Don’t be stupid

Lately, I’ve noticed a trend lately that has me very worried. Two specific pieces of advice.

  1. It is okay to quit your job.
  2. Follow your dreams.

This post may come across harsh, but I can tell you it comes from experience and the reality of growing up.

It is not ok to quit your job

  1. You have financial obligations – student loans, rent, credit cards, future retirement, future spouse, future kids, future house, future car, future vacation. Notice I said future quite a few times.
    I was young once and I lived the dream. I worked at startups, I was unemployed, I traveled. Maybe I’m a worrier, but I knew someday I wanted a family and it was not going to be cheap.
  2. The grass is not greener on the other side. Being self employed is not easy. It is the hardest job there is. It can be fulfilling, but it is a struggle to land clients and deliver work at the same time.
  3. Taking time off makes it more difficult to land your next job when you return. Your skills will deteriorate if you don’t use them. The gap in your resume will also raise eyebrows.

Don’t follow your dreams

Rarely do your dreams/passion pay well. Many people love to be creative – write, paint, make movies, etc. But those careers generally don’t pay well. This post on LinkedIn sums it up well.

Suck it up

My suggestion is to suck it up and do your job. Embrace your skills, celebrate the small wins, enjoy your vacations/time-off to their fullest, and save for the future.

Be thankful you have a job. At any time, your company may lose a major client or miss the mark about the future. Companies big and small shut down and have layoffs all the time. If you get laid off, then that is the time to reflect on your career choices.

Work on your skills. You were hired and kept around because you are decent to good at your job. Build on those skills so you can get a promotion and a raise.

Enjoy your time off. If you want to travel, take your 2-3 weeks consecutively and travel. Maybe you have the option for longer sabbatical, sure take it.

Think about the future. Sure, live in the moment and enjoy the day, but plan for the future.

If you really still want to quit your job or follow your passion, then find a side hustle to help you satisfy those desires.

Would you work for Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross?

The above video is the famous speech delivered by Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross.

There are usually two reactions to the rant. You can say “Yeah!” and get motivated and energized or you can say “What an a-hole!” and dismiss the whole situation.

Is he a good boss? Probably not.
Would you work for someone like that? I definitely would.
As a boss in today’s corporate culture, he wouldn’t last. But his motivation, drive, and vision are key to a being a great leader. Take away the cursing (although a little cursing at work is ok with me) and you’ll have a boss who will push you do do your best.

FYI, all hiring managers want the person who says “YEAH!, let’s go out and sell some real estate.”

Young graduates and entitlement

I’ve been reading more and more few stories about younger generations who have a different view on what the world and a feeling of “entitlement”.

It starts at a very young age and carries into university settings.  See the results of this survey – conducted by by Rutgers, but not at Rutgers.

They believe that since they’re paying for their education, they should get to decide whether they go to class or not

And then the students complain about the professors and curriculums are too demanding and request their grades be changed.

This exchange between a NYU professor and a late student sums it up well.

Getting a good job, working long hours, keeping your skills relevant, navigating the politics of an organization, finding a live/work balance…these are all really hard . . .

And it carries into careers

It worries me as a manager of people if young graduates don’t have this figured out. Business is hard. We don’t get bonuses, salary increases, promotions based on effort. You need to deliver results. You need to take responsibility for getting their work done and doing it in a professional manner. Our customers don’t care how many hours you work, they care about getting the best product for their hard earned money.

So a piece of advice to future young professionals. Man (or woman) up. Be humble and work your ass off. The good stuff will follow.