Sometimes a Job is Just a Job

As I was digging through some old emails this morning, I came across a note I had saved back in May of 2011 that someone left on my post about loving your job and saving money. Something we all dream about and are hopefully getting close to, but a goal that not always pans out :(

I used to think all jobs suck if you’re not crazy excited about them, but the truth is money is money and they DO play vital roles in helping us survive. Which is the basis of this quote I’m glad I found again!

“Not everybody can, or wants, to be passionate about their job. To some, a job is just a job. And there’s nothing wrong with that.”

It came from my friend Krystal over at Give Me Back My Five Bucks, and ever since it’s been in the back of my head. Sure, THESE days I’m “living the dream” and doing what I love blogging to y’all, but it hasn’t always been the case.

Up until recently I simply worked for one reason and one reason only: Money.

And while it’s a mixture of both business and pleasure for me now, the paycheck is still of course an important factor. If I look back to my list of allΒ 40 jobs I’ve had since being on this Earth, almost all of them were a means to an end. Once the clock hit 5 or my shift ended, I was out that door and didn’t think about work again until the next time I was in! A far cry from now when it’s constantly on my mind because THE INTERNET NEVER SLEEPS :)

And I’m betting most people feel the same way too. Work = Money. Nothing more, nothing less. YES, we’d all rather be working on our passion projects/careers and feel all the warm and fuzzies every day, but most times we just power through and grab those paychecks at the end of the cycle… Hoping it’ll get easier, and better, as time goes on.

This probably isn’t new to most of you, but I felt like it was a good reminder since I rarely go down this path on the blog here. We’re always talking about awesome hustles and chasing those dream goals of ours, but it’s important to remember that we often have to wade through some $hit to get there too. And even when you do make it it can still be a struggle.

So if I’ve ever came across uppity or blasΓ© towards the old 9-5, I duly apologize. Krystal definitely has it right here – there’s nothing wrong with simply taking a job for the money and getting on with our lives. There’s plenty of ways to be happy outside of our day job, and as long as your goals are being met then more power to you! Now if you hate your job AND you’re living paycheck to paycheck, well, that’s a whole other story…

There’s plenty of ways to hit our goals, and I do hope you’re getting closer by the day :)

If anyone wants to share their own experiences working a crap job and being okay with it, we’d love to hear about it! And by “crap” I don’t mean being a sanitation worker, though you wouldn’t be the first in that line of work to comment at all ;) Happy weekend!

PS: Here’s a good “would you rather” question we once did around this stuff: Dream job or Money?

[Photo cred: Β Sonny Abesamis]

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  1. Chris @ Flipping a Dollar April 8, 2016 at 6:08 AM

    My 2nd job out of college was in support of manufacturing. And we were doing testing on systems when they weren’t making product. For anyone who’s done this, it’s the worst. You’re at the mercy of the manufacturing schedule, which has delays all the time, and then you’re stuck waiting until you can get in and do your testing since it needs to get done. I’d have days where I came in at 8 to do testing, and left at the end of the day because things got delayed. Then I’d have to come back in at midnight. And have to have the report written the next day. It was terrible.

    After my experience above, I just want to point out that I’m in a position where I was willing to take a leap into an unknown and have a very “strategic” position that isn’t in direct support of manufacturing and it’s so much better.

    It all started here 3 years ago with one of your net worth updates! Having a budget and a nest egg and that “f you money” as JL Collins calls it really lets you figure out what you’re interested in and plan for it.

    1. Dan Zehner April 8, 2016 at 8:15 AM

      As another former manufacturing engineer I can sympathize with the absolute suckatude of it at times. :) I still remember putting in more than one 30 hour weekend to get a project done before production started back up on Monday… And then having to be there at 6 AM for startup! Good times!

    2. J. Money April 8, 2016 at 1:26 PM

      I’ll take y’alls words on it :) I once worked at a stamp factory that was all around big a$$ machines and when they didn’t work we couldn’t work, but outside of that the manufacturing world is so foreign to me.

      Interesting side note about working around stamps, though – you can’t ever have pockets or non-clear bags! You were always surrounded by millions of dollars worth of stamps and apparently management thought the temptation to hawk them on the black market was pretty high so they did everything in their efforts to curb it… who knew?

  2. Brian @DebtDiscipline April 8, 2016 at 6:23 AM

    I’m three months into a new job and compared to previous job I had I now have a much better work/life balance. I can now see I stayed too long at that crappy job just for the cash, but it got us debt free so no complaints. Sometimes you just don’t realize when you are in the middle a crazy situation, just how crazy it is.

    1. Ramona @ Personal Finance Today April 8, 2016 at 7:29 AM

      Well, as long as you were able to pay off debt, it wasn’t such a bad deal after all.

      But I do agree that finding a job you also enjoy will make it all easier.

      I spent 10 years in the radio business. I had a terrific job and loved it. It was my teenager dream to become a radio DJ and I was one for a decade. So I cannot talk too much about doing a job you hate. But, as long as it pays the bills, ANYTHING goes, until you find something better.

