Oh Great, a Dead-End Job

I know, I know, work sucks and we all wish we could have a private income from some slick investments and not have to think about a job.  For some people (the future you, for instance) that’s reality.  For everyone else, not so much.

Let’s Get You a Job

I want to quickly walk you through the process of getting a job.  The examples in the Right Question are pretty simple ones, but that’s only because I want you to fully understand the basics of how to use it.  It is just as applicable to any other situation you could encounter, but I use mowing the lawn and doing the dishes because if you can’t master the basics, you’ll have a much harder time understanding the fundamentals of any other problems you’ll encounter in life.  Many of the people who have enjoyed The Right Question are those who have felt that nothing in life was working, and self help in general was not helping at all.

However, even if you do like your job, you might as well pick up a few ideas from this article, right?  Okay, let’s get started.

Any time I see someone avoiding a task, the first thing I wonder is, What’s that person afraid of?  In fact, for a long time I used that as part of the Right Question but eventually dropped it because I integrated it into the final version.  But let’s see about getting you a job.  Not a personal assistant to a film studio exec, unless of course you’re qualified for that or at least creative and driven enough to get that position, but something that will pay your bills and get you out of the financial mess you’re in.  You’re building a launchpad, something you can fire your rocket from, but unless it’s your dream career it isn’t the actual rocket.  It’s what’s going to keep you fed and pay your bills as you sleep well at night knowing that you’re covered.  Now you can spend your spare time actually working on your goals instead of fretting about where you’re going to come up with the rent.

At almost every stage of the job application process there is an opportunity to rationalize your way out of it.  Right from the start, even just browsing the classified ads or wandering the streets looking for Help Wanted signs, you’re learning a lot about yourself by the kinds of jobs you’re willing to even apply for in the first place.

You need to pay your bills.  You need money to survive; that’s a basic fact of life.  Some people understand this and some people don’t.  You may not believe me, but that’s okay, all I’m asking is that you trust me for a second here.  The ones least likely to believe me are the ones who have a job but hate it.  When the bills pile up and you turn your phone off because creditors keep calling, that is for many people worse stress.

If you think of a job as a car, and you live in the middle of nowhere, you can live a perfectly decent existence without one as long as you can forage in the bush and trap the occasional squirrel.  But if you want to go somewhere, not having one can be a real pain.  It can make the difference between survival and death.  You can get from the middle of nowhere to your destination in a smelly old beater as long as you do at least the minimum required to keep it going.  If you think of your job as a car, keep that job going; feed yourself, at least you’ll have the stress of bills and mortgages taken care of.  We’ll look at the stress it creates in a minute.

But Your Job is Not Your Job

I want you to understand this basic idea:  Your job isn’t really your job.

What I mean is, the job you get at the restaurant or the trucking company or the engineering firm or whatever isn’t your job at all.  Your job has now become in fact two jobs.

One is to keep the job you applied for and got.  Whatever it takes to keep that job, you keep it as long as the checks don’t bounce.

Your other job – your main, overriding job – is to keep your mind focused on your dreams.  That’s your job.  Viewed in that light, sweeping floors or stocking shelves or designing products is something you do in order to build your launchpad, nothing more.  It isn’t meant to build your rocket, so if you know that one day you’ll be lying on a beach with a private income then it doesn’t really matter if you’re flipping burgers or smelling armpits for a living.  If you’re paralyzing yourself with indecision over the job you should get as an excuse for not actually getting one, and in the meantime the bills are piling up, it’s time to look at why that is.

In other words, it’s time to ask the Question.

Your Job In Life

I cringe when I hear self help authors tell you to quit your job.  Coming from me that might sound odd, because I’m all about living your dreams, and nobody knows better than me that living your dreams means not working for someone else unless you really want to.  So let me explain.

Your number one job in life is to live the life you want.  From the moment you become aware that there is a life out there that you want to have, your job is to live it.  But too many people are so far behind in their progress toward that life that they aren’t even at the stage yet where they’re confident enough to go for it.  And there isn’t much out there for the everyday person who feels shut down and who lacks the confidence to even try for this.  If it’s confidence you need, then we need to build your launchpad.  We need to get you to the stage where you can handle whatever comes your way when you do ditch away and rise up as the paragon of early retirement.  We need to lift you out of your depression and off the couch and away from the tv.  Then we’ve got something we can work with.

If you look around, you’ll see that most people are living pretty ordinary lives.  The odd moments of excitement float around here and there, but in general they’re working at banks, supermarkets, restaurants, poultry farms, paving companies, bookstores and so on.  If any of these people quit their jobs and hitchhiked to Borneo they’d have a heck of an adventure but a huge mess when and if they returned, not to mention a lot of quizzical looks from Borneans when they’re sick with a rare tropical disease and can’t pay for a doctor.  So yes, by all means, quit your job and do what you love, but not until the launchpad is ready, okay?  Otherwise your rocket won’t have a place to sit and it will fall over.  It’s happened too many times.

