives, and if you’re courageous enough to embrace your inner genius and follow your life’s calling, you’re bound to find your own non-standard path of living.
If you’re still not convinced, or need help determining your life’s calling, then I encourage you to read:
- Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address
- Brian Kim’s How to Find What You Love to Do
- Steve Pavlina’s 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job
- My series on How To Automate Your Income Online
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