      1. J. Money April 8, 2016 at 1:27 PM

        That’s pretty cool!! You don’t hear about that profession all too often :)

  3. Sarah Noelle @ The Yachtless April 8, 2016 at 6:41 AM

    I think this is a really important message. There’s so much pressure that we have to find work we’re “passionate” about, and it really gets to me. I like my current job for the most part, and I think it has a positive impact on the world, but I don’t feel like it’s some sort of calling or destiny, and I know there are lots of other jobs I could work at that would also be equally good. Which is fine: the point of a job is to add value to the world and to be compensated for that value.

    I actually just read a really interesting book arguing that the “pursue your passion” message is misleading and potentially dangerous. It’s called “So Good They Can’t Ignore You”, by Cal Newport — I definitely recommend it to anyone who is pondering career choices and/or career happiness.

    1. J. Money April 8, 2016 at 1:34 PM

      Yeah! I’ve heard of that one – Cal is awesome… He’s got a blog too I used to follow a lot, let me find it..

      Here we go!

    2. Lee July 1, 2016 at 10:35 AM

      Thank you for this comment, Sarah. I completely agree. (I enjoy reading your blog too.)

      For most of my life, all I wanted was to find work that I was passionate about. For a ten year stretch, I did pursue work that I was passionate about and added value to people’s lives. But I wasn’t making enough money and I got really depressed. I also realized that running my own business completely by myself is not something that I am good at. (I agreed with many of the points in one of yesterday’s posts about why the author would not work for herself again.) So, ruthless pragmatism kicked in and I abandoned my passions for a steady, safe, decent-paying, but somewhat boring government job. I have switched agencies a few times in the last 10 years, for more money and better work conditions, but I am resigned to doing this until I am FI. Do I feel guilty that I have settled for a job that I am fairly good at, but have zero passion for? Somewhat, because I feel that I am wasting my talent and could be a much more productive member of society doing the work that I am passionate about. However, my job pays me well enough and affords me the flexibility to pursue non-work passions for now. As I am writing this, I realized that this is another reason to reach FI, so that I can spend my time doing fulfilling work without needing it to pay a certain amount.

      1. J. Money July 9, 2016 at 7:38 AM

        Amen to that last part! Sending over positive vibes in hopes it comes sooner than later for you!

  4. carlotta April 8, 2016 at 6:52 AM

    you know what the Romans said : ” pecunia non olet”, which is to say “money doesn’t smell”.
    we still say it in Italian and I think it’s really true!
    I probably think it’s true because I have a 9 to 5 office job that I could really care less, but still… :)

    1. J. Money April 8, 2016 at 1:35 PM

      Haha… brilliant.

  5. PhysicianOnFIRE April 8, 2016 at 7:02 AM

    Truth. The “Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” theory doesn’t work for many. Unless you’re doing it entirely on your own terms, and have time to do everything else that’s important in life, it’s still going to feel like a job. Nothing wrong with that. Life isn’t all about puppy dogs and ice cream, lollipops and rainbows.

  6. Latoya @ Femme Frugality April 8, 2016 at 7:07 AM

    The crappiest job I ever had was working in a call center. I swear being on the phone at certain times and being denied a bathroom break or even a mental rest was like being ball and chained. I haven’t taken another phone job since then, but I’m definitely not above saying I won’t do it again if it’s going to put food in my kid’s mouth. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

    1. J. Money April 8, 2016 at 1:40 PM

      Call centers are notorious for that :( And why they have such high turn overs too! I personally love talking to customers over the phone – which was why I helped my old start ups set up small ones – but it was only awesome because the main point was to *help our customers* which meant spending as much time as needed and not being timed or doc’d for nonsense every other hour. In fact, I told my bosses that we (customer service team) were actually working *for the customer* vs our company which is exactly how it should be, in my opinion! Why make it even miserable for customers if they’re already having a hard time with your product? They’re #1 in keeping a business afloat!

  7. Roy Largo @ Band of Savers April 8, 2016 at 7:11 AM

    I fall into the category of “I still have no idea what I would enjoy doing for a career”. I don’t hate my job (all the time anyways) but I would never go so far as to say that I love (or even find joy in) what I do for a living. Every few months I have to sit down and ponder about what 3 things I most enjoy about going to work everyday, this is what that list generally looks like:

    1) The paycheck
    2) They pay me to be there
    3) They pay me fairly well

    So, I can say that I’m only in it for the money.

    1. This Wife's Life April 8, 2016 at 11:14 AM

      I resonate most with your comment…working a job now to get to where I want to be…FIRE.

    2. J. Money April 8, 2016 at 1:42 PM

      Hahaha…. 3 good reasons for sure :)

      (And a damn good habit to get into, btw – checking in every 3 months!)

  8. Distilled Dollar April 8, 2016 at 7:28 AM

    I’ve always enjoyed my jobs to some degree out of college. I’ve worked public accounting and now on the corporate side.

