Sometimes a Job is Just a Job.

by J. Money on Wednesday, December 5, 2012

i hate my job

As I was digging through some draft emails this morning, I came across a quote I had saved back in May of 2011 that someone left here on my post about loving your job and saving money. Something we all dream about and (hopefully) strive for, but a goal that’s not always in our immediate reach unfortunately :(

I used to think all jobs suck if you’re not crazy excited about them, but the truth is they DO play vital roles in helping us survive. Which is the basis of this quote that 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 I saw that it’s always been in the back of my head. Sure, THESE days I’m “living the dream” and doing what I love every morning as I’m blogging to y’all, but it hasn’t always been the case.

Back then I simply worked for one reason only: Money.

And while now it’s a mixture of both business and pleasure, money of course is still an important factor today ;) But have I liked all those 30+ jobs I used to have back in the day? No way… Some were better than others, but usually it was always a means to an end. And once I was out that door for the day, I didn’t think twice about work the rest of the evening (a drastic comparison to these days, btw, when it’s CONSTANTLY on my mind! One of the major cons to self-employment…).

And I’m betting most people feel the same way too. Work = Money. Nothing more, nothing less. YES, we’d all rather be working at a place where we can pour our hearts into it and feel all warm and fuzzy inside every day, but most times we just power through it all and grab those paychecks at the end. Hoping it gets better and easier over time too ;)

Y’all already know all this of course, but I just felt like it was a good reminder to ourselves today especially since I rarely go down this path on the blog here. I tend to stick to the more positive – You can do anything! – type mentality, but the real world doesn’t necessarily always comply with that ;) So if I’ve ever came off as snobbish or all high-and-mighty or anything, I duly apologize! I think Krystal definitely has it right here – there’s nothing wrong with a job simply being just a job, as long as your end goals are being met. Once that goes down the $hitter, AND you happen to hate your job, then of course at that point you probably want to start looking into making a few changes ;)

How many of you are nodding your head right now ‘cuz you’ve got a crappy job in the works? Is there any happiness mixed in there, or is it all purely money? You cool with it so far?

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

(Photo Credit: mickyc82)

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 alana December 5, 2012 at 7:21 am

money at a job i can tolerate


2 Lance @ Money Life and More December 5, 2012 at 7:21 am

My job isn’t super inspirational but it is the best job I’ve ever had. Very low stress and decent hours with decent pay. It’s definitely a great job even though I don’t get the warm fuzzies or feel overly inspired every day.


3 Elle December 5, 2012 at 7:37 am

I’ve had jobs that weren’t my passion, but I enjoyed and used the opportunity to gain skills and money – worked at Italian ice shop and as a vending stand at a local concert venue. The pay and the schedule worked with my routine as college student.


4 Greg@ClubThrifty December 5, 2012 at 7:41 am

I used to be like you J – I thought I had to be super passionate about my job in order for it to be worthwhile. I went to school for a theatre degree, to follow my passion. Unfortuantely, it is really hard to follow your passion when the pay is crap, the hours are worse, and you are constantly moving when you’d like to settle down. I then followed another passion. While I still like my job, I now see most jobs as a way to put food on the table. They are a means to an end.


5 Brian December 5, 2012 at 8:35 am

I don’t hate what I do, but I don’t love it either. That being said, I would be hard pressed to find a job that pays me what I get paid for the amount of work I actually have to do. I get plenty of time off and am not allowed to work more than 8 hours per day (even when a huge project has to get done, I just have to leave and no one gets upset). I’ll just keep plugging away here until a better opportunity arrises or we pack up our things and move to another country (which we will probably do in the next 5 years or so).


6 K December 5, 2012 at 8:52 am

You know.. you’re right. I don’t hate what I do. I get paid pretty well (especially for my age). I have amazing benefits ( I work for the federal government). Life ain’t bad. So many people have it worse and I’m grateful for what I have


7 moneysavingmama December 5, 2012 at 8:52 am

My job isn’t the best but its the best for our family now. Since I am in government consulting I have a lot of flexibility, good pay and lots of time at home to spend with my daughter and husband. I did used to think I needed to be super passionate about my job, but as soon as I had a child it all changed. My top priorities now are location and flexibility rather than type of job, passion, and pay. Granted, I still get paid very well for what I do and there is absolutely no overtime since the govt refuses to shell out extra money… so at the end of the day, its a good gig.


