Do You Feel Stuck At Your Job Because Of The Economy?

I’m not sure why, but lately I’ve been listening to a lot of people bitch about their jobs. And honestly, I’m getting a little tired of it. “I hate going to work, but I gotta to pay the bills somehow.” “I want to change jobs, but I’m afraid of getting laid off.” The complaint I hate hearing the most is “I feel lucky just to have a job in this down economy so I’d better stay put”.

Personally, I think “feeling lucky” is the wrong attitude to have. Your company should feel lucky to have you as an employee. Currently, one of my friends who is feeling “lucky” is getting taken advantage of by his employer. He’s worked weekends for quite a while now and even had to work over Memorial Day weekend. In addition, his company announced that there would be no pay raises or bonuses for the year. The big kicker? His company told him that he should appreciate just having a job in this down economy.

handcuffsfoxtongue

Photo by Foxtongue

The only reason that you should feel lucky is if you are a poor performer or if you don’t have confidence in your abilities. If you truly do feel lucky being stuck at a place you don’t want to be, the real question is how you got in this position in the first place? Chances are it’s because you put all of your eggs in one basket, your day job. Chances are it’s because your learning has stagnated. Here’s how you can avoid feeling stuck.

Learn A New Skill Set On The Side

So I asked one of my whiny acquaintances why he doesn’t just quit his job and pursue something else. His answer? It’s because his only area of expertise is in his current field and companies requiring his skill set just aren’t hiring. Well geez, why not pick up a book and learn something new? Why not pick up a new skill on the side? Better yet, why not take some classes at your local community college?

“I don’t have any time!”

“You don’t have any time yet you knew who won American Idol last week. You don’t have any time yet you watched the entire season of 24 in one sitting. You don’t have any time yet you’ve been on facebook all day long”

The fact is that we all waste time during the day and we can always spare a few moments to learn something new. It just takes a little bit of discipline.

Instead of watching tv or leisure reading, start reading business or technical books instead. Structure your time so that you always have an hour or so to learn something new every single night. If you aren’t learning anything new at work, don’t let your brain just stagnate. Every new skill you pick up will make you that much more marketable in the future. Over time as you gain more knowledge, you will develop a swagger, a cockiness that will give you the confidence to leave that dead end job and pursue something else.

Start Something On The Side

If you feel stuck at your current job because of the money, the solution is obvious. You need another source of income. So why not take advantage of your current steady income while it lasts and start another revenue stream on the side to go along with it?

Think about it this way. If you are relying on your job, you are staking your livelihood on a single point of failure that is beyond your control. If you factor in the fact that you have to support a family, then you are risking other peoples’ lives as well.

Your alternate revenue source doesn’t have to be the next big thing. It doesn’t even have to be unique or cutting edge. But if you don’t want to feel stuck ever again, you need to start a side business. These days, starting something online costs almost nothing so there really is no excuse not to try. Our online store currently costs around 80 dollars a month to maintain. When we were just starting out, it cost only 30 dollars a month.

The only issue with starting a side business is that it takes time to establish a revenue stream so you have to plan ahead, put your head down and persevere. You have to commit yourself to sticking with whatever you chose to do for at least a few years.

Channel That Whiny Energy

The next time you’re feeling trapped or stuck, channel that energy into finding solutions to your problem instead of dwelling on your present situation. Work on improving your current skill set. Divert all of that whininess to a side hustle that can make you a couple of extra bucks.

The worst thing that you can do is feel sorry for yourself or feel like your company is doing you a favor by keeping you employed. Turn the tables, and I guarantee you’ll feel better about it. Liberate yourself!

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26 thoughts on “Do You Feel Stuck At Your Job Because Of The Economy?”

  1. Totally agreed 100%!

    That was the sentiment of many of my peers over the last year.

    It’s almost like someone complaining they are overweight, but don’t diet, exercise or do anything about it.

    1. @Cee
      That is an excellent way of putting it. I want to be supportive but it’s frustrating after a while.

      @TMA
      Anytime. Thanks for stopping by

      @Doctor S
      I hear you. It’s a tough decision to make but change is good especially if you aren’t satisfied with the status quo. How about starting a side business to ease the transition?

  2. People don’t like change. This confirms it.

  3. I do like my job, yet want more in my life. My first thought was that I’d have to turn to a hobby, excel in it and allow my life to create my business. By midlife, it truly is about working what you love AND loving what you live. Its never too late. Thanks for the motivation.

  4. The answer would be Hell Yes! I am at a steady IT job right now for a large financial servies company. I would love to take the risk to work for a smaller shop or even a start up company, but the economy is bad, and my student loans are calling. Maybe next year!

  5. I’ve started my side business online (selling a book and an email course). Now all I have to do is figure out how to get lots of people to buy.

    Thanks for the reminder. I don’t comment much but I really like your blog – what I like especially is that it deals with real challenges in a real way and that you talk about what you have learned along the way. Many thanks.

    1. @Evan
      I really appreciate your comments and thanks so much for being a regular. Good luck with your ebook and email course. I think that information products are the way to go. The one thing I dislike about our business is that we have deal and ship physical goods.

