job you hate en-US Replacing a Crappy Job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/replacing-a-crappy-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Shipyard workers" title="Shipyard Workers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="208" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are really only two things you can do with a crappy job: tolerate it or replace it. Happily, it's a fact that the crappier the job is, the easier it is to replace.</p> <p>When people think of replacing a crappy job, they automatically think of getting another (hopefully less crappy) job. I'd like to suggest a combination of three alternatives. Then I'll work through some numbers to show that my suggestions aren't as impractical as you're initially likely to suspect.</p> <h2>Freelance or Casual Work</h2> <p>Unless you're a natural hustler, it's pretty tough to put together enough income in freelance or casual work to replace a good job. Replacing a crappy job, though, is a lot easier because you're already facing low pay, unreliable work, and unreasonable demands.</p> <p>Go ahead and look at all the usual suspects&mdash;temporary work, seasonal work, and so on&mdash;but the point is not to replace one crappy job with another. Give special consideration to freelance work doing something that you really enjoy, even if you won't earn as much. The fact is, you can replace the job even if your freelance work falls well short of replacing 100% of the income. That's because it's expensive to work at a job.</p> <h2>Reduced Spending</h2> <p>Having a job (whether crappy or not) means that you have higher living expenses.</p> <ul> <li>Transportation is the first large expense that most workers face. It's thousands of dollars a year if you own your own car, and hundreds even if you take public transit or just ride with a friend and kick in for gas.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Childcare is another huge expense, unless you don't need it or can get it for free.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Food often costs more. Even if you don't eat out for lunch, you're still likely to spend some extra for lunches (hardly anyone brings leftovers every single day) and you're likely to spend some extra for dinner as well&mdash;picking up a convenience item when you're especially late or especially tired.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Clothing is another expense that's usually higher for people with crappy jobs. Some require that you dress nicely; others put additional wear and tear on your clothing. A worker probably ends up paying more for laundry as well, one way or another.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The biggest (financial) cost of having a crappy job probably comes just from having to spend specific hours working. That increases <strong>all</strong> your expenses, because there's less time for shopping around and less time for doing things yourself.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Somewhat arguable are all the expenses that aren't really directly related to having a job, but that somehow seem justified when you're spending too many hours a day at a crappy job: vacations, booze, cable TV, blood pressure medicine, etc.</li> </ul> <p>Whether you allow that last category or not, I think it's inarguable that it costs money to keep a job. It may not cost <strong>more</strong> to keep a crappy job, but it doesn't usually cost a lot less.</p> <h2>Capital</h2> <p>Finally, it's possible to replace a job with capital. (This is what your retirement savings are intended to provide&mdash;an income stream that doesn't depend on your job.) But replacing a crappy job is <strong>much easier</strong> than saving for retirement:</p> <ul> <li>Retirement investments need to be secure for the rest of your life. &quot;Crappy job replacement&quot; investments can be pretty risky and still be more secure than a crappy job&mdash;after all, it might disappear at any time.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Retirement investments need to keep up with inflation. Crappy-job-replacement investments can fall well short of that and still grow faster than the meager raises that you get at your typical crappy job.</li> </ul> <p>Besides that, just because you've replaced your crappy job with capital doesn't mean that you can't keep looking for a good job. (You can do that during retirement too, but your retirement plans need to allow for the fact that at some point you may no longer be able to work at all.)</p> <h2>Worked Example</h2> <p>So that we'll have something specific to talk about, I'm going to imagine a particularly crappy job. I hope none of you have jobs that are actually this crappy, although lots of people have jobs that are almost this crappy.</p> <p>In my example crappy job the poor working schlub only makes minimum wage ($7.25 an hour is the current US minimum wage). Further, the job isn't full time, the guy only gets 30 hours a week on average, and only has work 50 weeks a year. Of course the job provides no benefits. Somebody with an income that low isn't going to be paying much income tax, but FICA will take 7.65% off the top</p> <p>Annual income: (30 x 50 x $7.25) &ndash; 7.65% = $10,043</p> <p>That's our first cut at what you'd need to replace, but it's actually a lot less than that, because of the spending reductions that go along with replacing the crappy job.</p> <p>Just $20 a week toward gas for your car pool comes to $1000 a year in work-related transportation costs. That brings us down to $9000.</p> <p>Buying an occasional lunch out and an occasional convenience food item could easily come to $20 a week. That's another $1000 bringing us down to $8000.</p> <p>Lump clothing, laundry, and all the other extra expenses that you're stuck with because you're at work and can't shop around or do stuff yourself and call that another $1000 a year, bringing us down to $7000.</p> <p>Still, reduced expenses only go so far. You need some cash. That can come from freelance or casual work (as long as you're in control of your schedule, you can still seize these cost savings), but I'd like to put in a plug for replacing a crappy job with <a href="">capital</a>.