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Your job is the problem

Escape from job dependency

Time vs. Money

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How should I live my life?

How can I retire early?

Why not get a job?

Escape from Job Dependency

Job dependency is a trap. It would be better not to get caught in the first place, but, most people aren't that lucky. If you're well and truly caught, you've got a real problem to deal with when you want to have your independence back.

How to get caught in the job trap

People become dependent on their job without really knowing what they're letting themselves in for. A job seems like a good thing at the beginning: money is coming in, friends and relatives seem happy that you found employment, you can buy things like a new car, house, expensive clothes, a bigger TV, and so on. Once you've gone a little way down that road, though, it's difficult to turn yourself around, and if you have heavy payments to make, then it's almost impossible. You're set up for a life of job dependency.

That wouldn't be such a problem, except that many people don't like their job; and to spend your life stuck doing something that you don't like - or even hate – is a tragedy. I know one guy in his thirties who says ' Yeah this job is a pain. But the pension plan is good!' Listen: when you retire, nobody can give the years back to you. Better live them now.

Understand where you are and where you should be

It's difficult to turn this situation around – but it can be done. The way to escape is to bring yourself to the point where your income from other activities - working for yourself or earning passively - exceeds your cost of living. Then you can declare independence from your job.

Most people who have regular jobs are a long way on the wrong side of that equation. The problem tends to feed back on itself and become worse over time. Here's an example: if you don't enjoy your job, and it brings stress, tension and unhappiness into your life, then you're likely to overspend in an attempt to find happiness in material possessions, or just to experience the 'high' of getting some new stuff. Throwing money around can also be an attempt to justify spending so much of your life at work. You might buy a luxury car, for example, thinking 'I deserve it after all the work I do.' You'd just get deeper into the situation that was making you unhappy in the first place. All that expensive new stuff has to be paid for, and so you keep going to work. You can't quit your job, because you have a lot of stuff to pay for. And, you're probably too tired or stressed, or just lacking the time, to think about switching to a more satisfying way of life.

Help yourself to get out of the job trap

You might have noticed, in the example above, that spending all that money wasn't really necessary – it was just an attempt to compensate for the unhappiness of having a job. Life doesn't really have to be that expensive. When you reduce your expenses you're also bringing yourself closer to paying for your lifestyle by working for yourself – remember you just need to make enough money to pay for your lifestyle, and if you're happy, then the chances are your lifestyle won't need to be so costly.

So, you have two controls to help you reach freedom. One is your ability to earn money working for yourself, and the other is your ability to control the expense of your lifestyle. Another important consideration is knowing that you want to do it. As I've said elsewhere in these articles, working as an employee has something like a brain-washing effect: after a while, you may not suspect that anything is wrong.

Break through your own resistance

After many years as an employee, I had to struggle to see the reality of my own situation; it felt like I was breaking through a wall that had built up in my mind. This process wasn't helped by the fact that I didn't have enough time to fully think it through to a conclusion before I had to quit trying, and go to work. After work I'd have to start all over again. Eventually though, I was able to see clearly how I, and so many other people, became job-dependent, and how easy it was to fall into the trap. I could also visualise how good it would be to change my situation. I wanted to be able to walk away from any job I didn't like, and better still, I wanted to make a living doing something I really believed in, and to be my own boss. I really wanted to change!

More time or more money?

By the way, I was never looking for a get-rich-quick scheme. Excess wealth was never part of my plan. Instead, I considered that true wealth lies in the ability to control my own time, rather than in simply accumulating money. As an employee, I had enough money coming in, but almost no control over my time. But here's the problem: each of us only has one life, and our time is a finite resource. It's going to run out. I'd rather have more time and freedom than more money.

Start small and build up. A year or two from now, it could be the day that you're finally free of your job, and can look forward to a life doing what you want to do, instead of what your boss demands.

(c) copyright 2012

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