    The amount of hours I work now is almost half of what it used to be, so that’s a huge plus. Now that I’m just a little bit older (27), I think my priorities have shifted enough that I would hate a public accounting job, although it was perfect while I was there.

    In that sense, I’ve been fortunate to be down a path that involved jobs I enjoyed.

    I love the quote and it makes sense. We are social to some degree at the end of the day and although we seem to think we don’t like our jobs, they do serve a biological function of us contributing back to our tribe. We’re not built to do exactly what we want all the time. If I hear someone crying for help, my first inclination is going to see if I can help.

  9. Anne G April 8, 2016 at 7:36 AM

    What a coincidence! I read a discussion on this yesterday and brought it up with my husband at breakfast this morning, only to find this post at the top of my feed!

    I definitely know that feeling, and I’m coming to terms with being okay with it. As a married woman who has no desire to have children, now or ever, people like to assume that I’m one of those career-driven ladies who wants to climb to the top, etc.
    MEH. honestly, no thanks. I make good money to support my (expensive) hobbies/passions, and when I leave at 5 pm, I don’t think about work till I’m on my way to work the next day. I see my own boss looking stressed with her blackberry permanently attached to her hand, and it just reinforces my feelings: no thank you. I am okay with less money and more freedom to live my life!

    I think if I had a great big passion in my life, it would be easier to find a ‘dream job’. But that’s just not me. My interests change over time, I like to try new things, and the things I love aren’t conducive to a career (sports, in particular). So I do the next best thing, work in a job I’m fairly good at so I can go home and play! Happy balance :)

    1. J. Money April 8, 2016 at 1:53 PM

      Love it! I have the same trouble with being super passionate about things, with the only exception of personal finance (which I guess is why I’m still here after 8 years!). But even knowing that I can’t get myself to write books on it or go on a speaking tour or even grow a massive empire online and try to be the next Dave Ramsey – hah. I don’t want to have all that responsibility and continually want more and more the higher you go. I admire those who do it and achieve it, but at the end of the day I’m much happier with a “lifestyle” business that gets enough accomplished but also allows for freedom… Though I do need to constantly remind myself to put work away – something technology isn’t helping :)

      Cool timing how this popped up again in your world!

    2. Terrell April 11, 2016 at 2:59 PM

      I totally relate to this. I’ve always been, since a young age, one of those people who gets into something for a few years and then gets bored and wants to try something new. It served me well for a long time and taught me to be resourceful, creative, fearless, etc. When I reached my mid-30s, things started to change. There was a lot of pressure to be an expert at one thing instead of a generally good at a lot of things, so I could climb the corporate ladder. I remember being groomed for a Director position while I was a marketing manager and having to tell my VP I wasn’t interested in moving up. I didn’t want the added responsibility of managing more people, attending board and chapter meetings and doing less actual hands-on work.

      Now I’m 40, married/no kids, and even though I earn a decent living doing something I mostly enjoy, I still feel that pressure to work harder. I wish I could say I’m totally comfortable with where I am in life, but since I haven’t “moved up”, my peers are getting younger while I’m getting older. It’s a weird feeling, and yet, it really shouldn’t matter!

    3. Carrie June 27, 2016 at 2:35 AM

      I love what you wrote. Thank you I needed it.
      I took a big pay cut with my new job so that I could actually have a life. I make less money but I get to just put in my hours Monday through Friday 9-6. May seem strange to give up making more money…but I am much happier.

    4. Lee July 1, 2016 at 10:19 AM

      Yes. You have succinctly described my situation. I like my job well enough, like the people that I work with, the money is decent, and the flexibility is great. One wise friend once said to me, “If your job isn’t your passion, it shouldn’t get in the way of the rest of your life.” I think about this often and am grateful to have landed where I am. I don’t have any desire to climb a career ladder. I am high enough on the food chain to be paid well and have flexibility, but not high enough to be stressed out managing other people and worrying about budgets.

      1. J. Money July 9, 2016 at 7:45 AM

        Thanks for chiming in everyone! Love seeing the discussions keep going here… Love that on one’s alone in all of this and you’re not afraid to talk about it out loud :)

  10. Mrs. CTC @FromCostToCoast April 8, 2016 at 7:43 AM

    I said this in one of my recent posts: ‘the road to financial independence is paved with jobs’. For most of us that is true, at least until we find a hustle that we’re passionate about and that will allow us to live the life of our dreams 24/7.

    What’s important is to look at what you can do to make it better everyday. Not only to get out of that job to pursue your passions, but also to try and have a little fun at your shitty job. Don’t just wait for the sunshine, dance in the rain!

    That’s all the cheesy proverbs I have for today :-)

    1. J. Money April 8, 2016 at 1:54 PM

      haha… they’re beautiful though!

