If I was crazy and stupid enough to start a family and have a kid in my 20s like everybody else has been instructed to, I would read the following articles to the kid as bedtime stories.
First would be this article about how bad alcohol is.
Then I’d read this article about employment and marriage, specifically about the employment part.
I’ll never forget what one of my bowling buddies said to me about five years ago. I had been at my retail job for five years, and I had just been “promoted” from clerk to “lead” clerk.
The only real change in this was that I got two raises instead of one and that I was assigned to do weekly inventory audits.
It wasn’t a major accomplishment but it was an accomplishment nonetheless, or at least I thought so at the time.
When I announced it to my bowling buddy, he asked “why are you still at that place? You’re wasting years of your life!”
At the time, I had no idea what he meant. After all, I didn’t think I was worth a better job, and if I got a better job, it wouldn’t be nearly as “fun” as the one I had. So I had no interest in getting a better job that paid more.
But my bowling buddy was right. I was wasting years of my life.
Just like I believe that there is always a better friend or lover waiting around the corner, there are always better ways to make money waiting around the corner. And on that day, my bowling buddy was trying to say this to me.
But we are way too addicted to comfort to see that. Do you want to know what will happen if you are too comfortable?
Enter one Glynndana Shelvin, a person who stayed at the same job for over three decades, because it was “fun” and she was “comfortable.”
In the following youtube video, she whines about how she isn’t making enough money there even though she has worked there for nearly three decades, and expects to be paid more just because she was doing the same thing for what seems like forever.
This is what happens when you are comfortable at a job you do not particularly like or dislike.
It is also what happens when you are not curious about things, or willing to take massive risks to find a better way to earn a living.
My bowling buddy thought of this person when he was saying that my retail job was wasting years of my life. He was dead on correct, and I should have not just said “look, I get to hit on college girls all night at that joint, who cares if I’m wasting my life!” in response.
Let me tell you something that will cut deep.
Working at a place like that for that long is no accomplishment.
Its like repeating high school over and over and over again.
You’ll learn LESS THAN NOTHING staying at a job like that (or ANY job) for that long, and to be really honest, nobody deserves to stay at a job like that for that long.
This goes back to my articles on jobs that everybody should have by 25. While it is important to have a job like the one Shelvin had for some time, there comes a time where you need to move on to bigger and better things.
You owe it to yourself, and to anyone you legitimately want to help that you do not stay at any entry level job for longer than two years. That’s right. Two years is all you get at any given entry level job. That is the longest you should stay.
Why else do people stay at entry level jobs for so long?
Aside from comfort, there is another reason why people stay at entry levels jobs for longer than two years.
That factor is low self esteem.
I had self esteem issues since I was framed/accused of harassment in high school. After this happened, I felt so guilty that I felt like I didn’t only deserve attractive girls and women in my life, but I felt like I didn’t deserve anything good in my life.
No one ever really knew about this, and this is something that I didn’t even tell the bevy of counselors that I saw in my late 20s. But it was something that held me back in literally every aspect of my life.
If you have an entry level job, are comfortable with it, and have low self esteem, you need to do yourself a favor and save up a ton of money, find a way to live somewhere for free (or really cheap), quit your job, take some time off life, and do some serious unwiring. Being comfortable and having low self esteem is pretty much the same as being dead.
Staying at an entry level job means nothing
I accomplished NOTHING during my 8 and 1/2 year tenure at my gas station job. Not a damn thing. Literally nothing. I may have learned some cool skills, but those were already mastered by my two year anniversary in 2010.
Let’s put this in perspective.
This blog started in 2016, with my “serious” blog starting a few months later, right?
What would have happened if I started it in 2010, with the other blog starting in early 2011?
How much more money would I have if I started freelance writing in 2011 instead of 2017?
And can you imagine not only what kind of money I would be making, but what kind of person I would be if I started selling my books online five years ago?
I don’t need to imagine anything: I can tell you right now…
I’d be way, way, WAY more successful. The Immortal Individual would be a legitimate business, and I’d probably have to hire someone to write this very article instead of writing it myself.
But I was my own worst enemy and was not courageous enough to face the truth, that I was comfortable (and even happy) failing at life at my weak sauce entry level job.
So what IS an entry level job?
Let’s compare two definitions for this: Wikipedia’s definition and my definition.
Here’s wikipedia’s definition, in one sentence:
A job that does not require prior experience in a field or profession.
Alright, fair enough. Sounds good to me. Here’s my definition:
A job where you get taught the fundamentals of these six things:
-Daily planning (this is usually done with a schedule that you get from your boss)
-Sales and marketing skills
If you are getting paid to do any of these things on a fundamental level and they are location dependent, meaning you go somewhere and punch a time clock, it is an entry level job.
My list of the five jobs that everyone should have before turning 25 are all entry level, and none should be stayed at for longer than two years.
If 25 months go by and you are still at that same entry level job, you are now a 21 year old high school freshman. Time to grow up and move on, no matter how hard it is. Even if that job is very lucrative, get the hell out of there.