8 Laura Brown December 5, 2012 at 9:09 am

I truly do hate my job – it is solely a paycheck, and a sad one at that. However, since I’m the sole income for our family, it’s necessary. That being said, I could love my job, provided a few things really changed. I am learning to be content with what I have – despite being disrespected at work and not getting a raise. It takes a lot, and I’m looking for something else. But until that time, my job is just a job, and a pathetic one. I would take a dream job in a heartbeat, as long as it met the basic needs (which is what this one does currently). I always thought I could tolerate a job that I didn’t like, but I’m finding that less true now.


9 Joe Cassandra December 5, 2012 at 9:44 am

I know sitting at a desk all day is not my calling, but for now, it’s so laid back that all the time I wasted browsing the internet actually propelled me to start doing something, such as start a blog and hopefully business down the road, so I try and see the positives of it lol


10 Financial Samurai December 5, 2012 at 9:56 am

It’s definitely rare to find that dream job, so we have a responsibility to always keep looking if we are unhappy. But of course, we should be practical.

My current job is to spread the word never to quit one’s job. Get laid instead.


11 Budget & the Beach December 5, 2012 at 10:07 am

I don’t know if I’d want a “crappy” job that works, but I’ve jobs I didn’t really like or love, but was content, and the money was good. I was OK with that actually! I think a lot of people underestimate it until they have lost a job or are struggling in some way.


12 Heather Stephens December 5, 2012 at 10:08 am

I really needed this post today. My job, while I enjoy what I do, has left me in a place of questioning the “why” lately because of the number of hours I’ve worked, time away from my family, and wondering if what I’m doing is making a difference. Thanks for the reminder that I am making a difference for our family financially, paying down debt while providing the foundation for a life of freedom in the future. I really needed to hear this today…


13 Trinnie December 5, 2012 at 10:13 am

We all know I love my job and my company…I love everything about my job. I work hard but the rewards are so worth it. Thanks for this post, J…definitely reminds me of how good I have it! :)


14 Mkg December 5, 2012 at 10:25 am

I do not and will never “love” my job, where I am currently employed. However, I like that it allows me to work only daytime hours and never a weekend. I also never have to take work home with me at night. I like that I have health, dental and vision insurance and a 401k. I like that once a week at lunch we have a bible study. The people here are supportive and are like a big family. But the actual work I do is monotonous and boring. That is just a small factor and my main priority is my family. This job allows me to provide for them. That is all I need.


15 The Happy Homeowner December 5, 2012 at 10:40 am

I’m at a start-up now, so it’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride with restructuring, etc. That being said, I truly do enjoy the company I’m working for and I’m excited for the next steps I’ll be taking. But I do “secretly” dream of becoming a travel writer or Travel Channel/HGTV host.. :D


16 K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! December 5, 2012 at 10:53 am

I enjoy what I do for a living because it’s challenging and I’m still learning a lot and that is really important to me where work is concerned. I have worked jobs in the distant past that were just a way to pay the bills but I made sure to find a more rewarding job in short order.


17 Joe @ Retire By 40 December 5, 2012 at 10:58 am

Once you don’t have any debt and have an alternative way to make money (self employment), it is HARD to stay at a job just for money. I was doing it for years and it wore on me. I am so much happier now that I’m out on my own.


18 spiderlady December 5, 2012 at 11:01 am

I enjoy what I do at my job (I work for a State Legislature), but it isn’t my life. It’s a job, I’m good at it, and it pays the bills. And when I’m off-duty, I can forget about it.


19 Aaron December 5, 2012 at 11:03 am

I think this is a good point. Many are in a job for the money – they may not be real passionate about it – but that’s okay. Sometimes I think we’ve got a little too much of this “do whatever you want – and live your dream” talk going on. Some folks simply can’t.


20 Matt December 5, 2012 at 11:25 am


I couldn’t agree more. I used to complain that I wanted to be doing something that I was passionate about, and I would search and search for a job change. But the truth is why not allow my current job to fund the things I am passionate about. Some people have called their day job Fundraising for what they love. Thanks for the reminder.


21 Johnny @ Our Freaking Budget December 5, 2012 at 11:57 am

I’ve fought with this exact issue for a while. I actually really enjoy my job 50% of the time. Like the time where I actually get to knuckle down and do my job. The other 50% of the time (meetings, office politics, etc.) I would liken to licking stamps — the discolored ones that have been sitting out on your CFO’s desk for ten years.