</p> <p>If we were trying to provide an equivalent <strong>retirement income</strong> we'd need to follow <a href="">the 4% rule</a>, which would mean that we'd need $175,000. Fortunately, as described above, we don't need nearly as much to replace a crappy job, because the crappy job is already a risky proposition.</p> <p>I took a quick look at some risky investments. The top dividend-paying stock in the S&amp;P 500 is yielding over 10%. That stock may be even more risky than a crappy job, but if you invest in ten or twelve other of the top dividend payers, you can get an average yield of 7% at a much more moderate level of risk. That would let you replace $7000 with just $100,000 in capital.</p> <p>Now, $100,000 would seem completely out of reach if you were trying to save that much out of your earnings from a crappy job. But that's not what you're doing. What you're doing is <strong>replacing your crappy job</strong> with a combination of <strong>reduced expenses</strong>, whatever you can <strong>earn</strong> from doing work of the non-crappy variety&mdash;and income from <strong>capital</strong>.</p> <p>The income from capital will be minimal at first. But think of it this way: $100 in capital will replace one hour per year of crappy work. Over time you can stash away a good number of those hours. And once you're no longer working a crappy job, you'll find there's really no need to hurry.</p> <p>A good job offers reasonable compensation in exchange for a reasonable amount of time and effort. What makes a job crappy is usually the pay being unreasonably low or the time and effort required being unreasonably high. The result is that a crappy job is easy to replace. If you can't replace it with another (better) job, replace it in pieces. Replace some by doing for yourself things that you used to have to pay for. Replace some by doing freelance or casual work. Replace some by selling things that you make. Replace some by giving up any expenses that you used to justify on the grounds that someone who worked as hard as you deserved a few luxuries. And, of course, replace as much as you can with a little capital.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">9 Career Tips Your Younger Self Would Give You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">7 Signs You&#039;re Working for an Impossible Boss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">3 Reasons You Are More Than Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Find work worth doing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">6 Warning Signs that It Is Not the Job for You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income crappy job freelance job you hate jobs work Wed, 28 Jul 2010 14:00:06 +0000 Philip Brewer 190610 at How to Survive (and Thrive!) in a Job You Hate <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-survive-and-thrive-in-a-job-you-hate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="hate job" title="hate job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Somewhere, sometime in life, everyone has a <a title="I Hate My Job" href="">job they hate</a>. Whether the hours are terrible, the pay is awful, the coworkers are wretched, or the boss is horrid, hated jobs are very much a thing of the present. We work them for different reasons, for different lengths of time, and with different levels of satisfaction, but almost all of us work them at some point. For many people, these jobs are a drag that make them feel like hollow shells of their former selves. However, there are a few people who manage to survive and thrive in jobs they really don't like. Here are a few of their secrets for making that hated job easier. (See also: <a href="">What to Do When You Want to Quit Your Job</a>)</p> <h3>Know Why You're There</h3> <p>Whether you took the job in the first place because you thought it was something other than it turned out to be or because you absolutely had to make rent and couldn't do it any other way, knowing why you took the job will help you maintain perspective while you're there. Remembering the process that led up to your current situation: the job search, the interviews, your conversations with others about the job, your conversations with yourself about it, hearing that you had the job, your acceptance of it, and anything else you went through during that time will remind you that you are more than your job. YOU took IT for a good reason. If that reason isn't so good anymore, well, then it's time to reevaluate. But you can do that, because you are more than the job.</p> <h3>Know What You Really Want</h3> <p>Often, <a href="" title="Bill on bad first jobs">a terrible job will help</a> you know what you would want in a good job. So go ahead and note what these things are! Are your current coworkers loud? Note that you would like a job where you can have quiet time to focus, at least when working on large projects. Is your boss always second-guessing or changing your decisions? Note that you would like a job where employees are trusted and tasks are truly delegated. Go through the process of actually writing these things down. When you have a physical list of what you want, your current job won't seem so worthless. After all, it helped you learn what to look for next!</p> <p>Once you have this list, add to it the things you've dreamed about doing. Would you like a job that requires a lot of problem-solving instead of a set group of tasks? Include that. Would you rather work for yourself? Note it. Have you always dreamed of writing for a living? Put it down.</p> <p>Whether you're in a position to actually go out and look for another job or not, this list shows what you know about yourself, job-wise. And knowing what you want is often the first step towards getting it.