  11. Aliyyah @RichAndHappyBlog April 8, 2016 at 7:51 AM

    I work a FT day job at a law firm and it is honestly not the best job. It pays decently and that’s why I haven’t looked to work in another field. I’m planning on transitioning to my own online business. Until my online business replaces my FT income, I will just be working for money. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

    1. J. Money April 8, 2016 at 1:56 PM

      A great way to make that happen too! Getting a side hustle going!

  12. Apathy Ends April 8, 2016 at 7:52 AM

    I have had a few jobs that I absolutely hated, both working concrete over the summer in college.

    Right now, work = money. I don’t love my job, but don’t hate it either (awesome people can make almost any job bearable)

    I like to look at it this way, if I didn’t have my current job, I wouldn’t have been able to start my own blog and work on something I care about.

  13. Lindsay @ the Notorious D.E.B.T. April 8, 2016 at 8:22 AM

    Well, you said you didn’t want to hear about a “crap” job, but that’s what I’ve got now. :)

    I graduated with my MS in wildlife biology a couple years ago. I was working on figuring out how arctic caribou can make a living on the landscape, so we can help with conservation efforts and make sure the buggers don’t go extinct.

    After graduation, I was unable to find a job. After 6 months, I was hired on at the position I’ve got now, which is as a lab animal caretaker. Basically, I clean up poo and scrub floors for a living now for snobby, elitist researchers.

    I’d still like to be a wildlife biologist someday, but for now, at least, this job pays a portion of the bills. And I’m working like hell towards boosting my income through other means so I can do my own thing until a biologist position comes along! Wish me luck! :D

    1. J. Money April 8, 2016 at 1:57 PM

      Hahaha… at least it’s cleaning poop in a field you’d like to be in! Kinda sorta close, yeah? :) But yes – I will with you as much luck as I possibly can muster over here, haha… Interesting career field indeed!

  14. JayP April 8, 2016 at 8:28 AM

    I have been working 9/5s for 30 years, with probably more variety and number of positions than most. Most jobs have a few things in common. They pay is seductive enough to keep you there, and there is usually some downside benefit lost by leaving. Over time you get lulled into thinking that this is normal. People are generally risk averse(How can I quite a six figure job?) Not that many people actually end up with the vision, and strict disipline required to burst out of the cycle.

    I hope that’s changing with the whole MMM movement, and great stories like yours and others!

  15. Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies April 8, 2016 at 8:30 AM

    I also think there’s something to be said about making the best of a bad situation. Negativity begets negativity sometimes. Not saying that all jobs are perfect (I had a job once where it was my job to tend the restrooms…and I had to fish out pantyhose from a clogged toilet), but I do think that trying to find a bit of good can make bad things a bit better!

    1. J. Money April 8, 2016 at 1:59 PM


  16. Austin April 8, 2016 at 8:50 AM

    As long as the jobs that are just “money making jobs” and not “dream jobs” help you accomplish your goals quicker than that’s fine. On the other hand there is no use sitting in a crappy job for your entire career just because the money is alright and there are no other opportunities.
    I’ve had a few jobs in the past I didn’t like, but I took them because they could help me reach my future goals.
    Good Stuff!

  17. Collette April 8, 2016 at 8:58 AM

    You’re little goatee wearing dude in the pic done worked his crappy job so longer he’s lost his right hand. lol

    Great article! Thanks!

    1. J. Money April 8, 2016 at 2:02 PM

      That is too funny, haha… didn’t even notice that, poor guy!

  18. kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor April 8, 2016 at 9:21 AM

    I appreciate this balanced view. There are many ways to find fulfillment and meaning outside of work. So even if you don’t have your dream job, you can still build a satisfying life.

  19. Emily @ JohnJaneDoe April 8, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    I’ve had a dream job that turned into a nightmare with better pay. I had a job that was just muddling through that turned into something I really loved. In both cases, there were 2 factors that changed both the nature of the jobs and my feelings about them: responsibilities evolved for good or not, and exposure to toxic coworkers waxed or waned.

    So it’s great if you can find a job you are passionate about, but there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to keep it and keep it good. It’s important to keep some things away from work that give you meaning, happiness and identity in case you need to move on or move away from your current job.

    1. J. Money April 8, 2016 at 2:04 PM

      Great insight! Nothing stays the same, whether we want it to or not.

  20. The Bus Thinker April 8, 2016 at 9:44 AM

    When I’m having the weekly “I hate working in a cubicle” crisis I like to close my eyes and picture how life would be if I didn’t have a job. I think everyone should hop on a public bus once in a while for a look outside of their own “bubble.” It’s give some really good perspective seeing guys getting on at 730am, fresh off their 12 hour manufacturing job, catching some sleep before having to head to a day job.

    This tends to whip me back into appreciating the paycheck a cubicle affords, even if the work can get tedious.

    1. J. Money April 8, 2016 at 2:07 PM

      Great idea!

  21. Ronnie April 8, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    Great Thought! I thinks it not only important Finding a Job that you are passionate about. But it is also finding Passionate in the Job you have now! …. Even if its not your dream Job! We can still do a Job well done, and get good at what we do! and when we get really good at what we do we tend to love our job more! …. Oh yea the money is nice 2!