But I’ve gotten a lot better realizing all of this money stuff is an ends to a mean. Having security, simple pleasures, savings for kids, weekly Chick-Fil-A date night with the wife, etc. It doesn’t make the sucky job stuff go away, but it makes it a much less jagged edged pill to swallow.


22 Stephanie December 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Depends which job you’re talking about!

My job as an internal auditor for local government is just a job to me, albeit one with lots of perks. I don’t make as much as I would in the private sector, but I have good health insurance, a flexible schedule, and in the 4 1/2 years I’ve been in this position I haven’t had to work overtime even once. I mostly enjoy the work, especially when I’m working on a project that involves doing data analytics, but I wouldn’t say I’m passionate about it.

My part-time gig as a librarian is AWESOME though. That’s definitely my passion. I love connecting people with the information they need, and feeling like I’m really doing something to improve their lives, whether it’s helping them apply for a job online or finding a book they need for a school project, or in one especially proud moment, helping a patron track down a specific cookbook when the only piece of information she had was the first (and not last!) name of the person who did the photography for the book. It’s one of those jobs that I actually look forward to, although working in a public library definitely forces me to deal with some eccentric personalities. ;-)


23 Lyn @ Pretty Frugal December 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I enjoy my job (most days), and being part of a small-scale organization means I’m being given opportunities for professional growth that I wouldn’t be given in a lot of other environments. But honestly, we are both working right now to save money so we can eventually leave our 9-5 office jobs and pursue farming full-time in few years. It’s a big dream, and the funding has to come from somewhere!


24 debtgirl December 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm

I’m pretty lucky, I like my job. I don’t LOVE it, but I like it. And these days I feel fortunate to have one and guilty to complain.

Not saying that some days I hate my boss and co-workers! ;-(
But hey, it is what it is.
I just keep thinking it is just a small part of my life really, its just my means to an end!


25 Grayson @ Debt Roundup December 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm

I enjoy my job as I get to work online all day. I get the creative freedom to come up with solutions to problems and people come to me for answers. That is what I enjoy, solving problems. I now enjoy both working full time and blogging on the side. It is hard work, but I enjoy the money I earn because I know that I earned it.


26 J. Money December 5, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Thanks for dropping by everyone! It’s so COOL to hear your thoughts on this stuff, esp. as most of you are talking about the gigs you’re currently employed with! With no fear! Haha… gotta love the internet :)

