The title may shock you. We want to offend your sensibilities to go against everything your parents and teachers told you. They told you to “do what you love and you will never work a day in your life”. This, for the most part, is a lie as you will be willing to put up with more to follow your dreams. It is better to take the boring job. Let’s explore that further.
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Boring is boring, but passion is misery.
When you think of a job that you are passionate about, you may think of jobs like Hollywood, the music industry, sports, and social active work. These jobs often require you to take low pay and bad working conditions to get ahead. But if you keep your head down and put in the hours, you may get your chance. On another note, you need to help change the world so putting up with over-demanding bosses and bad working experiences is all worth it, right? Once you move up, you will change the culture and your passion will finally feel right in the working environment. The truth of the matter is that you are replaceable. There are more of you coming off the assemble line of college ready to take your place if you quit. This causes your wages to stay low and working conditions to remain miserable. Let alone moving up as the jobs are unbelievable competitive.
Let us offer a personal example of this. One of us dreamed of helping people and went into a career field to do so. They loved the job and loved helping people, but over time this highly stressful job became overwhelming. There were no breaks, and it was difficult to get much needed time off. They became burned out, and the company, quite frankly, did not care. The company just needed them to work more and more hours, encouraging staff to come in early, stay late, and give up days off. This career, that was once a passion, became something that they dreaded having to go to every morning.
The boring job, being not as highly sought-after, often offers a higher starting salary, more fringe benefits, and better health insurance plans. These companies don’t have a line of people eager to replace you. These companies work hard on retention and often boast higher salaries and easier, less-demanding work.
A good example is an international grocery retailer. If you started in October of 2021, you joined the team with an hourly rate of 20 dollars an hour. To keep retention high, they paid a premium (two dollars an hour bonus) during the holidays. After the holidays, they then raise your standard rate. After less than a year, they raise your rate yet again by another dollar accounting for standard of living increases and then for your annual raise, another dollar. You would end up making 23 dollars an hour after only being with the company for a year. Taking a standard work week of 40 hours by 52 weeks, you would work an average of 2080 hours. This means that you would in one year increase your salary by over 6000 dollars a year. You are thinking that sounds amazing (which it is), but another benefit is the daily overtime. This means every min over 8 hours you get time and a half for your labor. Let’s take the above example of 23 dollars an hour. The overtime for that would be 34.5 an hour.
We talked about the competition with moving up. In our experience with the above example, there were three candidates for a supervisor position which gives each candidate a 66 percent chance. At the end of the day though, a warehouse job isn’t exciting. Few people dream of warehouse jobs and go into it due to their passions. It can be boring. But boring can be better.
Boring job and Personal Investment.
You are having a wonderful dream about your future when your phone rings. It’s your day off, and you are about to plan your day. You answer your phone not thinking to look. It’s your manager, calling you in on your day off. They give you all sorts of empty promises about being a team player and possibly moving you into management. Something that you both know isn’t likely to happen, but you are unsure if you want to risk it.
Our experience with boring jobs is that we’re never called in on our days off. Everything is scheduled, vacation and sick days, because the environment is geared toward the employees. It empowers employees to schedule those days whenever possible instead of the dreaded “no-call no-show”.
Another stigma of having a passion-based career is the expectation for you to focus all of your energy on the job and your career. At least in our experience, this can lead to employees being black balled if they have aspirations outside of work or even if they do not want to go to the company cookout on their day off. Whereas, in our experience with boring jobs, there are supervisors and employees that own their own businesses. Having things outside of work is more likely to be considered an asset and can give you unique experiences that may give you the opportunity for faster promotions.
There are many resources that give examples of this. One that we particularly like is Mike Rowe. In this YouTube video, he tells a story about boring jobs and using them as tools to accomplish personal goals.
What do you think? Did you pursue your passions, or do you have a boring job? How has this affected your financial goals? Let us know in the comments.