    If we serve people Well and do good… Money will never be a problem!

  22. Paul April 8, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    Money is the only Motivator for me. In that, I only work because I need it and am not yet FI. Passions change every few years IMO and people fall in and out of love with what they do. Although I do think its important to at least be marginally interested in your work and I do think its important to do a good job even if you aren’t. The only reason to work is to get to a point where you don’t have to work anymore. I believe that having FU Money is the point where we truly become free.

    As an Aside, the number 1 issue for me has been dealing with the people above me. The baby boomers that refuse to retire. Robbing me at every turn of my chance to lead. Even though that generation disgusts me, I suppose I should also be thanking them. It was that motivation that caused me go out and create my own company.

  23. Amy April 8, 2016 at 1:21 PM

    I’ve had some miserable jobs and I honestly can’t imagine still being in them. Maybe if they had paid better, I could have stayed put longer. But when your job sucks and the pay sucks too, it’s hard, for me anyway, to justify sticking around. LOL Thankfully I have a job now that I do like, plus I have several side hustles and a blog. So while I do work a lot, I do enjoy what I’m doing. It makes a huge difference.

  24. Tim B April 8, 2016 at 1:31 PM

    I honestly don’t think I could work *just for the money*. I don’t know if I can “never work a day in my life”, but I think I can enjoy some of my work. I recently turned down my first job offer after college, for a number of reasons. Mostly it came down to knowing I would not be happy with the work or at the company. A few of my friends have scoffed at the idea of turning down any job at all (a couple of them have gone back to school for another degree), but I don’t want to be unhappy having spent 18 years in school to get here. I am VERY fortunate to have generous, well-off parents who are able to house and feed me until I can get a different job (fingers crossed). I suppose without them I would have to take the job *just for the money*. But I don’t have to, so I will hold out for something better.

    1. J. Money April 8, 2016 at 2:11 PM

      I hope you find one, man :) If you don’t anytime soon, consider making up your own job and seeing if entrepreneurship could be up your ally? The perfect time to test things out and be riskier is when you’re nice and young!

  25. Josh @MoneyBuffalo April 8, 2016 at 1:40 PM

    I worked the last 7 years on a job that was either 3rd shift or swing shift. Easy work but crappy lifestyle. Mostly because I was single & it paid well. After getting married & having a daughter, priorities changed and I left. It was a dead end job, I would have been promoted once maybe twice but still working virtually the same hours for more pay. It allowed me to become debt-free and put half our money away for building a house.

    I miss the money, but not the lifestyle. We have learned to make do with a smaller paycheck, but we are still in the green each month!

  26. amber tree April 8, 2016 at 3:08 PM

    The jobs I did as a student were mostly crap. I did them for one and only one reason: money!

    As an example, in one job, I needed to empty a mailbox and enter the content of the emails in a system to track the internal complaints. That system generated then the next level escalation emails. The mailbox got email 24/7 from around the world, I was the only one working on it. In the morning, the box was full with asian complaints, and full energy, I started to crawl through the emails. Progress… Then Europe kicks in and in the afternoon, the US adds some more. By the next morning, I was behind again…
    It paid for a new computer, some European travel and funded my later studies.

    Luckily, my job now brings more satisfaction

    1. J. Money April 10, 2016 at 4:13 PM

      Oh wow, haha… pretty cool about the different zones around the world though :)

  27. Stefan @Mllnnlbudget April 8, 2016 at 3:22 PM

    I currently work two jobs as an MBA student that helps pay for a large part of my tuition and expenses. While these aren’t jobs that I necessarily love they pay me well which keeps me motivated to go. There was one job however that I worked for two summers in a row for very little pay just so I can put it on my resume that eventually paid off big time and got me the job I wanted upon graduation! The company is a great place to work for and the money definitely is a major factor. Looking forward to graduating debt free thanks to these two jobs I have and starting to grow a large investment portfolio!

    1. J. Money April 10, 2016 at 4:17 PM

      That’s another great reason to take a less-than stellar job – to move up the chain to a better one! So many successful people have started at the very bottom of companies they admired and rose all the way to the top of them. Love hearing those types of stories!

  28. Robb@Late2TheGame April 8, 2016 at 3:35 PM

    Without a doubt the worst job I ever had was working in the Call Center for the NYTimes. I took phone calls from subscribers who had issues with their subscription. 1 day I took 153 calls during my shift. There was a nor’easter storm going on, and everyone of those 153 calls could not understand why their paper hadn’t arrived. It was especially frustrating because I am located in North Dakota, where we would know to look outside and say “Hey it is pretty shitty outside today, the paper might be late today”.

    1. J. Money April 10, 2016 at 4:20 PM


      This is how people are at airports too. I worked out of Newark one year and people would get so surprised when flights got delayed/canceled even though they full well knew a blizzard was happening outside! And then of course it was always MY fault that it was occurring, haha…

      People are cray.

