Throughout the world, societies seem to be moving further by singing the praises of the drive for power and wealth. You’ve heard the sayings about the downsides of the “rat race” and “keeping up with the Joneses” — but at the end of the day, we need only look in the mirror to see a perfect example of the people we’re mocking.
I’ve decided to pursue a life of recruiting and sourcing. There is little to no prospect of “moving up” since I don’t plan on going corporate, and I’ll probably spend most of my of time working from home in my undies…!!!
So why would someone do something so ridiculous? Here’s my argument for abandoning the career ladder and instead pursuing a so-called “dead-end” career.
If You Have the Right Job, You’ll Love Working
Our society likes to say that a well-adjusted person “works to live” and doesn’t “live to work,” but I say that’s totally backwards. If the part of your day that you are working doesn’t count as “living,” then half of your life will be irrecoverably lost.
Instead, find the life you want to live and then figure out how to make a living from it. As a recruiter, I view myself as the consummate marriage broker, fulfilling the expectations and desires of both the candidate and the employer. My career choice gives me the ability to do what I want to do for fun, and to get paid enough to live for it.
Getting to Be Different
There’s something appealing and satisfying about leaving behind the pursuit of social status and trading it in for the pursuit of personal perfection. Beware, though, that abandoning the eternal hunt for power and wealth can make you look rather alien in an increasingly suburban world.
Ending Performance Anxiety
I am not ambitious. I’m considerably more interested in making my work acceptable to myself than I am in making it impressive to my peers. I don’t need upward mobility, because my current momentum will already carry me to or beyond where I want to be.
How can making less money give you greater financial independence? The answer lies once again in social status. Many of the most expensive things we buy (like sporty cars, McMansions with serious acreage, or that 500 sq ft home theater) are luxury items that serve as a black hole for our incomes.
There is, of course, a certain level of income needed to live while being financially independent, but that number rises and falls depending on where you live and your own perceived social status.
How does pursuing a “dead-end” career fit in your lifestyle?