I had written a few entries back about How My Degree Has Failed Me Miserably. Despite the somewhat discouraging tone of that entry, it has received an amazing amount of positive feedback. From discussions with my readers offline, I’ve learned that a lot of people are going through the exact same thing right now. As I sit surfing on Craigslist for new apartments that will allow me to cut costs, I find myself growing a bit more frustrated with my current situation. I had also written further back about how Losing Your House is the Hot New Thing in ’08. At the time I was curious why so many people were losing their homes and ending up in extremely dire straights. I think I’ve certainly developed a better understanding of how this happens as my own situation has changed.
About 6 months ago, I took a leap of faith into a new job. I had gotten sick of selling the product (not illegal) I was selling. On the flip side, I made my own schedule, didn’t pay for gas during the week, didn’t pay car insurance, and didn’t pay my car note. I was also decent at what I did, so I generated some pretty nice bonuses and commission checks. As I grew more frustrated with the job, I realized money wasn’t everything. It was sometimes a struggle to go out in the morning and look for new businesses to sell to. It was even more frustrating to look at the next steps and realize that there was no other position within that company that would allow me to utilize my strongest abilities. At that point, I did some research and decided to pursue other opportunities. I guess you could say it was a Pursuit of Happiness. If you’ve seen the movie, I was pretty much like Will Smith when I was in the sales job. I made a hell of a lot more than him though. But long story short, I ended up in the field of recruiting. I had to absorb my car note, car insurance, and fuel. I also had to forget about the bonuses and monthly commission checks. As I had mentioned previously, my rent bumped $100/month and now I’m paying to park in a garage and hop on the subway everyday to get to work.
Why would someone walk away from all that financial goodness though?
I really did hate what I was doing for work on a day to day even though I had a great relationship with my boss and the people on my team. Recruiting seemed like a great opportunity to try something new that I would be good at. I realized it was better to make a bit less and be happier with my job, than to just make good money and be miserable. I also thought I’d be generating a lot more money through commission and bonuses with the new job at this point. That was over 6 months ago. As of today, I haven’t generated anything. My job satisfaction has increased overall from the last gig, but my quality of life has taken a hit. And as the quality of life has continued to decrease, so has the job satisfaction. So I’m almost right back where I started, but with less money to spare.
So yeah, I can see how people lose their house. I can see how Will Smith in the Pursuit of Happiness ended up sleeping in a subway with his son. If you take one gamble that doesn’t work out and the economy simultaneously tanks, it’s quite easy to end up assed out. Just because the money has stopped coming in doesn’t mean the bills have done the same thing. I don’t say all of this to be negative. I say this because I have gained a new respect for those who are struggling and trying to move up. Anyone’s life can be turned upside down. Though I feel my degree has failed me, I also think it allows me to stay one step ahead of a lot of people who have it worse than I do. I’m looking at all of this as a challenge right now. Ultimately, I’m going to figure out a way to be happy with how I’m making money, and happy with how much is coming in. I’m hoping that as I continue to fine tune my writing abilities, you all continue to follow this journey. Happy Sunday, for many of us will be returning to work tomorrow. Exciting right? Right…