</p> <h3>Know Your Motivation for Staying</h3> <p>If you're planning to stay in a job you dislike, it's important that you know why. Is your current job the only one in your area that fits your skills? Or do you need it to keep your children fed and clothed? Whatever the reason, remembering what it is and keeping it at the forefront of your consciousness makes working a difficult job easier. When you do this, you end up working not for the job itself, but for whatever the motivation is behind your being there. The job becomes more than a job: it becomes a way to fulfill whatever desire moved you to take it in the first place.</p> <h3>Make a Conscious Choice to Stay</h3> <p>Knowing your motivation also makes it possible for you to evaluate it. Maybe you wanted a job close to home because you were newly married and wanted to spend as much time as possible with your new husband. Now, he's working regular hours and taking some night classes, so your short commute doesn't net the two of your more time. While working the hated job might have been worth it for the time together, it's not when it doesn't produce that result. Or maybe you realize that you qualify for lots of different jobs of the same type that you're working now, and you realize that a different work environment might make things much more tolerable. Whatever your motivation, consider carefully whether it's enough motivation to stay at the job.</p> <p>If your motivation is enough for you to keep the hated job, make staying a conscious choice. Own your choice. You do not HAVE to stay at the job, but you CHOOSE to. And you know the reasons behind your choice, and that they are enough to outweigh the fact that you hate what you're doing. Deliberately choosing to stay will help you own the job. It will help you to feel, in some small way, like you are doing what you want to do (because you do want it, even if only from the perspective that it is better than any current alternative).</p> <h3>Make that Choice Again If You Have To</h3> <p>Even after you choose to stay, there will be parts of the job that you dislike. Those parts may even make up the majority of your time there! If you can notice those parts and notice the feelings of frustration/rage/anger/sadness/hopelessness/whatever that rise up in you, you can choose to make your choice again. Run through the motivations, and the reasons why those motivations are worth it. Remember that you are more than this job, that you chose it.</p> <p>This is really hard (particularly when you're used to letting the negative emotions take over)! Stick with it. Remember that you will fail sometimes, and go home complaining and pissed off again. Over a long period of time, though, your choice will become the habit instead of the emotions.</p> <h3>Feel Your Feelings</h3> <p>When something comes up in your job that you hate, feel that. Let yourself feel whatever emotion comes over you. Don't try to hide it inside, or it will just blow out later. If you need to take a walk, or go to the restroom, or even put the emotion on an internal shelf to feel later (just be sure to take it back out!), do that. Letting things build up until they might explode is never a good idea. So let yourself feel. And, in the midst of your feelings, remember your choice. Remember why even these awful feelings are worth sticking it out.</p> <h3>Have Realistic Expectations</h3> <p>Don't expect yourself to ever love your job. Don't think that you should be loving it so something must be wrong. Instead, expect that you won't like it. Expect that the things that have frustrated you since the first day will still frustrate you now and will probably continue to do so as long as you stay at the job. If you expect that, the job will never sink below your expectations. However, at this point, you know that you are more than the job. You don't expect all of your satisfaction to come from that, because there are more areas in your life than just that.</p> <h3>Take Advantage of Any &quot;Extras&quot; the Job Offers</h3> <p>Some jobs suck, but have great perks. Right now, I work a job that I actually like (well, most of the time!). But, even if I didn't like it, I'd probably work here because it gets my husband huge discounts on his grad school tuition (I work at the university). Knowing that my working here helps us financially like that can make a big difference when I want to throw in the towel. Different jobs have different perks, but almost every job has at least one. My husband is a server at a local restaurant. He doesn't like it, but he gets to bring home any mistakes they make. Knowing that we'll get delicious pasta for lunch the next day often makes his shifts feel lighter and go faster. I know it sounds crazy, but taking advantage even of these small things makes staying easier.</p> <h3>Personalize Your Space</h3> <p>Put up pictures of the people who are your motivation for working. Decorate the walls of your cube with colorful material. Decorate your computer screen with sayings that inspire you. If your workplace won't allow any of those things, wear a locket with a special picture in it or carry one in your wallet. Put something small and special in your pocket so you can at least touch it whenever you want. These things help make your space, your computer, you person YOURS, and if they're yours then they don't belong to the horrible job that you hate. Once again, these things help you feel like you are more than your job, help you remember why you're really there, and help you choose to stay.</p> <p>It's pretty clear that no one wants to stay in a job they hate. But if you choose to, whether because it satisfies some deeper motivation or because it's the best of a bad situation, these ideas should help you thrive there without feeling dead inside.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">10 Important Signs That Your Job Sucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">How Complacency Keeps You From Financial Security</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">The Absolute Worst Ways to Ask for a Raise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">13 Great Reasons to Quit Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building job job you hate survive thrive Wed, 28 Feb 2007 17:10:43 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 306 at