@alana – Toleration is key, yes :)
@Lance @ Money Life and More – You can save that for later when you’re home with your girlfriend, yeah? ;)
@Elle – And you get free concerts too!
@Greg@ClubThrifty – I think making a conscious decision either way (fun job/low pay vs low fun/medium pay) is smart. Whichever people end up choosing – as long as they know WHY they’re choosing it. It looks like you’re pretty happy with the decision too :)
@Brian – I’d do the same thing! Especially if you could blog at work on the down time ;)
@K – GOOD! It’s always nice to stop for a second and appreciate what you have. I’m happy for you :)
@moneysavingmama – “My job isn’t the best but its the best for our family now.” – well said :) I agree kids change everything. Or at least rearranges things, hehe…
@Laura Brown – Oh no! That’s not good :( But I’m glad you’re working on being content and keepying your eyes open! Some poeple give up and just bitch and moan all day long which never makes things better. So keep fighting the good fight! :) I’m sure your family really appreciates it.
@Joe Cassandra – There you go! That’s how I got here in my career :)
@Financial Samurai – HAH! Is that a slip, or would you prefer people to really get laid instead of quitting? ;) ‘Cuz I might have to agree with you there!
@Budget & the Beach – I agree. It’s amazing what we can handle when our asses are on the line. All of a sudden “worst case” becomes “middle case” haha…
@Heather Stephens – Awww good!! I only wish the best for you, friend, so I’m glad this helped in a small way! Keep those eyes open for other opportunities out there and in the meantime keep plugging away. It won’t last forever, I promise. It never does.
@Trinnie – Yeah you do! And maybe even *better* too if you get a certain answer you’re looking for soon ;) I’m sending over happy thoughts!
@Mkg – That’s wonderful :) And not bringing work at home is something most people don’t appreciate it – I know I didn’t before I was self-employed. There’s not an hour that goes by now – day, night, or weekend – where I consider hopping back on the computer. It blows. But the rest of the pros make up for it (or else I wouldn’t be doing it)!
@The Happy Homeowner – Hah! That would be nice. I love the startup atmosphere myself too – especially the ups and downs. Made everything so interesting :)
@K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! – Yup, I think we all have to go through those stages too of the crap jobs esclating to better, more productive, ones. If I don’t learn at them I start getting lazy and become a worse employee. And then realize it’s time to move on!
@Joe @ Retire By 40 – I bet your family is too! You’re probably like a new man to them :) That’s what my wife said about me – “There’s the Jay I remember!”
@spiderlady – Something to be aware of for sure. Having all weekends and nights free is great!
@Aaron – YUP! And I was probably too much a part of it too :( Though I meant well… That comment up there hit me hard and reminded me to tone it down a bit. I guess I’m more concerned with people who NEVER try to improve their job or lifestyle, and instead bitch about it all the time… If you’re cognizant with the situation and choose to stay for X, Y, Z then it’a a-ok in my books.
@Matt – “…why not allow my current job to fund the things I am passionate about” – That’s a good way to think about it! I’ve never heard it like that :) Or even “fundraising,” haha, that’s awesome. Thanks for stopping by my friend.
@Johnny @ Our Freaking Budget – Chick-Fil-A dates! YES! Awesome!
@Stephanie – Nice!!! And you know what? You TOTALLY have to do a side hustle post for me! That would be a most interesing read! Will you? PLEASE??? I’m going to email you as soon as I send this :) I want to learn more!
@Lyn @ Pretty Frugal – Cool!! That’s a job you don’t hear very often :) Especially working towards DOING the farming and not the other way around (not that I know much about that stuff, haha…). Maybe you can write up a post for us one day on the dream too? I bet people find it fascinating :)
@debtgirl – Yup! You know it! But I still think it’s okay to complain when you need to – no matter what our position in life, we should all be able to let out some steam. Everyone has issues no matter how poor or rich or fortunate/etc we are. So you go and bitch girl, I got yo back!
@Grayson @ Debt Roundup – Cool! Solving problems is DEF fun! And can keep you super super busy too, which is also a good thing ;) Thanks for stopping by tonight.


27 Victoria @ Lend Not Borrow December 5, 2012 at 11:01 pm

I JUST got out of the habit of always complaining about my job. I felt (and still kinda do ) that it doesn’t challenge me enough… plus I have my eye on self empoyment! I soon realized how GRATEFUL I should be to have a job that pays well with a great schedule and low stress. Plus the folks there are pretty cooll…

Sure, I still see it as a way to get a steady income but I’m working on having a better attitude. I had a slight paradigm shift :-)


28 Financial Samurai December 5, 2012 at 11:31 pm

“Don’t quit, get laid” is my marketing tagline for my book on how to profitably quit your job.
Good one huh? Like the folks from Mad Men.


29 Brian @ DTS December 6, 2012 at 3:33 am

A lot of people are blessed for doing something they really love. There are also people who are just grateful to have a job that enables them to support themselves and their family. It is important to be grateful for what we have yet there is nothing wrong for searching for a job that will keep us motivated and excited.


30 Stephanie December 6, 2012 at 8:09 am

Haha… Sure J. Money! Didn’t see an email from you yet, but definitely contact me with the details. :-)


31 KK @ Student Debt Survivor December 6, 2012 at 8:24 pm

I don’t love my job, but I do feel good about the general work that I do helping people. Right now I’m sort of hanging on until I get my second professional license so I can do work that I think will be slightly less stressful and better paying. But I do feel good about the people I help, whether they appreciate it or not doesn’t really matter. I also recently switched to a different part of my company and I’ve found the work load to be slightly more manageable which is nice.


32 bobbi December 6, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I like my job and am overall happy. I get paid well and get great perks like being able to work from home but I wouldn’t consider myself passionate about it. I do a good job and strive to turn out a quality product but am not in love with my job. But… being passionate about a job can be exhausting. I had a very passionate job that I burned out on. I was always thinking about work or doing something that related to it. It was was impossible to just turn work off. Whether it was my head, my phone, my emails, etc. I loved it while I was doing it but was glad in a lot of ways to leave. Now I have a toddler and the thought of having a job that I’m that passionate about is exhausting. I’m happy with my job that I like that challenges me to an adequate degree but allows me to turn off and be with my family on off time. I sometimes think about having another passionate job but it will be awhile. I think the very passionate jobs are for people without kids or a lot commitments. While I never want a job that I’m unhappy with, I don’t need to save the world or feel the need to start a business. Maybe someday I’ll give passionate a try again but not until the kid is in school probably.