Besides, what if you actually like your job?  I feel bad for all those people working at a job they really do halfway enjoy and are constantly being told by self help authors that they’re unimaginative wage slaves.  Who are they to judge you?  Ask the Question and you’ll see exactly where the holes in this way of thinking are.

So anyway, back to your job search.

If you’ve thought about what kind of job you’d like to have, and sketched out some requirements, it’s time to think about what the Law of Attraction might be doing for you here.  I present an explanation of it in The Right Question so I won’t go into it here, but basically once you have drawn out a map of what you want and what you are qualified for, don’t forget that there is often a great deal lost in translation between your wants (or fantasies) and your needs.  You’ll get your needs filled if you put in the request, but the true talent lies in knowing a good thing when you see it.

Like I said, it’s easy to rationalize yourself away from applying for jobs that in fact would be good ones for you to have.  “So-and-so worked there, and they said the manager’s a jerk.”  “Sounds like an okay job but the hours are too unpredictable.”  “I’m awful with people, I could never be a waiter, who cares how big the tips are.”  On and on you can go, making up excuses for not pursuing what might turn out to be a perfectly decent way to pay your bills and build a launchpad.  By the time you’ve “looked for a job all day”, be honest, have you actually sent out a lot of resumes, or just combed through a lot of ads over your coffee?  It’s okay if that’s all you did, but let’s see just where you are before we think about where you’re going.  This is an especially important step to avoid confusing yourself later if you still don’t have a job in two weeks.  “I applied for lots of jobs and there’s nothing out there” is a common lament over a venti latte, but if you can’t be honest with your espresso-sipping sympathizer at least be honest with yourself.

As always, just think about your situation and ask the Right Question.  You’ll discover and decide exactly what to do from that point.

Now you’ve built your launchpad, a stable place where you know your bills are paid and your leisure time belongs to you and you alone.  Great.  So far I’ve recommended that you get a job, any job, to pay your bills and build your launchpad.  Now it’s time to look at the stress created by getting a dead-end job.

Dead-End Job Stress?

Understand this:  A year is going to go by whether you and I like it or not.  Compare one year from now with your bills paid and your free time put toward construction of your rocket versus a year from now of taking handouts and trapping squirrels.  Nobody I know who works at gas stations or convenience stores or a million other dead-end jobs really loves it there.  I’ve only met one guy who did, at a sandwich shop in Canada.  He was ecstatic about everything but wasn’t on any kind of drug.  So I suppose there are exceptions.  But the economy runs on people who are building launchpads yet who don’t use their free time building their rockets, and I don’t understand why (if you’ve read the Right Question, you’ll know it doesn’t matter why).  You and I are working at this from the launchpad straight on up through the design and launch of your rocket.  That’s what the Right Question is for.

You want the life of your dreams, right?  Okay.  Launch that rocket from a sturdy place.  One year of putting your leisure time towards an enterprise that you love is often more than enough for you to be able to do it full-time, and it’s at that point that you really take off.  So yes, a dead-end job creates stress because you feel like a dork in that uniform, or you hate the commute, or you wish your boss wouldn’t hit on you, or your friends tease you.  One year from now, you will be a heck of a lot closer to living near a beach than they will be, because they have the attitude I’m going to describe right now.  You, however, are going to avoid it.

People who work a job they hate feel the stress of it, and they immediately begin to make terrible mistakes.

Because their job is unfulfilling, they feel they can spend their free time goofing off and doing unproductive things because they’ve somehow “earned it” for putting up with a job they dislike.  Is this ringing any bells?  Working a dead-end job you hate is something you WILL get out of if you apply the Right Question to your life.  You have earned the money to pay your bills, and that’s great, but you have not earned the right to waste your leisure time.  That will come in six months or a year from now, when you have reached the point where you can spend an hour a day on your business and the rest of your time helping out in the community, or lying on a beach, or planning your next vacation.  Maybe you’ll make a million overnight, maybe you won’t, but either way, your dead-end job serves the purpose of removing financial stress so that you can build your launchpad.  That is all it’s for.  It is a tool, a resource for you to use to become the person who could have the life of your dreams.

Because as you know by now, the life of your dreams is going to happen to you, if it happens at all.

We all know that dead-end jobs feel like an awful waste of time.  And they can be, unless you recognize that every single thing around you can be a handhold that you can use in some way to build your launchpad and construct the rocket that’s going to lift you out of the life you have into the life you want.  Have you ever seen the movie Flight of the Phoenix?  That’s exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about.  There is a way out but it requires… well actually it requires the Right Question.  Spend your free time working on a way out, not lamenting what you don’t have and what you can’t do because your job traps you.  It frees you to build your escape plan.  To keep yourself focused, ask yourself the Right Question ten times a day if you have to.

You’ll lift off, I know it.

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