“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught.” — Oscar Wilde
Do you have to enjoy your job in your 20s? Should you follow your passions? Should you go after the job that pays you the best?
These are all interesting questions that have sparked some fun debates with my friends. We all have different viewpoints on what to do in our 20s. Some of us just want to party and live it up. Others want to work as hard as possible to save money for the future. Some have that perfect balance.
I can’t give you a definitive answer here because it’s YOUR life. I personally believe that life is too damn amazing to spend it doing something that you’re not excited about.
With that being said, I also believe in putting in the work to getting the results/savings that you want. You can’t just sit around, read the 4-Hour Workweek and expect something to happen. It doesn’t work like that my friend. We can’t all start making thousands without any effort. You do have to put the work in. This doesn’t mean that you can’t question your job though.
There are two ways to look at your job:
- It’s your source of income. Shut up and accept it. Go to work, get paid, and enjoy your spare time.
- You can do something that you enjoy for a living. Something that inspires you. Something that keeps you up until 4am on a Sunday night (I hope I wasn’t the only one).
What side do you fall on? Let’s have some fun with this discussion and continue it on.
How do you avoid getting trapped in a crappy job?
“Everything I have I owe to this job…this stupid, wonderful, boring, amazing job.” — Jim, The Office series finale
It’s so easy to get trapped. It’s easy to stay with the first job that you find in your 20s. One month turns into a year. A year turns into a few years. Next thing you know, there’s a 10-year pin being awarded to you. We all have older friends that wonder where the time went. Some of us are that older friend that’s confused. There’s nothing worse in life than the regret of the unknown. The regret of what we didn’t do. The feeling of thinking that it’s too late can really keep you up at night and torture you.
Is it possible to avoid this? Yes. You just need to create a plan.
What’s your plan?
There’s nothing wrong with hustling in your 20s. It’s also cool to chase after your passions and work that excites you.
All I ask is that you come up with some sort of a plan. What do you want out of life? What’s your plan?
Your plan will depend on what you want and the sort of lifestyle that you want to live. If you want to move up the ranks at your job, then you need to invest in your education and network around. If you want to work for yourself, then you need to make your first buck on your own instead of wishing.
You need a plan. Stop waiting for something to happen because it won’t! Your turn never rolls around. You have to create opportunities.
What if I’m confused?
It’s common to be confused. It’s easy to run away from launching. It’s really easy to just coast through life waiting for something to happen. The reality is that we need to stop assuming that everything will be okay.
When’s the best time to find a new job? When you don’t need one.
We can’t expect everything to be okay forever. Things will change. You will get fired one day. You will get sick of your job.
I believe that taking action is key. You’ll always be afraid of something. You need to conquer your confusion/fear right now before you can move on.
[Check out: How-to destroy your fear finally.]
Keep on working hard, questioning the system, and looking for further answers. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Don’t blame the world for your problems. You will find new jobs, get fired, feel like crap at work, and feel excited about work. Just keep on searching until you find something that excites you. I don’t want you to be that
What do you think about all of this?
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain
9 thoughts on “Should You Enjoy Your Job in Your 20s?”
What I learned is that yes, enjoying your job is something you should insist upon, but more importantly, that it’s important to recognize when you are no longer enjoying your job, and to act appropriately. I held onto a couple of jobs too long because I knew I had enjoyed them. What I realized later was that some combination of my goals changing, the companies goals changing, or the marketplace changing, made the enjoyment level change. It happens.
You definitely need to act appropriately. What’s the longest that you stayed at a job that you hated?
I’m 28 and I don’t enjoy my job. I don’t dislike my job either. My job is there to provide me an income and it does that. In the future, I will probably search for a more enjoyable job, but right now it is all about dollars.
Does it pay you enough to make you want to stay for much longer Nick?
Nice article, Martin. This made me reflect on my homecoming after graduation. I wanted to take it easy and find something I liked doing, but since I went back home to live, my parents would have none of that. It was get a job or move out (such nice advice for a recent graduate), and so I had to go get a job I wouldn’t like so I could make income. I’ll spare the gritty details about horrible bosses and infrequent pay, but let’s just say I cut ties before a year rolled around, and have a new, better job.
That’s cool to hear that you moved on. How long have you been out of college now?
1.5 years. Longer than I thought, but hopefully the grad school I’m going to will make it worth the wait. Though so far, there isn’t much hope haha.
That was very motivational. Everyone needs to feel a sense of purpose; and doing anything is better than nothing! Thanks for the great read!
Productivity and effectiveness comes with being able to enjoy your job. If you are no longer happy, that can pose a great problem with your output.