      @Jonathan
      Thanks! Couldn’t think of a better way to put it.

  6. mida says:

    I don’t want to say “i hate my job”,but now I am doing it!

  7. I’m totally with you here. Interestingly enough, in the country I live in, Romania, we had this situation almost a decade ago. Right now there is some recession here too, but not as bad as it was 10 years ago. I remember how hard it was to find a job, how difficult to stay in and how the low payment was.

    Oh, and 10 years ago I started my own business :-)

  8. Totally agree – in fact I’ve recently been offered, accepted and started work with a new company despite the recession, and haven’t regretted it for a moment…

  9. Good stuff! I totally agree and I’m tempted to point my coworkers at this (but most of them are to busy bitching to read/do something useful). People need to step up and take some responsibility for their own lives.

    Good point about risking other peoples’ lives as well. It’s definitely a consideration when starting something new. I currently have two side projects on the go and as much as I’d like to work on them full time, I feel compelled to hold on to the (temporary) security of my day job until they’re in full swing even though it’ll slow me down a bit.

    1. @Dave
      Good luck on your side projects! I’m sure that you’ll know when the time is right to work on them full time. Thanks for stopping by.

      @Carla
      I already think that you’re a trooper for everything that you’re doing and have done. It’s not easy running a store and 2 blogs while having a medical condition. You’re amazing

  10. Great post! While I’m on disability and currently jobless (FMLA ran out) I am going to start looking into a new skill for when/if I go back to work in 2010. Assuming my business doesnt take off. You are the architect of your own life – you have to take control.

  11. Steve, out of this whole article, which was very good, this is my favorite:

    “Channel That Whiny Energy”

    I love it. I might write a whole post on it. Great stuff as usual!

    1. @Stephen
      Thanks! Send me a pointer to your post once it’s ready. I look forward to reading it.

      @JMom
      Cool. BTW, I just stopped by your blog and your last post was hilarious. I guess girls are more inclined to talk at an early age:)

  12. I have heard the same whine over and over again and I always think, “why don’t you quit then and go do something else?”. But I never do, of course. Next time I hear it, I’ll give them the link to this post :)

    Well done! Well said.

  13. Steve,

    Wow! I agree my friend. People become complacent and stop pursuing/striving toward higher goals while settling for much less. We’re capable of a lot more than we realize. Way to bring it! Stumbled! :)

    -Mig

  14. awwwsome article.

    i like the way you wrote it.

    kicking idleness’ ass. there’s always a way, always some way to make it happen.

    stumbled!!

    alex – unleash reality

  15. Dimone says:

    You made my day. Thanks for your article. It was real and to the point

  16. I love my job! But yeah if you don’t have passion about something gtfo.

  17. Kayden Barrios says:

    Hey, I totally agree with you!

    I’m a college student who is looking forward to start an online business in the future.

    All entreprenuers stress on taking action, but the main resource I lack is the money!

    I’m a college student who doesn’t have a part time job and I’ve been looking for weeks. It’s been hard, but… I’m using my break time to send in applications online and read books at Barnes and Nobles about entreprenuership, marketing, sales, SEO, blog content… all of that stuff! I wish Barnes and Nobles was a library… I almost walked out with a stack of books hahaha.

  18. @kayden
    Good for you and kudos for starting early!

  19. Peter says:

    I want to move out of my job sooooo badly, I applied for jobs and got interviews with some great companys and offers, but every time I try and go for these places, I hear that voice of my manager and the people around me. “You already have a job, you have bills to pay, what would happen if you losed that new job, how would you pay for the bills?”

    Feels like a complete trap to me, as I have worked at my current employier for a while and have all the workers rights that go with such time. I have turned down some great jobs, that are twice the earnings I get now, in the fear that I could lose them, if one of these companys I was in, suddenly decided to make people redundant. As the saying goes, last in, first out. If I was to start a new job, I would lose the right to redundance pay, for a while, while I built up new time with my new employer.

    Sometimes I wish I had been on benifits when I had got these job offers, as then I could of gone down the root of, “well I have nothing now, so there is nothing to lose to taking the job”. But then, the reason that they probably where intrested in me in the first place was because of my work experience, plus I’m doing good at my current place, even that I have been bullied and the pay/work conditions are rubbish.

    Thing that annoys me is that a new employer would have to give me nothing and 5 mins notice if they decided to make people redundant in their work place and as they have been there for less than a year, it make sence to go for new staff, as they would have less rights and cost less. Current staff would need to go down the procedure root, get notice and redundance pay.

    That’s the trap, if I stay at my current employer, they have to follow the system and I get 5 months pay, plus notice and protected from unfair dismissal, if I go to a new employer, I’m not. Plus I have bills to pay. Not saying they would want to remove me, it’s the fear they might or could.

  20. Hey Peter,

    Unfortunately, that fear is always going to be there as long as you don’t have a backup plan. The beauty of starting a business on the side and having alternate forms of income is that you will feel more financially secure in case anything happens. Having this extra security will also help you enjoy your job more or allow you to take additional action (such as switching jobs) without fear of the consequences.

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