Why I Stay at a Job I Don’t Love

Trust me, I’m all about living a life you love! That’s what Free As  A Weed breeds.  Creating a life you love, not a life you have to live! With that being said, I continue to work at a job I’m not at all passionate about.

The Money Factor

Why do I stay?  Well, for starters it’s the most money I’ve ever made in my career.  In the Financially Independent Community, it’s all about increasing the gap.  By that I mean, you have one of two choices in order to save more money:

  • You can lower your expenses and the amount you save by lowering your expenses and your current income equals the gap.
  • Or you can increase your income from your current expenses and that is the gap.

I know we can definitely cut more expenses in our life, such as our housing/rent, our groceries, and our dinners out, but that isn’t the life we want to live.   So instead, we’ve chosen to increase our wages!  Over the last seven years that I’ve known my husband he has moved up his corporate ladder into a management position.  Each position being an increase in pay.  His resume shows consistency at his employer, where mine on the other hand shows a bit of chaos.   However, with that chaos, I have been able to double my income in just four years! I recently wrote an article about it.  You can check it out here! Of course, don’t get me wrong, I’m going to be continuously looking for opportunities to increase my income again in the future, but this brings me to my next reason.

I need consistency on my resume.

I used to be able to pride myself on staying at jobs at length. From the age of 16 to 25, I had three jobs.  It wasn’t until I graduated with my Masters in Social Work that I found myself job hopping because turns out social work was not for me.  I couldn’t find anything that I could jive with. Then when we moved to New Orleans, I basically started my career path over.  Since being in New Orleans, my resume shows, well no job for 7 months, because ya’ll the job market was rough, an admin job I stayed at for a year, and now my present job, which I’ve been at for almost two years!  The goal is to stay a minimum of two years, if not more.

I recognize it’s not standard to stay at your same employer for your entire adult life as it once was.  In fact, many employers now like to see some differentiating careers as it shows growth, learning, and adaptability. But having some consistency is still huge! And for that reason alone, I am going to continue to stay at a job I am not passionate about.

That 401K Plan

Good ol’ retirement options.  Yes, this sounds like an option I would be given at most employers, but this year is different. This year I am taking full advantage of my non-taxable accounts.  I have increased my contributions in order to max out my 401K for the first time ever!  And a 3% employer match. To think back to even 2 years ago I would be able to save over 20K, I would have laughed at you. Impossible! Not happening! You’re kidding me, right!? But now with all of my new financial savvy knowledge, the impossible became possible.

In previous jobs where a 401K or 403B was offered, I was never formerly educated enough on how to take advantage of them.  Or what they meant for my future self.  Nor was I in a position financially to be able to put that much money aside.  I realize now 401K’s are one of the best options for people on their financial independence journey.

This took a lot of self education, reading, and trial and error.  Because we are not taught financial literacy in the education system, we have been forced to learn about finances from a home environment, or through books, blogs, and “influencers.”  I know many of us can say we were not taught financial literacy in the home environment, leaving it up to us to gain the knowledge on our own terms.

The Part Time Schedule, but Full Time Salary

Although my position is considered full-time, our office only works Monday through Thursday for an average of 32 hours per week! That is something you can’t find very many places. But New Orleans ain’t called “The Big Easy” for no reason!  As the Office Manager of the healthcare clinic, I do end up putting in more hours than any other employee, but that is not to say I work more than 40 ever. And it’s not a requirement that I work more than the scheduled hours.  I simply enjoy the hours before others arrive in silence to focus 100% of my energy.

Working Monday through Thursday allows for me to pursue projects like this blog.  With consistency and determination I know I have the time and no excuses not to pursue a side hustle.  Although, I won’t lie to you, I’ve noticed writing for this blog is easier said than done.  In recent months it has taken a back burner to self-care, exercising, and cleaning, and house guests.  But I’d like to change that and set more of a writing routine, where there are scheduled hours and days of my week to 100% dedicate myself here.

Management Experience

I have always pictured myself in a corporate position.  Why? I couldn’t really say.  Perhaps that’s because my parents and sister all went that route.  But where have I ended up?  In several healthcare fields, one after another.  To a point where I think it will be hard to transition from this field to a corporate like position.  But I believe a title, such as Office Manager, will likely help get me to the next step.  A career goal of mine would be to work in Human Resources.  With the social work background and management experience, I believe they could go hand in hand at the right company.

This small management position has allowed me to practice having difficult conversations with employees.  It has allowed for me to be in a hiring position.  Also, it has forced me into being the go-to for any and all problems, and for that I am thankful because it has allowed me to grow.

“The key to growth is acknowledging your fear of the unknown and stepping in anyways.” – Jen Sincero

I’m well liked & received by my boss & staff

I don’t say this to brag and sometimes worry I don’t contribute enough, but my boss like really likes me.  To the point where I think if she believes she has upset me in any way, there are flowers on my desk the next day, or a spa gift card.  I would honestly feel terrible if I left her.  I have helped shift the company in the right direction.  Also, I can say there has been quite an increase in profits since I’ve joined the team, but that certainly didn’t all come because I existed there.

But it is nice to be liked, although I know that’s not the most important thing in a management position.  I am for the most part well respected by my staff and I know they feel comfortable around me.  My boss, in which case is the doctor at the office, thinks my work ethic is outstanding, and honestly I can’t disagree.  I work until the project is complete! My work ethics have always been strong.  I’ve been taught to always please your boss as she/he is who controls your future.

The Moral of the Story

Increasing my income to where it’s at now, around 55K, including my bonuses, I have been able to save more aggressively.  This year I have made adjustments to max out my 401K with the new 2019 limit of $19,000.  This alone, is a major reason I choose to stay at a job I am not at all passionate about.  Like I said formerly, thinking I can now save $20,000 in one year on my salary alone is extremely rewarding.  Formerly the unimaginable.

I often wonder what it would be like to quit and focus all my energy on this blog, but it’s nice to feel needed.  Also to have structure in my days, and have a steady, reliable paycheck.  This pay with my husband’s salary is allowing for us to save aggressively for the future and eventually early retirement and I am proud to be finally able to help contribute to that.  So for those reasons, I will continue to stay at this job!

I’d love to know your reasons for staying at a job/career you don’t love.  Is it because your bills and family require the income? Or is it your means and avenue to early retirement? If you are new the financial independence community, hop on over to the posts and binge read on why we have decided to outside of the norms and not have any debts.

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