Make money without murdering printers Office Space-style because you hate your job/life.

unicornfree.comBeing a twenty-something in 2013 sucks, unless you got lucky. We grew up thinking we’re special when we’re not, we have high expectations of how much money we’re supposed to make (thanks a lot reality TV and your housewives of Plastic Surgery, USA), and we can compare ourselves constantly to all our peers with a method of stalking that make all stalkers before the Facebook Age feel just plain lazy now.

We think the going to college means getting a job – right up until we graduate. Then, we come to find that unless you’ve screwed someone with a job opening just in the right pocket of time before interviews or done at least six internships – you’re shit out of luck, unless Mommy or Daddy “know someone” or hire you to slave away at their company that you’ve only heard horror stories of since you were knee-high.

 There we are: full of expectation and empty on promises kept by society, our parents, our teachers and ourselves. We end up taking some shitty 9 to 5 at some corporation filing meaningless papers and replying the hoards of emails, nannying some snot-nosed kid or landscaping our way to a broken back in order to prune some rich guy’s lawn who’s face is the real prune.

We can’t win, it seems. We need money. We don’t want to live with our parents. If we do, its under the guise of some justification that its “only until the bank account fills up a bit.” Meanwhile, we’re just shoving our faces full of Mom’s homecomin’ and becoming part of the sofa’s upholstery. We drown our sorrows in clouds of anxiety relief, as we drive by our old high school and spray ourselves down with Febreeze before our little siblings get home from said high school.

If we do have the glory and freedom of our very own home (sans baby pictures and Dad walking around in his underwear), we are the almighty dollar’s personal bitch. We live paycheck to paycheck. We drink what we can to drown the sorrow of our humiliating jobs, where none of our expensive, college knowledge is useful. We took Statistical Thermodynamics only to brew espresso.

If one of us does get a cool job, we fucking hate that person’s filthy guts – especially if they got the job fresh out of college. We think that they didn’t earn it and its just because they “add your asshole justification here.” We celebrate with a “congrats!” on Facebook, but really we’re smiting the ever-living hell out of them in our minds and to our trusted friends. It’s sad, but we’re jealous and ashamed of ourselves – but mostly pissed that they can’t get us a fun, well-paid job, too.

www.mpiweb.orgWe have a hard time even looking in the mirror anymore because we don’t even know who we are. We are stuck in this tight spot between both of those hard places we’ve been trying to avoid – home and the poor house (aka sublet apartment with roommates who eat our food, drink our beer and forget to pay the cable bill on time). We thought we’d be a big-time whatever-the-hell-we-majored-in, but now we’re orbiting way too close to adulthood and we’re still convinced we’re the center of the universe, even though we feel like we’re in a black hole.

We can’t fathom why the world has turned against us. We just keep hoping that it will work out. Something will – better yet, something has to – work out for us. It has in the past, so it will again. We think living at home will help us allocate our time to pursuing our dream job and we think working our ass of at some shitty, but well-paid job will eventually lead us to a time where we have a chance to quit said-crap job with enough money in the bank to go after that “real job.”

Guess what? There’s a better way. I promise. It’s called balance. You have to make some sacrifices, but one of those cannot be giving up on your dream – and the kicker is that time is of the essence. If you want to be able to be competitive in your field of choice, you better start climbing that ladder. You can’t be an “esteemed” anything until you put the hours in. Do what you love for as much time as you can.

Hell, do it without getting paid, like the rest of the intern army of drones. The key is: do it well and make something of yourself. Get that reference. Get that sparkly resume bullet point about how you did something unique. Get a supplement job to make actual rectangular, papery, dead presidents to support your binge drinking/electric bill.

Work at Dunkin Donuts, if you have to, but then go home and start writing that screenplay that surely won’t write itself. Be proactive. File that millionth TPS report, but then take on a internship at that record label you’ve wanted to work for since you were 12. Lose a little sleep, if you must. Just please don’t you dare give up on yourself or sell out to something you promised yourself you’d never do.

The last thing you want is to be 35 years old and still dreaming of your dream career. Wake up. Literally, take a sip of coffee. Smell the roses. Get a few jobs – just make sure you like ONE of them.

I have six jobs, but recently one of them started becoming fun, fulfilling and lucrative. Who knew? I can tell you I surely didn’t know about a month ago, when I was one Sunday morning brunch shift away from telling a customer to go play in traffic because I was too hung-over to deal with any impatient, spoiled brat on a power trip with low blood sugar. Now, I’m doing something I love and I get a pay check that doesn’t make me contemplate taking home people’s half eaten leftovers from the restaurant just so I can get a square meal.

Point is: Do whatever you have to do, just balance what you have to do with what you want to do. Let your ambitions decide your sacrifices, not the other way around.

canadaartsconnect.comCreate your life and don’t waste another minute with yet another bullshit excuse about why you’re doing something that you don’t want to be doing. Your whining makes me want to hurl.

We’re young. Start acting like it – lose a little sleep here and there (will it be the first time?), take a risk (surely, won’t be the first time) and make it happen. We’ve got a long way to go on our journey to a career that we love, pays the bills and leaves us some money left over. Its better to start driving down the road that leads to our destination sooner than later. There’s nothing more annoying than hearing “recalculating route” 20 times in that same, repetitive monotone.

 Leigh Greaney can be reached at lgreaney@thoughtpollution.com.

No Comments

  • Nicely written with that special witty tone that makes me smile as I weave through the text! Love it:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 × 2 =