a crummy job can set you up for life

Working at a Crummy Job Can Set You Up For Life!

•  5 minute read

A terrible job can become a motivator to find something better while you're trying to figure out what you want to do with your life.

Yes, it’s true – let me explain.

 

There’s a daily vlogger on YouTube who’s pretty awesome. His name is Casey Neistat. He used to have a show on HBO. He’s done major video ad campaigns for Mercedes, Nike, J. Crew, and others. He used to be a freelance video journalist for the New York Times. He now owns a tech company called Beme. He also does some crazy things like snowboarding in New York City and traveling the world.

 

He’s also a high-school dropout who used to live on welfare. After dropping out of high school, he got a job washing dishes at a local restaurant. He absolutely hated the job. He hated reaching into large lobster pots to scrub out the slime. He hated coming home smelling like stale seafood. He hated life. But it was through this very hatred that he decided to do something with his life.

 

He said that every day he spent at that restaurant was a day he focused on what he really wanted to do.

 

He said he hated the job so much, all he could think about was his future. He finally threw in the towel (literally) and headed to NYC to pursue his vision.

 

A terrible job can become a motivator to find something better while you're trying to figure out what you want to do with your life.It worked. He got off welfare and is now a huge success.

 

Casey really believes in the power of crummy jobs. Even with his connections in high places, he hasn’t pulled any strings to get his teenage son a good job. His son Owen works at a Krispy Kreme donut shop.

 

I think this is why most entrepreneurs don’t start companies until they’ve worked for others. Most entrepreneurs have had really crummy jobs. During those hours and hours of scrubbing floors (metaphorically or literally), they start seeing a clearer picture of what they really want to do with their life. I’ve worked a lot of such jobs. I’ve worked on a farm hauling irrigation pipe and detasseling corn on 100-plus-degree days. I’ve pruned grapevines for hours on end. I’ve washed dishes in a kitchen.

 

Henry David Thoreau writes that, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” That is what you need to avoid. Avoid working in an “okay” position. I know it’s easy to get complacent. After all, your needs are being met. You’re earning a decent paycheck. You have health insurance. You get along fine with your boss. You know what to expect when coming to work. But is that really living? I’ve been in that situation, and I say it’s not.

 

For all of these above reasons, I think it’s great to find a crummy job if you’re unsure of your mission in life. It gives you time to think things out.

 

A lot of people advise college if you’re unsure what you want to do with life. Not a bad idea, but just make sure to make time to really think about what you want to do later. Thinking ahead can fall victim to the pressure of college. I recommend you get an easy job where you can hate it a little. You can then make your plan for world domination. Campus work-study jobs are good for this. Just make sure not to spend the entire time socializing. Even better than a work-study job? Start looking at digging ditches, manual labor on a farm or ranch, being a janitor… anything you would hate doing.

 

So work a crummy job. In the short run, you’ll hate life. You’ll hate me for suggesting it. But pretty soon, you’ll know what you want to get out of life. Out of sheer boredom or desperation, you will have dreamed a purpose for your life.

 

Jobs you hate are great. Jobs you love are great. But do not work a job that’s anywhere in between.

 

 

He used to be a freelance video journalist for the New York Times. He now owns a tech company called Beme, and even does some crazy things like snowboarding in New York City and traveling the world. He can even explain life in 27 seconds.

He’s also a high school dropout who used to live on welfare. After dropping out of high school, he got a job washing dishes at a local restaurant. He absolutely hated the job. He despised reaching into large lobster pots to scrub out the slime. He resented coming home smelling like stale seafood. But it was through this very hatred that he became motivated.

He said that every day he spent at that restaurant was a day he focused on what he really wanted to do with his life. He said he hated the job so much that all he could think about was his future. He finally threw in the towel (literally) and headed to New York to pursue his vision.

IT WORKED. HE GOT OFF WELFARE AND IS NOW A HUGE SUCCESS.Click To Tweet

Casey really believes in the power of crummy jobs. Even with his connections in high places, he hasn’t pulled any strings to get his teenage son a good job. His son Owen works at a Krispy Kreme donut shop.

I think this is why most entrepreneurs don’t start companies until they’ve worked for others: most entrepreneurs have had really crummy jobs. During those hours and hours of scrubbing floors (metaphorically or literally), they start seeing a clearer picture of what they really want to do with their life.

I’ve worked a lot of such jobs. I’ve worked on a farm hauling irrigation pipe and detasselling corn on 100-plus-degree days. I’ve pruned grapevines for hours on end. I’ve washed dishes in a kitchen.

Henry David Thoreau writes that, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” That is what you need to avoid.

Avoid working in an “okay” position. I know it’s easy to get complacent. After all, your needs are being met. You’re earning a decent paycheck. You have health insurance. You get along fine with your boss. You know what to expect when coming to work. But is that really living? I’ve been in that situation and I say it’s not.

For all of these above reasons, I think it’s great to find a crummy job if you’re unsure of your mission in life. It gives you time to think things out. A lot of people advise college if you’re unsure what you want to do with life. Not a bad idea, but just make sure to make time to really think about what you want to do later.

I recommend you get an easy job where you can hate it a little. You can then make your plan for world domination. Campus work-study jobs are good for this. Just make sure not to spend the entire time socializing. Even better than a work-study job – start looking at digging ditches, manual labor on a farm or ranch, being a janitor… anything you would hate doing.

So work a crummy job. In the short run, you’ll hate life. You’ll hate me for suggesting it. But pretty soon, you’ll know what you want to get out of life. Out of sheer boredom or desperation, you will have dreamed a purpose for your life.

Jobs you hate are great. Jobs you love are great. But do not work a job that’s anywhere in between.