I’ve known car salesmen in their 50s who make six figures a year and they have been selling cars since they were 18. Yet, they are in worse debt than me. Gee, I wonder how that’s possible? Could it be because they are working at a place that college dropouts work at to pay off student loans? That might be it!
Look. If you are too comfortable, you are a slave. To what, that’s up to what you value the most. In the case of this Shelvin character (and myself in my late 20s and early 30s), it was nihilism and meaninglessness. When you have nothing to live for, you select the easiest thing to do and then just do it on autopilot.
I know people who are approaching their 50s who still have these piss poor jobs. I recently visited my former job, the gas station I was working at. Everyone I left behind was still there save for a couple of people.
Like my bowling buddy said to me all those years ago, you are WASTING YOUR LIFE if this is you. GET A BETTER FUCKING JOB or do what I’m doing and start your own business.
Now here come the excuses.
“But Joelsuf, I have a family to support!”
And? How come that family can’t go to bat for you while you look for a better job? How hard is that for them? Seriously? Your family can’t support you but you feel obligated to support them? If this isn’t the case, then maybe you don’t have a family. Let that sink in.
“Those better jobs don’t exist! They’re all filled!”
So why are you complaining that they aren’t hiring? Wouldn’t that imply that they do exist, and that there is too much competition? You might just need to look in a different field. Or maybe, just maybe, you need to go back to square one and see what field you would do really well in.
“It’s ‘too late’ for that!”
Fuck off. Get your mind out of high school and quit being a coward. If you’re lacking in any of the skills that an entry level job offers and need to develop it, getting an entry level job is not difficult. It really isn’t. I know it may seem like I’m lying, but I know that you’re not applying yourself enough in your job search.
“I like where I’m at! It’s fun!”
You’re lying to yourself. Straight up. And you’ll need to deal with that one day. And on that day, you will see, like I did, that life passed you by. And there you are, at the same restaurant, car lot, retail store, or hotel, acting “proud” of your work.
To that, allow me to sarcastically give you a golf clap and say congratulations. You managed to repeat high school and college over and over again. Gold star.
“But I make good money!”
Look, you greedy asshole. Maybe no one has told you this, but money doesn’t buy happiness. It only makes life more convenient. You could have a job that pays you six figures a second, but it won’t mean dick if it isn’t meaningful and if you don’t get massive amounts of pleasure doing it.
Look. I am more proud of the $4k I made from freelancing than the $86k I made by working at my weak sauce entry level job for nearly a decade. Let that sink in.
Trust me, you’ll make way more money by taking a risk and going for more advanced jobs (or doing freelance work, like me) than you EVER will clinging and clutching to your piss poor entry level job. Trust me on this.
“I just don’t think I’m good enough for it.”
Friend, let me tell you a secret.
None of us are good enough for anything around us. The info that we have at our fingertips, the fact that we have all this amazing stuff around us, our ability to be in constant communication no matter what, the psychotically abundant amounts of conveniences we have, none of us are good enough for any of it.
We don’t deserve any of this. Look what most of us do with it! We use social media and the internet to compare (metaphysical) dick sizes and make people feel like crap with our “edgy, dank memes.” We don’t deserve anything. Like Orwell said, we deserve a boot stamping on a human face forever.
This rhetoric of “you ARE good enough” is a bald faced lie. It’s garbage. Metaphysical masturbation.
But do you want to know what is legit?
Finding out if you are good enough!
If you ever believe that you are not good enough for something, that means you need to find out. Tell your sky-high expectations to take a flying fuck off for one day and ask yourself “Why shouldn’t I apply for this job that I might not get?”
Maybe it wasn’t meant to be? What will you sacrifice?
One thing I’ve learned over the last year was that maybe, just maybe, I’m not accepted in the world of the “in-house” location dependent job. Over the last year or so, I’ve come to think that the only way I can succeed is by doing what no one else is doing, but what they all want to do.
And that, friends, is working from home.
Because that’s the big 21st century dream, right? Allow me to say this: Working from home is just as much a grind as any other job, but it is much more worth it.
I’ll be writing about this more and more as my business gets better and better, but sometimes, just sometimes, you need to make major sacrifices to make sure your vocation is not prison.
That’s what working from home is all about.
Working from home is NOT an entry level job. When it comes to this craft, all of the skills learned at an entry level job are applied, especially time management. But it is more rewarding than any other entry level job out there. And it is more possible to do this than ever before, but it takes a lot of effort.
Fortunately, I love working a lot for a little. Because I know that in the future, I’ll be working a little for a lot.
So let this be a final send off of sorts for anyone who thinks its a good idea to stay at an entry level job for over 2 years.
You are selling yourself and everyone important to you short when you do this. Do you think your light is going to shine if you just stay at an entry level job?
I know for a fact it won’t.
Because when I was wasting my life away at my gas station job, my light didn’t exist.
But now that I’ve freed myself, it eventually will.
And that’s when I’ll finally master Immortal Individuality.
Keep being awesome.