Another point about having a ‘passionate’ job is that it often leaves you no time for anything else. I found I was so consumed with it that I didn’t have the time or the energy (mental or physical) to pursue other interests.

JMoney…. babyhood is easy (IMO) wait for toddler hood! Then the fun really starts. At least now they stay in their bed when you put them there.


33 Tony@YODTO December 7, 2012 at 8:16 am

I have been very fortunate for most of my life that I have always had a job that was aligned to my interests and passions. I think it is all relative, though. For instance, orchestral musicians are “doing what they love” but there are many parts of the job that suck. An outsider looking at me when I played on Broadway would think that I “had it made”, but there were many parts of the gig that were absolutely miserable. Basically, I have a job right now that pays really well and is very rewarding but I still don’t want to do it much longer since there are a ton of headaches as well; I would rather be home working on my non profit. Am I spoiled? I don’t think so..I like striving for better..


34 J. Money December 7, 2012 at 9:19 pm

These comments are great guys, seriously… I had no idea this post would resonate so well! I’m glad I rescued it from my inbox! :)

@Victoria @ Lend Not Borrow – Ain’t nothing wrong with that! The more positive you are, the further you’ll succeed too – even IN crap jobs ;) So good job changing your brain like that, though it’s still okay to bitch every now and then – just don’t let your bosses hear, haha…
@Financial Samurai – BRILLIANT one to be exact. I’m digging that, sir.
@Brian @ DTS – Amen! Preach on!
@Stephanie – Ack! That’s ‘cuz I forgot to email you after commenting! But I’m so glad to hear you’re interested, drafting up an emaial right…. NOW. (You couldn’t see me, but I just opened up Gmail and started an email so I wouldn’t forget… again.). Look for it! :)
@KK @ Student Debt Survivor – Great! Seems like you have a good game plan in the works too – always helpful when coping with stuff that doesn’t register on the fun-meter :)
@bobbi – Oh wowwww you just described EXACTLY how I feel some days! You are SO right – you can’t turn it off and you DO think about it all day and night and even in dreams sometimes! It’s exausting! :) And I’ll probably have to curb it even more to make sure I’m not hurting any of my non-work life too. I think that’s partially why I wanted to be a stay at home dad twice a week even though I know it would kill my work productivity – I didn’t want it to consume me all the way! But eventually he’ll go to daycare and I’ll be back at it again 24/7, so I have to figure out more ways to keep myself in check or I’ll be getting in trouble… But hey, at least we know this stuff about ourselves right? And if you can get out when it’s time, so can I! :)
@Tony@YODTO – Love it! Great way of putting it too – “always striving for better.” I’m gonna use that the next time someone tells ME to quit bitching because “I work from home” and “I make double what they do” etc etc… Yeah, I DO work here making more than you cuz I’m also hustling my ass off more than you and took a risk for it all! Haha… but “Striving for better?” Oh yeah. Sounds a lot more PC ;) And true.


35 MakintheBacon$ December 10, 2012 at 7:54 pm

I’ve gone through several jobs so far in my adult career, although nowhere as near as many as you have. However, compared to my friends who have held the same job since they’ve graduated or not too long after, it seems like a lot more. Going through those jobs helped me figure what I like, what I don’t like, do I want to make a difference, etc. (yes, I am a do-gooder/nerd). Although my current job isn’t my absolute dream job, I do enjoy some parts of it and it’ll help me carve a good career path. However I LOVE my part-time job, so it makes the work that comes along with it not so bad and worth doing.


36 J. Money December 12, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Well that’s good! It’s nice to have those other gigs to offset the ones you don’t like as much :) Have a few of those too actually that help me to keep going, like this one. Some others I do I’d rather go without, but sometimes you gotta pay the bills, right? ;)


37 Carolina February 11, 2013 at 3:54 pm

I love my job; but I will lie to say I love my coworkers, specially one of them. But hey, I have a very good paying job and I don’t have to talk to that particular person so…. Better than not having one.


38 J. Money February 12, 2013 at 10:30 am

Indeed! You can put up a lot when you enjoy your job AND get paid a lot for it too :)


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