Over the past few years that I've been doing this, I've always treated a lot of the writing that comes to the site (either through me or from a guest poster) as a tool to show people that they don't have to be trapped in a job or situation that they don't like.
It makes sense, right? My entire story is based on a dream that so many of us have had of leaving a job that makes us unhappy to go out and do something as awesome and quite honestly, bizarre, as working from a laptop.
Whether it's been talking about debt-freedom, early retirement, or leaps of faith; that one element of bailing from your current situation to find a better life has been the larger focus of the content on M$M over the past year or so.
Early retirement and entrepreneurship are really common themes in the personal finance community right now
Even since I started blogging just a short time ago, it seems like the number of early retirement blogs and entrepreneurship sites have skyrocketed.
Of course…that observation is totally anecdotal. But it's something that I've deliberately tried to keep up with on this site as the anti-job content out there has become increasingly less taboo. It just seemed to me that everyone was desperately trying to find a way out of their profession entirely.
Even someone like me, who has a totally awesome job and have NEVER thought about retiring early (I've even explicitly said I wouldn't do it in posts before) has been considering an early exit strategy lately. And the weird thing is…I don't even know why haha.
It just sounds cool. Maybe I'd be EVEN happier in retirement??? Seems a little ridiculous now that I'm looking at the words on the screen.
But what about the people that actually love their jobs?
After I published a post earlier this week about getting out of the rat race before 30, I realized that I might inadvertently be shunning a massive chunk of my audience who doesn't actually hate their jobs.
As trendy as it is to push early retirement stories right now or gap years because those posts do get more clicks/shares, I figured I might need to check in on my normal readers and just ask…do you love what you do? Why?
So I asked the M$M Facebook community members that enjoy their job to share what they do and why they love it.
The responses were actually jarring. I thought there would be one, maaaaaybe two responses. Within 20 minutes there were 100+ people sharing the best parts of their life's work, and it was so refreshing to see.
In my rush to push stories about a slower way of life over the last year, I forgot something fundamental about the people that this site reaches. So many people have the drive to create an incredible life for themselves through their daily work.
Here's a small portion of what the M$M crew shared with me about their jobs (this is cool):
Cayla L. – “I’m a program supervisor at a park district and I’m responsible for implementing a variety of programs for all age groups. I love working with the kids and building relationships with the families in the surrounding communities. Seeing kids that start attending classes when they’re little, and watching them grow into teens/young adults is awesome because I know that I had a small part in shaping their childhood. It’s also great because I don’t think I could do the same thing every day. Every season is a different focus, and every day brings a new surprise!”
Wesley L. – “I'm a User Experience Designer and Researcher. So basically I use psychological, research, sketching, lots of computer programs and my brain all day every day to design new technology. I've always loved building things and been fascinated with tech, so it's a perfect match.”
Hannah M. – “I'm an aircraft dispatcher! I LOVE my job!! I love that it combines my natural ability to plan and organize with my passion for aviation. The flight benefits are nice, too!”
James Y. – “I’m a career firefighter. I admittedly went through a time when that was my only income and I lost the love. Now that I’m not depending on that alone to pay the bills it’s the best job in the world. I work with like-minded people focused on improving the worst day of someone else’s life. It also puts things in perspective when we routinely see just how well we live compared to people right down the road within our community. It’s truly the best job in the world (so good that even cops want to be firefighters).”
Aimee I. – “I am a recruiter for an international hospitality company. LOVE my job! I literally help people find new opportunity and build careers – with a great, truly caring company! How lucky am I???”
Chris B. – “I work in Ecommerce doing onsite search and merchandising. I love the work. There's a lot of variety and tangible results. The company and team culture are the best part.”
Heather H. – “I am a nurse midwife, and working on my doctorate in nursing. My focus is teen pregnancy prevention. I work with lots of teens, and I am super passionate about teen sexual health. My job is in a large teaching hospital, and we are super innovative (waterbirth, nitrous oxide for labor pain etc… ) Midwives here do it all. We even teach the family medicine residents for their OB rotation.”
Stephanie M. – “I’m a teller at a large bank, and I really enjoy it! Get to meet and know all kinds of people. Some days I definitely feel like a therapist though! :)”
Brent K. – “I'm an overnight manager for a grocery store and somehow I actually enjoy it. Good pay (for a high school dropout like me haha), good benefits, get to make my own schedule, and have 44+ hours a week to listen to podcasts and learn as I work.”
Lindsay S. – “I work as an Academic Advisor at a university. I love what I do! If I ever reach a point of financial independence early, I would love to be able to negotiate for a part-time schedule or a 10-month position (they are rare but out there). But overall I really enjoy my job and what I do.”
Brandon S. – “I’ve been a nurse for 11 years. About to start a new job as a nurse practitioner in an intensive care unit. I love how challenging it is and the constant learning. I love the people connection that goes with it. Plus I make a nice salary and only work 10 shifts (12hrs) a month and make my own schedule. Not to mention I could likely move anywhere in the country and get a job.”
Crystal N. – “I'm a Commercial Escrow Specialist at a mortgage servicer. I'm a budgeting numbers nerd, so it's a great fit. My company is amazing and the benefits are incredible. I've been there for 6 years and plan to stay forever :)”
Susan W. – “I currently do not work a paying job. And I love it. My days are cooking, cleaning, yard work, playing with my dogs. Basically, I'm a stay at home dog mom. This was not the plan. I have an illness that progressed and giving up my telecommunications engineer career was 100% the right call. Because of my illness, I don't get to travel much or really even be out and about often. And it takes a very long time for me to complete physical tasks. But it is still so much better than trying to juggle my health and my career. Our quality of life is so much better! I eventually would love to find a 100% work from home opportunity but not in any rush.”
Tiffany R. – “I work as a processor in an insurance office. I process new business paperwork for our sales team, I am a servicing agent for new clients for their first year with the agency, and I also train the brand new agents that start in our office. (I joke that my job is to babysit salespeople and clone myself ) Been there two years (first post-college job) and loving it!”
Mike G. – “I'm a digital marketing manager for a manufacturer/retailer of robotics components. My job is super flexible, I work with great people, and the skills I'm honing every day are directly transferable to blogging. I was a truck driver for 11 years prior to this and I loved that job as well. I did heavy equipment transport and got to travel all over the place!”
Kris R. – “I’m a bus driver. I absolutely LOVE it! Does it pay great? Nope! But it’s the best job I’ve ever had!”
So what's the lesson?
I think it's so easy for people that are working towards financial independence, full-time entrepreneurship, early retirement, general wealth building, or paying off debt to get stuck in the mentality that they'll only be happier or satisfied when they get to wherever they are going.
The truth is, you can find happiness wherever and whenever you want to, and I can guarantee you from personal experience that more money isn't always the catalyst for it.
And quite honestly, as much as early retirement sounds cool…I'd be bummed if these people weren't doing their jobs anymore haha.
So if you've been working towards a goal and feeling like the only grass that's green is on the other side, take a second and find some great things about what you're already doing.
It will make your day better. Just…trust me.