Originally published – June 4, 2015
Every day I watch my LinkedIn feed, read blogs, see quotes and am hit with a barrage of information from very smart people sharing with me some very smart stuff.
But what I noticed is how much of it geared to starting up your own business, doing your own thing and leaving the cubicle behind. Everybody is a consultant, an business owner, a thought leader, an author and a life coach. Articles about how to quit a job or never work for someone again get huge readership. Don’t get me wrong, there are days I want to through my hands in the air and call it quits. I get it, and someday maybe I’ll be the guy the writes an article like that.
But today is not that day.
Today, I’m here to tell you it’s OK to stay. It’s OK to have a job, work your 40+ for someone else and serve a function. And here’s why….
I know nothing ventured nothing gained, but if you are like me, and by like me I mean a rapidly approaching middle age family provider, security is a real thing with real value.
Look at the clothes you have on, the place where you live, the car that you drive and the food that you eat. All of that came from a little security. And that’s not a bad thing. I have a mortgage, car payment, school loans, and mouths to feed. Having a secure job with a secure income is nothing to turn your nose up at.
Just because I don’t own a business right now, doesn’t mean I feel useless. The truth is, I can look at the company that employs me and see the way I make an impact every day. I can draw a direct link from my actions to the way the company functions and that makes me feel like I have a purpose.
No matter the role you currently hold, you are impacting your company. Maybe not as much as you’d like, but really consider what would happen if you didn’t do the job you do. You have a purpose and you are valuable.
Never stop learning. I’ve said that for years and I truly believe it. You don’t know everything, so regardless of where you work and what you do, you find a way to use it for you. You learn any skill you can in that job. You learn from those around you. You stretch yourself to new areas of your company. You capitalize on any seminars or training classes made available to you. If your job pays for it, go back to school on their dime. Company’s want to invest in good people, so let them. You take all that learning for you.
There is one thing that often comes with employment that doesn’t with ownership and that’s balance.Any business owner will tell you that starting a business is like having another child. It consumes you and your work is your life. There is no balance, especially in the beginning.
Holding a job, serving as an employee often means you have a start and end time. Your company wants you to have balance so you have true time off. Everyone’s work life balance is different, but make sure you are finding the right balance for you. Disconnect when you can and use your vacation time. It’s yours.
If you are sitting in your cubicle or office right now and saying ‘Why am I a failure? Why can’t I just start my own thing?’ I say stop it. I know how you feel as I have felt that way too. Some days it may feel like everyone else is some budding entrepreneur. Running their own companies and making millions. Some are and some aren’t. And some people are happier than you and some aren’t. So take a hard look at the security you are providing for those you love, the purpose you serve for you company, the things you learn every day and the balance you can create and ask yourself, ‘Am I happy?’
I hope you are happy. Right now, today, I am. And that’s all we really have.