by Matt Weik
If I were to ask by a show of hands how many people reading this hate their job, I’m willing to bet we would be among a sea of raised hands. Why is that? Don’t you want to be happy? Your career is something you’re going to be doing for the next 30-40 years (depending on how old you are). I would think that it would be something you enjoy rather than dread every single day. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. So, by definition, you’re all insane. Personally, I don’t think I’ll ever retire. And that’s a good thing.
Why Do What You Hate?
There are far too many people who do just enough at their job to not get fired. They are the people who do only what they are told and never go above and beyond. If asked if they’d be willing to work late for overtime, the answer is no. If they are asked to come in on weekends to work and get overtime, the answer is no. And more than likely, they are the individuals sitting at their desk checking the time every five minutes in hopes that it reads 5pm so they can go home. These are the same people who can’t wait to retire.
You need to ask yourself if you had your hand raised during my introduction, why do you hate your job? Why can you not wait until you are old enough to retire? Why? I mean seriously… why? If you hate your job that much why not go get a new job? Or better yet, find out what you are good at and start your own business? It’s never too late nor are you ever too old to do either.
Why Do We Celebrate Retirement?
This is something I never really understood. What can you do when you retire that you can’t do while working? Of course, sleeping in would make the list but there really isn’t anything else when you think about it. Do you like to travel? Fine, take your vacation from work and use it to travel the world. Want to sit around with your feet up? Cool, take time off where you do nothing but put your feet up and relax.
The end game when you retire for most is a celebration that they no longer need to “work” anymore. But if you love your job or what you do, is it really work, or is it a passion of yours that you get excited to do every day? Honestly, if you aren’t excited to go to work every day for the next 30+ years, you need to go figure out what the next step is for your life and career because 30 years is a long time to not enjoy what you do for a living.
Maybe There’s Something Wrong with Me?
I’ve often asked myself this question. Why do I love to “work” so much? Why am I constantly thinking about my business and how to improve it and things I can do differently? Sure, my business might be different from what you do, but in the end, we should all have the same outlook on what we do – and that’s solving the problems of our clients and customers.
For me (I’ll use my content services as an example), my outlook is twofold. For one, I enjoy helping my clients produce content. For them, they hate it. It’s not something they enjoy and it would take them all day to produce a piece of content and that’s time they could be spending working on other areas of their business to help it grow. I’m solving their problem of creating content that can help them build their website traffic and through my content help them convert sales. Then on the other side of my content writing is helping the end-user. When someone reads my content, I want them to learn something. I want them to leave reading the article and want to apply what they read to their life, health, fitness, job, family, whatever. I love helping and educating people.
When people ask me what I’ll do when I retire, I honestly don’t have an answer for them. I don’t think I’ll ever retire. I’d probably be the happiest if I died of old age still doing what I love. For me, looking to retire seems like it’s “game over” in a sense. If I retire it would be me saying I’m giving up or stopping what I love doing. Now, depending on how old I get, I might be forced to retire if my body starts breaking down and failing. For instance, if I ever get arthritis or carpal tunnel, I’m royally screwed. My hands/fingers are what put food on the table for me and my family. If that is taken away from me and I could no longer write, I might as well be dead. It sounds morbid but writing content is all I think about.
I think that’s ultimately the point you need to get to. Find what you are good at. Think about what skills you possess that are better than anyone you know and that you could apply to a business or your own where you would love what you do every day and wake up each morning full of energy to start the day and begin working.
Retirement to me would resemble a death sentence. It would mean I’m done creating. I’m done living. I’m done helping. My purpose on this planet is complete. There is no way I could ever retire and sit around doing nothing or simply relaxing. I’m not wired that way. Which brings me back to my question… maybe there’s something wrong with me?
What are your thoughts on the topic? Are you counting down the days until you can retire? Do you already have your plans set for what you’ll do in retirement? Or, do you absolutely love what you do and will probably work until you breathe your last breath?