Friends Don’t Let Friends Work Dead-End Corporate Jobs

dead-end corporate jobs
Don’t end up like this guy. Hop off the treadmill if you don’t like what you do

The Franklin Institute in Philly is one of my favorite museums anywhere. Still, I didn’t expect it to give me the perfect photo to describe working in dead-end corporate jobs. Sorry to drop this article right after July 4th. Unfortunately, a majority of Americans, 52% in fact, are unhappy at work. Maybe it’s because they realize there is no possibility for promotion in their position or that working in corporate America is bland and unexciting. So many people work for a paycheck rather than for passion. I would be a terrible friend if I did not ask you to do a gut check right now. Do you love what you do? If so, awesome, if not, keep reading.

Treat Debt Like a biblical Plague from Egypt

If you do not care for where you work, WHY THE HECK are you signing up for things like car and mortgage payments? If you don’t like your job, you need to be free from any commitments that will keep you trapped in it.

You know what one of the first things many of my coworkers did after our first couple months of paychecks? They went out and bought new cars. None of them had enough money to afford to buy them straight up, so they just financed it.

The second wave was the house purchasing. Everyone at a boring Fortune 500 company will congratulate you when you purchase a house near to work. That means the company management can take your name off the “need to re-recruit” list. They’ll move it to the “will stay no matter how bad our annual raises are” list. If you don’t like your job, I don’t care how good the local real estate market is, do not buy a house.

Dead-End Corporate Jobs Should be Temporary Cash Machines for Finacial Freedom

There is one thing you like about your bland 9-5. It gives you a nice big, predictable paycheck every two weeks. Without this money, you would never walk through your company’s doors in a thousand years.

If this is you, do not waste the precious life energy you spent to acquire these dollars by spending a lot. If you do not enjoy your work, buy dividend paying index funds that can support you when you finally have enough and quit.

Let me tell you about something that I REALLY don’t understand. How can you hate your job, but also go out shopping and dining often? If you make $20 an hour after taxes and you go to a nice restaurant and spend $40 on booze and food, you just gave away 2 hours of your life to dead-end corporate jobs.

If everything is great, you love your boss, feel like the work you do is important, feel fulfilled, etc., then you can live a little. However, if you are one of the 52% Americans that would rather be doing something else, stay away from all unnecessary spending. Treat the position as a tool to achieve what you want, which is financial Independence to rule your own life.

Take a risk and try something else

One of the reasons I no longer wanted to work at my corporate job was when I realized the CEO role wasn’t appealing to me anymore. When I started, all I could think about was how cool it would be to run the world’s largest mutual fund company and have tens of thousands of people work for me. Maybe it was ego, maybe it was believing in the mission, I don’t know.

Then I realized, what if I spent 25 years working my way up the ladder? Say I volunteered with all the right charities, networked with the right people, had ‘10,000 coffees’ with coworkers, and did all the right things. After assuming leadership of the company, what would I be doing? I realized that the leadership at large, mature corporate organizations do not typically come up with shocking new innovations. That happens in the startup world. The big companies merely use their stable profits to purchase these new ideas.

So in reality, what was I working for? I wanted a job that didn’t actually have that much power. After all, the CEO answers to the board of directors, who answer to stockholders. Furthermore, the next couple decades of my life would be planned, and success would be so conventional. I decided instead to take a risk, retire early, start a website, write a couple books, and travel the world. I’m so glad I took a risk.

So if you are trapped in one of these dead-end corporate jobs, please get out of debt, save like a madman, and consider taking a risk and trying something else. As the skeleton running the treadmill above reminded me, life is too short to do anything else.

Are you stuck in one of those dead end corporate jobs? What are you doing right now to improve your situation?

(that could be saving, staying out of debt, looking at new positions on LinkedIn, etc. Feel free to use a nickname instead of your real name if you want to be anonymous)

15 thoughts on “Friends Don’t Let Friends Work Dead-End Corporate Jobs”

  1. Excellent point! Shortly after college (I studied anthropology) I landed a corporate job because I couldn’t get a job in anthropology (too bad I didn’t really research my major!) I absolutely hated it. I worked there less than a year and quit to start a hot dog cart. Yes. Really. That didn’t pay the bills, so I ended up in a few more corporate jobs until I began substitute teaching. I absolutely loved teaching and am now a teacher (I also love the summers off). I’d tell anyone who hates their job to quit and find something else to do, maybe not a hot dog cart, but something else until they find their passion.

    1. Ha maybe if it was a food truck selling macaroons you would have made it ! That’d great that you love teaching. My dad was a teacher for almost 40 years and he says the best part is June July and august

      1. Too bad food trucks weren’t popular back then. 😉 As for teaching, I love the end of June and all of July, too, but am usually ready to go back by early August, which is a good thing because our district’s summer break is only 8-weeks long (but I really shouldn’t complain, right?!)

    1. Is that because of kids or financial obligations john? I have to say being single it’s much easier to afford anything or not spend money in virtually every situation. That changes big time I’ve heard when u get married

  2. I am no longer in dead-end corporate job, but both my husband and I worked our share of dead-end jobs. I’m so glad I don’t have to live that way anymore.

    1. I feel like it’s a badge of honor though to say you’ve been through it. I certainly empathize way more with that movie office space now that k experienced that life

  3. Love the article. I can’t say that I’m stuck in a dead-end job. My job has been amazing, and I’ve a blast traveling around the world working in the military, but the upside earning potential is obviously limited. There is a cap on the pay you can earn, and long hours and creative thinking do not translate to extra pay or fast promotions. I’m 4 years from a GENEROUS military retirement, and I’ve been building up a stable of paid off rental properties and started a blog documenting the process so I can be not just FI but VERY COMFORTABLE upon my retirement at 45 years old.

    1. Thanks for your service. Military retirement is one of the best out there. You have an incredible TSP for retirement and a guaranteed pension that will never be at risk like the ones in Chicago or new Jersey. Seems like once u hit 45 the rest of your life is whatever you want to make of it

  4. You’ve made lots of good points about why it’s not worth it in the long run. If only there were enough fun jobs out there for everyone. I agree, a lot of jobs could be better. I’m working in a career type job, and doing extra qualifications. Eventually I will be FIRE, maybe I might move into something that I love to do, perhaps our blog will be that earner for us. For now, we’re setting ourselves up for a better future.


  5. I don’t find my current job boring but I have been in boring corporate jobs before. Sometimes you just have to tough it out for a few years and save like crazy. When the end is in sight, building the freedom fund and toughing it out doesn’t seem so bad.

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