Aug 14 2013
[Guest Post] Why Having a Job is Crazy
I’m very excited to share with you a guest post from a friend and colleague of mine, Jewel Syquia Olson. I met Jewel while in college at the Art Institute of California-San Francisco. She was the peer mentor for Advertising at my orientation and I remember her distinctly because she had incredible charisma and charm. Her big smile and light-hearted yet confident attitude really made me want to know her. A few quarters later she changed her major to Graphic Design and became my peer mentor. It was only after a few classes together that I realized how talented she was and how much alike we were in our work ethics and natural-born leadership tendencies. Today Jewel writes to us about her experiences and revelations in the pursuit of employment.
I do not want to bore everybody with the details of a long job-finding-story-gone-wrong, so I will tell you a short one. I graduated from college. I began looking for a job. I started interviewing for two companies. I got to the final interview process with both companies. One company offered me a job and a starting date that coincided with the final interview of the other company. Since I got the offer I told the other company I found a job and that I was no longer available. I waited for my schedule and my contract. I waited for my schedule and my contract after the day I was supposed to start. I get an email two days after my “start date” saying they decided to give the job to someone else due to the budget. This was after they told me I had gotten the job.
Apparently there is a new option besides getting the job, or not getting the job, which is getting the job and then getting the job taken away from you (before you even get started). I can’t think of a more stressful result to an already windy road that is finding a job. Ever heard of the expression, “it takes a full-time job to find a full-time job?” Well it isn’t just an expression it is completely true. The countless first, second, third, and even fourth interviews, the art tests, the Skype chats, the phone calls, the emails, the sending out of resumes, the writing of a new cover letter every time, and the constant checking of emails… Do I even need to go on?
When a person finally lands a job its like reaching the top of the mountain. The only thing you got to do next is stick your flag in the ground and boom you got it. Unless you a person in the 21st century trying to land a job in this greedy, careless employment world. The honest to gosh truth is… Companies do not care about you. I am sorry they don’t. Bottom line, when it comes down to money, they will always choose money. Why do you think there are lay offs? People will devote thirty years of their life to a company who will lay them off in a blink of an eye if they needed to keep the budget. That doesn’t seem like caring to me, and it isn’t to those who lose their jobs.
As a child I had this belief where if you worked really really hard in life than one day you will be successful. My parents both work medium-paying jobs where they get benefits and paid vacation time, and all they have to do for it work really hard for it. Go to work for eight hours a day, five days a week, four weeks out of the month, fifty weeks out of the year, for about forty to fifty years of their life (depending) until they retire.
As I grew up my belief remained the same but the way people around me were “working hard” didn’t make any sense. Devoting your life to a company that isn’t even yours, spending more time with people you work with than your own family, and then thinking all of this is OK because that is just how life is… Well I think that is pure nonsense.
You cannot really blame anyone though. I mean we are brought up in a society where going to school literally prepares us for this slave like employment. Don’t get me wrong, I had an amazing education experience growing up. I went from a private K-8th grade school to a public high school, and loved every minute of it. However, even happy in high school, I still always questioned why I had to be there. Had someone told me I could have taken a test that would allow me to be accredited for a high school education at fifteen years old… Man, who knows what I could have accomplished at that age?
There is gossip going around that the Y Generation, 20-30 year olds, are too stuck up. We think we are entitled to all these big salaries and our dreams right away, without putting in the forty to fifty years of hard work like our parents and grandparents did. This is one of the explanations for why we are the number one unemployed age group in our country. I can’t speak for everyone my age, but I certainly can say that I am not stuck up. I simply know what I am worth. I know that what I can give to the world is way more than what is out there for me.
Bottom line is, you will always be working towards someone else’s dream until you choose to work on your own dream.
Bottom line is, you will always be working towards someone else’s dream until you choose to work on your own dream. The problem is people stop dreaming. They stop believing that their dream life can exist so they begin to take the easy ways out. They take the higher paying job they never really liked over the one they loved that didn’t pay as much. They begin to compensate all the time spent away from their family with a vacation that they can only afford to take once a year, and that is only if they get the time off. They miss out on sports events, recitals, plays, and their children growing up because they spend all day at the office…
Honestly I am really really happy that the company did what they did. It just showed me that what I thought all along was true. Companies do not care about me, and never will. I will never reach my goals working for someone else. I will never get my dream life doing what others tell me to do. So what can I do?
There is something amazing about living in this country too. Most of our lower to middle class citizens still have roofs over their heads, meals to eat, and the freedom to still do what they want. Some of the poorest people in America still live better than most the world – a world where starvation, war, murder, rape and clean drinking water are every day issues. Not saying we do not have those issues too, but this is the thing… We can do something about it. We do live in a country where we can make our dreams come true. You see this is where another problem comes along for most people… They simply give up. They stop trying to reach for what they really want in life.
I now have two businesses, one my freelance graphic design and the other a marketing development company I own and run with my husband.
As for myself instead of settling, as most of us do, I took this experience and decided to change my circumstances. I now have two businesses, one my freelance graphic design and the other a marketing development company I own and run with my husband. I do not plan on working a 9-5 existence for the next fifty years of my life. I plan on retiring before I am thirty years old, not sixty, and living the life my family and I should be living – our dream life.
Call me crazy, but I think those who choose the employee life is crazy. Do yourself a favor and make money off what you love doing the most, because, trust me, it is very possible. The only thing that is stopping you is you.
Check out Jewel’s work at jewelsyquia.com