I was driving home from dinner out last night and had the radio on the Michael Savage show. I don’t listen to Michael Savage often but last night he was talking about how he got started in his career in radio and some of the other jobs he had held. Anything career-related usually grabs my attention so I turned up the volume to see what he had to say.
One of the jobs he discussed was the one time he worked in a traditional corporate job. I don’t know if you could even classify it as a job. He had been a consultant to a large multi-national firm and they made him an offer to come on permanently. Evidently, it was an offer too good to pass up so he took it. The job involved a relocation to the opposite coast and about a half million dollars in stock options. It sounded like he had negotiated a pretty good package to me.
He said the first day at the job in his new position, a young twenty-something fellow who had been considered a “coworker” when Savage was a consultant (and who happened to be the son of the CEO) was put as Savage’s direct supervisor when the job became a permanent position. The young man called Savage into his office that first morning and told him that as long as Savage did what the young man said, they would have no problems. Savage quit on the spot because he refused to be talked down to by someone with less experience but more political pull. He sacrificed $500K in stock options not to mention a great salary/relo package because of a co-worker.
I guess considering Michael Savage’s caustic personality, that makes sense for him but it started me wondering how many people out there would just bite their tongue and stick with it. Many people feel trapped in a job whether for financial reasons or political reasons. In Savage’s case, ditching the corporate job spurred him to go out and penetrate the radio business, eventually leading to his first job in radio.
Something else Savage said grabbed my attention. He said basically that work should be work and fun should be fun and the two should not be together. His point was that we should learn to work for work’s sake rather than to gain some great mental or psychological reward.
While I agree that sometimes you just have to take a J.O.B. to pay the bills while you are working toward a more satisfying career, I disagree with the assertion that you shouldn’t enjoy what you do. I don’t think you can be good at something unless you enjoy it. To be truly successful, you should enjoy your job or at least some aspect of your job. It is rare to find a “perfect” job where you enjoy every single thing about it. Everything has some aspect that is just drudge, routine, or otherwise unpleasant. Other aspects that are enjoyable usually overshadow the bad parts and make it worthwhile.
I have met so many twenty-somethings or early thirty-somethings who have attained high salaries and then gone completely to the limit of their income on spending. For example, I’m working with a twenty-three year old young man right now who went from a salary of about $35K to a salary of $80K. Before the income boost, he and his young wife were debt-free. They lived in a small, lakeside apartment for free that was owned by his father. They drove decent but not fancy cars. Almost immediately after getting the higher-income job, they bought a huge house, bought a dirt bike, invested in some major plastic surgery, and bought new cars. After being in the new job for about three months, he realized he hated it. Jobs of co-workers were being cut right and left and the extra work being piled on him. His manager was mean and manipulative. He couldn’t trust any of the remaining co-workers because the environment had become an “every man for himself” situation. This fellow is trapped because of the debt he jumped into in the excitement of seeing that income go up.
Don’t get trapped by debt and don’t lose your health from the stress of a bad job. Maybe quitting and looking for something else is a good step. You certainly won’t know until you make a break for it.