May 26, 2024

Nothing makes any sense anymore.

Is what you want really what you want, or is it what someone else wants?

If you’re like me, and you’ve spent the past few years out of college working jobs you hate, learning new skills to pivot into a new career, struggling to find a job in your field, or maybe a combination of all three…

I’m sure you can resonate with me when I say that frankly, shit’s kind of fucked out here.

The economy and world at large is caught in an awkward crossroads, trying to balance the economic consequences of the pandemic as well as utilize emerging technology like artificial intelligence.

And it seems like the main way companies are choosing to address this uncertainty is, well, to fire half their employees and just rehire some of them at higher years of experience for lower salaries.

And unfortunately the way the cookie crumbles is… if you’re only around five years or less into your career, you’re the one getting axed.

It’s every man for themselves out here.

Nothing works anymore.

It’s quite frustrating for someone like myself and many of my peers in similar positions because we’re just simply trying to do the right thing and follow the path we’ve been told to do our entire lives.

It seems like much of the conventional advice that has been told to us since we were children was this.

Go to school.

Get good grades.

Get into college.

Get a decent job with benefits.

Work for 50 years and then retire.

Now you live a few more decades and then you die.

And maybe it’s just me but, I feel somewhat betrayed.

My whole life I was a good boy who always did what everyone asked of me. Everything from getting good grades to getting into that prestigious college, so I could get that good job that they could brag to all of their friends about.

All for it to lead to this. Graduating at the beginning of a pandemic into a terrible job market that will hire and fire you without blinking twice and doing it again to the next pour soul just trying to make a living.

The truth is, this advice simply doesn’t work anymore, at least right now it doesn't. Long gone are the days when you could get a job at a company and work there for 30 years and now you’re the CEO of the company.

No longer can you simply get a college degree and companies will be knocking at your door to beg you to work for them.

No longer will you just need a degree and a company will be willing to take a chance on you to teach you the necessary skills to perform at your job.

No, you need 3+ years to even be eligible for an entry level position. And even if by the grace of the gods themselves you get that job, it may even be a terrible place to work and you hate it anyway.

People from older generations always say, “You’re lucky if you like your job. Most people hate their jobs and that’s just the way it is.”

Well maybe I’m naive and my Gen Z brain isn’t mature enough to understand that, but is it wrong to think that’s a little bit… fucked up?

Is the bar really so low that as a society we’ve all decided that it’s okay to hate your life?

You’re basically telling me to be miserable. Everyone else does it, so you need to do it too.

I guess I’m asking for too much.

We were sold a false bill of goods from our previous generations and it’s obvious to younger people that’s simply not how the world works anymore.

But it’s not previous generation’s fault. They’re just giving us the advice that worked for them when they were our age. Not a single soul could have predicted the last four years would be some of the most confusing and weird years to survive through.

And if this weird time strikes when you graduate and are trying to get your life together, then frankly you’re just fucked.

Performing at the circus.

If I have to try and optimize my resume so perfectly like I’m trying to hack into the matrix to get a response from a company…

Or my mental health relies solely on the hundreds of the job applications I blast into the abyss to hopefully turn into one Zoom link for a 15 minute online interview…

Or even if have to beg companies that never gave a shit about me or any of their employees to still give me a shot like corporate Stockholm syndrome…

Or even if I have to go through five interview stages just for them to deem that I’m worthy enough to work at their mid ass company…

Then you can keep it. Call me crazy, but I don’t think we should be subjected to this just to be able to get a job.

You could say that I’m just giving up. You may be right. You could tell me that if I just kept trying then a job could just be around the corner and all you need is one yes.

But I simply refuse to submit myself to this kind of torture anymore.

I do go through phases of applying and even getting interviews but I quickly get burned out by the sheer unprofessional and confusing hiring practices at some of these companies.

It’s like the people looking for jobs are struggling, but even the companies hiring don’t even know how to hire in a logical and respectful way.

It’s all fucked. But that’s a topic for a whole other article.

So, what are we supposed to do about it?

For me, I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands.

Which is why I’ve decided to spend the majority of my time now working on my freelancing business.

I’ve only committed to it for less than a year so it’s starting off slow and it’s extremely hard to get a business off the ground from scratch.

It may be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life honestly.

I don’t make that much money right now and I’m realizing now that I have no idea how to really run a business and scale it.

But that’s the fun of it. Learning as I go, failing, succeeding, getting better everyday. The money I do make is directly a result of the hard work I put in to make a difference.

It’s the kind of risk and reward that make it all so much more satisfying because I did it on my own.

Now it’s not all sunshine and rainbows either. There are certainly some bad days and sometimes I want to put my head into the wall. Whether it be bad clients, late payments, or even no clients at all. Shit gets crazy when you’re all alone and are responsible for your own success.

But that’s also the beauty of it, because when I do have wins, they’re big ones.

Don’t get me wrong, a cushy job that pays decent, provides benefits, and is a consistent paycheck sounds great. If there was one of these jobs that fell into my lap I would probably take it.

But I’m just not willing to perform at the circus anymore for one of these anymore.

While I’m not making any extravagant money or building my empire to achieve generational wealth (YET), I’m making money based solely off of my own actions.

It’s the most rewarding thing I may have ever done. Definitely more rewarding than clocking into work everyday and doing the same exact things over and over again or else my boss will yell at me.

While I’m not completely ruling out the possibility of a full time job, I think for most people it makes the most sense in their individual situations, but for me I think this makes the most sense for me.

Best case scenario I become self sustaining, don’t have to worry about being laid off, and I can create an income for myself by doing something I actually am interested in and enjoy.

Worst case scenario I fail but I learn a shit ton along the way.

It’s a win win if you ask me.

I’m not telling everyone to quit their jobs and start a business. If you have something that works for you and you think what you’re striving for is worth it, then by all means go for it.

But for me, I’m really enjoying not so much stressing about the factors that I can’t control, and instead focusing on something I can control and directly benefit from.

Going out on my own and not listening to the advice given to me by everyone else has actually been one of the most fun and rewarding things I’ve ever done in my life.

We’re all going to die one day.

I’d rather not be on my death bed, looking back on my life in my mid twenties and think about all the days I spent sending out job applications and feeling depressed when they would all turn to rejections.

I’d rather not regret ever having tried to something on my own and take my life into my own hands.

And I’d rather spend the limited time I have on this Earth going out and forging my own path, and not subject myself to following someone else’s idea of success, when I could just create my own.

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