What started with InDesign and copy editing has transformed into endless spreadsheets and the pressure of trying to improve a product that I don’t personally support. This is a job I was contacted about out of the blue. I took it because I was desperate for a full-time paycheck. Looking back, I’m not sure if it was the right decision.
I can feel myself becoming more discontent and aggravated on a daily basis. Dilbert cartoons have become the tool I use to measure how much of my passion has been sucked out by the corporate lifestyle; the funnier they are, the less of a person I am. And lately they’ve been pretty damn hilarious.
If I were part of the Baby Boomer generation, my peers would be saying, “So… What’s the problem? You have a job that pays well. You can support your family. You should consider yourself lucky!”
But I’m not part of that generation. I’m a Millennial, which means my peers are saying, “So… What’s the problem? Just quit! Follow your passion; you can do anything!”
I have a love-hate relationship with the Millennial mantra that I won’t get into at this moment. The main problem with the ideals we were raised with is timing. We are entering the work force at the worst possible time to let our careers be dictated by passion alone. Some of us just need to bite the bullet and take a job so we can get out of debt.
Lately I’ve been feeling like the stripper in City High’s “What Would You Do?” Here’s the song if you need a refresher:
Obviously my life isn’t as shambled as the woman’s in the song. But I do feel like I’m making what has become the “wrong” choice when it comes to my career.
“Hold up. Why can’t you just quit and get a job you enjoy?”
I am looking for other jobs. But quitting my current job so I can commit more time to finding a better job is really scary to me.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for young adults (25-29) is currently 7.8 percent. This is only a little higher than the percent of my student loan interest. (By the way, the unemployment rate is 12.5% for ages 20-24.)
I recently read a Forbes article saying that due to the rising cost of education and the poor economy, today’s 20-somethings won’t be able to retire until they are in their 70s. I won’t be able to retire until I am 73. Seventy-three! If I quit my job and am unemployed for a year, that retirement age will just keep going up. And when you’re already retiring in your 70s, that’s a risk you don’t want to take.
So in the altered words of City High,
“What would you do if you were in debt
If you had a bunch of loans, sitting in an account, accruing interest!
And the only way to pay them is to
Work at a job that you don’t really like.
But you’re trying!
To get hired
Or maybe get fired
You’ll never retire!
So for you this is just a strange choice but for me this is what I call life. MMm.”
If I stay the course, my loans will be fully paid off by this time next year. My days of being debt-free are so close… If I can just hold out a little longer I’ll be in a better position to take risks. But maybe I’m being to practical.