The dead-end “golden ticket” job

Why the goal of “not working” will ruin you.

I remember seeing a career counselor right after I had gotten fired from my first job after college. There was this distinct question I asked her that I think back to occasionally.

“Will I ever find a job I don’t hate?” I asked her.

She paused. Thinking through her answer.

I honestly can’t even remember what she answered, because I remember it didn’t really hit home. Another job just meant doing more work I didn’t want to do. And really, that was the most tragic part of “career,” wasn’t it? Whatever job you had would always be forcing you to “work” while taking you away from what I really wanted:

To watch my TV shows. To sleep in. To hang out with friends. To lounge around in my boxers until 2:00pm.

To not “work.”

For my entire life, the goal has always been “to not work.”

That’s the ideal job we’re all gunning for, right? A job with the following attributes is the golden ticket:

  • very high-paying
  • very low workload
  • flexibility to work less than most other jobs
  • easy responsibilities
  • cushy, low stress environment

(I mean, I guess the actual “golden ticket” is to somehow discover you’re the beneficiary of the millions of dollars that filthy rich relative you never knew. Then we could lounge around in our underwear all day forever!)

“Work” is a bad word, and we want less of it. That’s the principle I came to believe, and it was only reinforced by every job I ever had.

  • I wanted to work at my dad’s construction job sites less.
  • I wanted to work at my college bookstore less.
  • I wanted to work at Pottery Barn way less. (I still can’t stand hearing any songs from the “Pottery Barn soundtrack loop”)

But when I actually got the golden ticket job? When I struck gold and realized I had finally found it?

Why was I always thinking of quitting?

My old job was the cushiest job I’ve ever heard of. I was getting paid more than nearly all of my friends and peers my age. Salary + benefits. 12 minute commute. Come in late, take long lunches, leave early. No one cared. They would send me all over the country for expensive conferences with $100/day for food. I’ve been to the Ruth’s Chris in Chicago, Philadelphia, Fort Lauderdale, and Austin, all on the company’s dime. The workload was easy, and I didn’t even have a “boss.”

So why did I begin to hate it?!

Here’s what I’ve learned from working at the “golden ticket” job for several years.

If you have dreams and goals that don’t involve working at that golden ticket job, you have two choices. Squash those dreams down until they suffocate, or quit.

The cushiest job in the world can’t hold a candle do a job where you do work that invigorates you. That excites you.

Some people would love my job. But my dreams and goals involved writing, speaking, coaching, mentoring, and sharing my message with others like me. I wasn’t doing any of those at my job. So, it reached a climax where it was either “postpone these dreams until I forget about them” or…quit.

So I did. I quit. My last day was a couple weeks ago, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Now, I can begin to build my own business, doing what I was born to do, and make more money doing it, all from home.

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Writer for CNBC, Business Insider, Fast Company, Thought Catalog, Yahoo! Finance, and you. Come say hey.

Writer for CNBC, Business Insider, Fast Company, Thought Catalog, Yahoo! Finance, and you. Come say hey.