Most jobs are just a means to an end, and that’s okay.
You don’t have to love the work you do all the time, so long as it serves a purpose.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably the type of person who needs their work to serve a particular purpose: giving you the resources you need to reach your goals in life.
Whether it’s as a stepping stone into a different, higher-paying job, or as a springboard into the self-employed career of your dreams, when used properly, a job can be an asset to build your life.
I call these assets support jobs.
You see, not all jobs are created equal. If it isn’t what you love, it’s either an obstacle or a helper. If you’re smart, you’d make it the latter.
My role is not to tell you the kind of support job to take on, but to help you realize that these jobs are meant to serve you as much as you serve them. Trust me, they need you as much as you need them.
Since you’re an equal in this employment partnership, here are a couple of tips to help you make your job into a support job that serves you.
Tip one: Make sure it pays you what you need.
If a support job isn’t giving you the money you need to live your lifestyle, you’re wasting your time. You need to really justify the skills, experiences, and networking opportunities it’s giving you in order to consider keeping a job that’s not helping you make ends meet. Because doing this leads to taking on more than one support job, which impacts tip number two:
Tip two: Make sure it leaves you enough time to do the things you love.
Whether you’re looking to build your own career around your passion, or just free up more time for the things/people you love, your support job needs to fit in with your life. If you need to be at rehearsal at 6pm, but your support job is consistently making you late, it’s time for a conversation with the manager or time to re-evaluate that relationship. It can only benefit you if it leaves you space to pursue what matters to you.
Bonus if it’s convenient to everything else that matters in your life. Close to home? Great. Near other, meaningful opportunities? Perfect. Remember, we’re here to create the space to create. Not to be stuck indefinitely.
This also applies to mental and physical time. If you leave work feeling beat down, it’s taking time away from you. Don’t bring work home with you, my friend. Leave that ish where it belongs.
Tip three: Make sure you’re doing something you enjoy… or can tolerate.
Hating your support job might just be the motivation you need to GTFO. But seriously, being able to love what you’re doing is incredibly helpful. Even if your intentions are to get out as soon as possible, being able to enjoy your time there makes the experience that much better. If you’re using skills you already have, are using it to learn new skills, or simply like the atmosphere and the people, it’s a win.
Tip four: Make sure you are in the business of you.
Above all else, be selfish. It’s nothing personal, but you are here to accomplish a goal. The second the above tips no longer apply to an employment situation, you are free to leave. It may seem harsh, but choosing (to stay in) a situation that doesn’t serve you can only work against you by pulling you off your path. At the end of the day, you want to be free to step fully into the role/passion you’ve been working toward.
Know why you are getting into the work and remember it – you aren’t doing it because you love it, you’re doing it because it’s a means to an end. And you don’t need to love it.
Not all jobs fill you with passion, meaning, or fulfillment.
Some just plain fill you with anger. Salty stories to tell your boo on the weekends.
Basically, if it isn’t your passion/the thing you care deeply about, it’s a support job.
Treat it like one.