  29. Amber Bamber April 8, 2016 at 3:57 PM

    I can really relate to this latest post. I recently obtained my CDL and became a truck driver. It was a hail mary, I just had to do something different.

    It’s okay, I’m gone a lot. But the money is just high enough that I can really whip my debt for good. Plus, as long as I keep my license clean, I will never have to worry about being unemployed again. Every company out there is hiring. I’m not passionate about trucking, but I am passionate about working on my financial independence.
    So I’ll do this til something better comes along.

  30. Broke Millennial April 8, 2016 at 5:16 PM

    What about taking a job for health insurance? Benefits are a motivating factor for me to stick with the old golden handcuffs and not go full-time freelance just yet.

    1. J. Money April 10, 2016 at 4:25 PM

      Truth! I’ve even considered taking a part time job right now just to clear away that $900+ healthcare bill if such benefit were provided, haha… Or even to invest 100% into a 401k again and not even GET a paycheck :) Lots of ways to milk some goodies out of a gig – you’re right.

  31. Financial Samurai April 8, 2016 at 6:32 PM

    Man, I’ve been spoiled. I got my dream job right out of college working in the stock market. But after 10 years the job started getting boring. So I guess I suffered for 3 years until I said forget it, and pulled the rip chord to blog FT. As you know, blogging is so fun. I can’t imagine ever going to work for someone or a company that I don’t enjoy.

    Life is too short to work a job you don’t at least like!!


  32. Kevin April 8, 2016 at 7:18 PM

    I fall into the category or not exactly hating my job, but knowing that it isn’t what I want to do for the rest of my life. I work in a children’s hospital as a Lab Scientist. I know that the work I do is helping a lot of people, and that makes it worthwhile. But I know I’m really in it just for the money. The pay is good, and it’s helping take a big chunk out of debt.

    Broke Millennial makes a great point as well. I have better benefits at my current job than any other job I’ve had. Makes it harder to leave.

    I’m only 28 and I see myself getting out of debt in a few years, starting a family and hopefully getting financially secure enough to try and find exactly what I want to do.
    If not then I can always fall back into what I’m doing now. There are always job openings in healthcare!

    1. J. Money April 10, 2016 at 4:27 PM

      Yeah there are! Interesting about your gig too – I bet it helps knowing your hours go to a greater cause vs only your wallet :)

  33. Alyssa April 8, 2016 at 8:42 PM

    I work at a retail pharmacy as a tech and its definitely “just a job” for me. Thankfully I have great coworkers who make getting yelled at by customers a little easier to deal with. Because it’s a retail job with different shifts, they’ve been great working with me while I go back to school part time to get an advanced degree (which hopefully gets me out of there!). I also don’t have to think about work as soon as I leave, which I know some people aren’t lucky enough to do. And while the pay isn’t stellar, the flexibility makes up for it…and I’m happy to have a job where I can make enough money to at least support myself.

  34. Paul G April 8, 2016 at 11:04 PM

    I am retired from the Air Force. I loved my Air Force job. After I retired, I did a few jobs that I didn’t love. Now I am doing the same job that I did while on active duty, and I’m loving it! I am 51 years old and I hope to be able to continue doing this job until I file for Social Security.

    1. J. Money April 10, 2016 at 4:30 PM

      How wonderful! Congrats, my man! (what was the type of job, btw?)

  35. Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way April 8, 2016 at 11:13 PM

    I have lots of friends who are already registered nurse, but currently working as a call center agent. Why? Because of the salary! They prefer to work that offers a high salary.

    1. J. Money April 10, 2016 at 4:30 PM

      Oh wow, really? I would have thought nurses make way more than call center gigs?

  36. Amanda S @ Passionately Simple Life April 9, 2016 at 9:02 AM

    For some reason I’ve always found something to enjoy about the jobs I’ve worked. There was one job that I did end up taking more for the experience even though it meant a paycut from the job I had been working up until then. It was a super long commute and un enjoyable hours and sometimes a bad manager on duty. But everything worked out in the end. My hope is that I can always find one small thing to enjoy, even if it’s the free coffee.

  37. Amy @ DebtGal April 9, 2016 at 5:16 PM

    Thanks for this post.

    I currently work (very) part-time as a career counselor at a liberal arts college. I really enjoy the work. I find it rewarding, it’s something I’m good at, and every now and again, students actually express gratitude. :) I don’t think I would enjoy it as much if I worked full-time, though. Then I would have to work on events and projects, attend meetings, and all of the other stuff that wears me down and negates some of the enjoyment. Because I’m paid to only meet with students, I get to avoid most of the drudgery.

    1. J. Money April 10, 2016 at 4:34 PM

      I didn’t know you did that!! I always thought that would be a job I’d really enjoy myself – helping kids find out what they’re good at and opening the up to the world of possibilities out there. Do you need a special degree/training/certification for that? I help college kids every now and then when our entrepreneurial stuff crosses paths locally here, but haven’t really looked into it much. Anytime I help people get into blogging I freakin’ love it!

  38. The Financial Tech April 9, 2016 at 6:15 PM

    Since my kid is born, the meaning of my job changed a lot. Once the shift end, I am out and don’t want to think about it again until my next sift start. I always wanted to love my job but after a couple months at a job, it’s boring so I guess I only work for the money at the end.

    1. J. Money April 10, 2016 at 4:37 PM

      Kids definitely change things for sure! That’s what opened my eyes the most since going into self-employment over 5 years ago… I love my job but not enough to skip out hanging with my kids.

  39. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank April 9, 2016 at 6:23 PM

    I used to enjoy my job but now after like more than 3 years, I feel like I want to leave and resign each day. I am just waiting or been waiting for the right time. When it comes, I want to grab the opportunity as soon as possible as this has happened for some time and I chose to stay. Job is a job. They can replace me as soon as possible.

  40. NDQ April 10, 2016 at 11:03 AM

    I have a government job. I love it and it is work I can only do by being an employee. I’ll have the choice to retire early in six years because I am aggressively saving and investing in income-producing assets. I do not know when I will retire, but I will have the option.

    Sure, a job is only a job, but some jobs can take you to a place you can’t get to otherwise. Once I actually retire, I will be able to work as a consultant if I choose.


    1. J. Money April 10, 2016 at 4:38 PM

      Sounds like a damn good path you’re on, friend :)

  41. Joe April 10, 2016 at 11:48 AM

    So true! Recently, after holding a position of gradual responsibility/headache/stress which I didn’t intend to spend more than a year or two, and eventually spent 6 years, that was it. The stress was having an impact on me both physically and mentally. It was just a job and not worth all the added stress. I was done.

    Now, I’m in the place where I’m finding my way in having the “freedom” to do what I want and reinvent what *I* want to do. It’s exciting!


    1. J. Money April 10, 2016 at 4:38 PM

      Congrats on getting out!! So hard to do too – many end up just putting up with it :(

  42. Preston @TheDrunkMillionaire April 10, 2016 at 1:10 PM

    Truth! I worked as a landscaper for old ladies to pay my way through college. The work was intense, but I actually liked the manual labor! I think my current job fits the “just a job” description. I like it sometimes, but others it’s just a really nice paycheck!

    1. J. Money April 10, 2016 at 4:42 PM

      The best part about manual labor jobs is that you can see 100% whether you’ve done your job right or not :) And that in itself is a freeing feeling! With entrepreneurship you often don’t find out until much, MUCH, later and then if it turns out you failed, you not only don’t get a paycheck but you also LOST money in the process! Haha… So something to be said about all jobs, whether they suck or not in that department.

  43. Kathryn Nielson April 10, 2016 at 7:41 PM

    I’ve been cleaning houses for years. It is not my dream job, but there are few jobs where I can get paid the kind of money I make and never take the job home with me. It’s not glamorous, but it gets the job done-earning a paycheck.

  44. Steve @ Think Save Retire April 12, 2016 at 8:52 AM

    I have definitely de-coupled my job from a sense of “happiness” or purpose. My job is nothing more than a source of income, and that keeps me thinking objectively about my work, the company for whom I work and also the possibilities of moving on to other options…or just quitting altogether. :)

    Nice article, as always.

    1. J. Money April 12, 2016 at 10:25 AM

      Not a bad place to be, my man! Especially when you’re living in an airstream!!!

  45. Get FIRE'd asap April 19, 2016 at 2:39 AM

    Hey there, this post is quite relevant to me cos after 35 years of working reasonable to really sucky jobs, I’ve pulled the pin and given up work, at least full time work, for good. Over the past couple of years I’ve just got more and more disillusioned with working my bum off for someone else who gives less and less back. It use to be that supervisors would ask you nicely whether you would mind working late or on Saturdays but now it’s just expected and when you have the gall to say no, your time there is pretty well over or at least going to hell. Yep, you’re right, in most cases, a job is just a job and not the reason for being. If you enjoy what you do then you have an added bonus on top of the money they pay you, but it never lasts long. So, I now can say no to work if I want to and it’s a feeling I can recommend highly enough.

    1. J. Money April 19, 2016 at 7:38 AM

      Helluva a place to be at – congrats! After 35 years you’ve certainly put in your time :)

  46. Josh April 19, 2016 at 5:02 PM

    Great post! I think I’ve spent far too much time searching for a job that I “love” instead of focusing on doing a great job and boosting my skills in a particular niche. I’ve left jobs that I’ve hated, but now that I have my own business now that can be worked from anywhere, I can tell you it still isn’t all roses all the time. Sometimes work just sucks. It took me to long to realize that. Now I’m trying to focus on learning something new and teaching something new every single day. And having enough time outside of work to focus on the fun shit. Cheers!

  47. Dividend Beginner April 20, 2016 at 7:33 PM

    Hey J,

    Sounds about right man. In & out, collect the paycheque, invest it and rinse/repeat until FI.


  48. bamfmoney April 22, 2016 at 3:22 AM

    I actually didn’t mind working as an investment advisor before retiring. It was more so the managers that made the job unbearable. Always constant pressure to sell products vs actually helping the customer. That got old.

    1. J. Money April 22, 2016 at 6:58 AM

      I hate that!! I get it that businesses need to make money, but yeah man – gotta take care of your customers first thing. I used to love running customer service departments back in my old career because it always felt nice to champion for the people using your services! And all my bosses knew that I considered myself a representative for them and not the company anytime big changes or ideas were coming and we needed to debate about them… Your company’s dead without customers!

  49. ZJ Thorne July 2, 2016 at 1:03 AM

    My current gig/W2 job is definitely just a job. I do it because I need money to support myself and my business while I grow. I am a temp and do precisely what I am paid for. No more and no less. No more because it is literally impossible to advance in the position. No less because I’m not lazy.

    1. J. Money July 4, 2016 at 10:28 PM

      Good for you on that last part – it’s not hard to shine with those who are lazy all around!

  50. Mike Kelly July 3, 2016 at 6:41 PM

    My first job in the Air Force was as a security policeman, what I considered a dead end job and not what I expected to be rewarded with after scoring so high on my ASVAB. But despite it being just a job I realized the I needed to do it to the best of my ability. I remained positive and sought increased responsibility. I discovered my passion was in something entirely different that I wouldn’t have ever been exposed to if I became sullen and angry about my lot in life. I ended up serving 25 years and have parlayed my crap first job into a wonderful career. So, a job can be just a job but It can also be a doorway to a rewarding career that brings joy and fulfillment.

    1. J. Money July 4, 2016 at 10:30 PM


      And we’ve been rewarded with you rockin’ it over at USAA ever since :)

      Thanks for stopping to share, brotha.

  51. Jacq July 8, 2016 at 10:10 PM

    I was talking about yoga to a coworker today & she said “Why don’t you teach yoga full time? You light up when you talk about this stuff!” It’s a lot of hustle to have sustainable income from just teaching yoga. A full-time with benefits corporate job for now, and getting to FI is my plan. Having the ‘f you $’, to negotiate less corporate hours, and more yoga teaching time is key. Spend some time proving myself in this role, so I can get recommendations if I go free lance, and one day set my own schedule. :)

    1. J. Money July 9, 2016 at 7:47 AM

      Sounds like a good plan to me :) And much easier to carry out knowing *what you want* in the end too! I struggle whenever I’m not sure what I’m actually trying to do with my life no matter how good it may look from the outside. Once that mission is locked in though you can barrel through the tough parts much faster knowing what’s on the other end! So good for you for figuring it out and then working on a plan for it!

  52. Mrs. Picky Pincher July 11, 2016 at 12:17 PM

    Yup, money is the only reason I work. I think this arrangement works for me because I thrive on extrinsic rewards (money) rather than intrinsic rewards (making the world a better place with your job). While it would be ideal to combine the two, that’s just not realistic. I’m perfectly content working just for the money, because it lets me do things that I actually love to do.

  53. Jack August 31, 2016 at 9:35 PM

    I fall into the second part of that quote, the ones who don’t want to be passionate about their jobs. I see people who “do what they love” for a living and it seems to me that their lives end up revolving around work to the exclusion of almost all else. I want to leave my job at the end of the day and forget about it until i go back the next work day. I want what I do when I’m not at work to be the focus of my life because those are the things that give my life meaning. Most importantly, I would never want to ruin something I love doing by turning it into something that I have to do every day, whether I feel like it or not. For me, a job is a means to an end. It feeds me and finances my lifestyle, and gives me the means to spend my free time doing the things that truly matter to me, chief among them spending quality time with people I love. I don’t want it to be more than that.

    1. J. Money September 2, 2016 at 4:03 PM

      No shame in that at all :)

      I def. spend wayyyy too much time thinking about my “job” as a blogger when it wasn’t at all the case back in my 9-5 days… On the flip side it’s very rewarding to me and hopefully to those who read it as well, but there’s def. a fine line there with the work/life balance. Especially as everyone gets more connected and connected to the internet and you know an extra hour or two could catapult you.

      Good to know who you are and what motivates you though in either case – so well done figuring that out :)

  54. Aparna @ Elementum Money November 30, 2017 at 4:52 AM

    I am a marketeer with a big Indian bank. Now with increasing awareness about personal finance, I literally shudder when we talk about marketing nasty products like pay day loans (which thankfully are still rare and nascent in India) and essentially telling kids to live it up today. But as you rightly point in this post, sometimes you gotta wade through stuff just to earn money which can give wing to your dreams. That’s what keeps us all going, right?

    1. J. Money December 6, 2017 at 3:20 PM

      That’s great payday loans haven’t taken off yet over there!! They are horrible :(