Why do You Have a Job? Five False Beliefs that Lead People into Jobs they Hate
By Debra Lea Thorsen
If you find yourself stuck in a job that you don't enjoy or in a
company that isn't fun to work for, the first step to making a change is
asking yourself, "How did I get here? Your being here at this time in
your life is not a random event. You have made choices and decisions
along the way to get here. Your individual journey has led you to this
And you are not broken. You don't need to be fixed. No one is to
blame. You have made choices based upon beliefs that you have held. And
beliefs are nothing more than thought habits. They are ideas that you
have thought over and over again until they became a belief. Like an old
record, you may be stuck in a groove or a belief that no longer works
So, before you decide to leave your job or company or make any
change, it is a valuable exercise to pause for a moment and examine your
beliefs. If you don't take the time to do this, you will make choices
based upon old beliefs and end up in the same place.
In working with my coaching clients, I find that there are five key
beliefs that lead people into a job that does not bring them joy. I will
outline them here.
Belief #1: Money: Getting a corporate job is the best way to make
money. We are all conditioned to believe that having a job is the best
way to make money by our parents, teachers, and many well-meaning
adults. There is a systemic belief in our society that a job is the best
path to wealth. It is simply not true. You will never make significant
wealth (of the retire early, be completely financially free, lack of
money doesn't guide my decisions type of wealth) by going to a 9 to 5 job.
I often read stories in mainstream magazines of people who retire
early by having two income earners in the family, living extremely
frugally, and saving almost all of their earnings for retirement. Not a
really fun way to live in my estimation!
I would rather earn lots of money doing what I love on my own time
schedule and not waiting until I retire to have fun. Can I do this in a
regular job? I couldn't. I was making a six-figure income working insane
hours and traveling constantly. I made less money early in my career
doing the 8:30 to 5:30 grind but I wasn't having any fun and I spent
every dollar that I earned.
Why can't you good make money in a job? First, only the top echelon
of workers make over $100,000. The system is set up this way - as a
pyramid. The corporate pyramid has lots of low-paid worker bees and only
a few high-paid executives. Second, you are taxed heavily on earned
income. The tax system is designed to benefit corporations. Third, you
don't get any residual income - once you stop working, the dollars stop
coming. You aren't building up any passive income streams. You may
design a product or software for your company - but the company gets the
passive or residual income from your efforts.
Equity = wealth. All equity goes to the shareholders. It is great to
work in a company that offers its employees an ownership stake - in fact
I wouldn't consider working for one that doesn't. The only downside is
that you don't have control of most of the decisions being made. I know
many people who have been downsized out of tech companies because the
leadership team made bad decisions.
Belief #2: Responsibility: I should get a corporate job - it is what
a responsible adult does. Once again, this is a belief that is drummed
into you early. It goes something like this - study hard in school, get
good grades, get into a good college, maybe get a graduate degree, get a
prestigious job and the money and success will flow to you. This is the
path that responsible people choose.
I choose this path. Did well in school, B.A. from University of
Virginia, MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. Money and success did
flow to me. But I was overworked, uninspired and getting burned out and
depressed. Is being at work all the time, getting burned out, and
depressed what a responsible adult does? I don't think so! Yes, I have a
responsibility to provide for my family - but if there is a way that I
can do this without sacrificing my sacred family time and peace of mind
don't I have a responsibility to follow that path?
Belief #3: Importance: If I get a high-paying job and an impressive
title, I will be important. Interview 100 successful people and find if
money and title really made them feel important inside. You might find 1
or 2 who will say yes, but this is a false belief. We are important
because we are here.
We all have the same amount of source energy inside of us. Call it
"God", or "energy or "goodness - whatever resonates with you. I
believe that as physical beings, we are on the leading edge of
consciousness and our job is to create. We create by being in touch with
our source and choosing actions in alignment with our joy. The only
thing that you will take with you when you cross over into the spiritual
world is your expansion of consciousness. You will not take any physical
possession or title or award. You will only take your soul and the
wisdom it has acquired during this physical manifestation.
Belief #4: Security: I will be secure if I have a good-paying job. If
you know anyone that has been fired, laid-off, or downsized you know
that this is not true. Yet, so many of us want to play it safe. We let
our fears guide our decisions rather than taking risks and following our
bliss. When you have a job, you are at the mercy of your employer. You
may be laid-off with your entire department or fired because a superior
doesn't like you. It will be random and out of your control. True
security comes from being your own boss.
Belief #5: Enjoyment: I will enjoy working in the corporate world. I
chose a job in strategy consulting because I was bored with all of my
other jobs - both in the public and private sectors. I thought - now
this is something that will challenge me. To get a job in consulting I
needed to get an MBA - so I did. But I did not enjoy strategy
consulting. It was intellectually challenging but I didn't enjoy the
corporate environment. It seemed too artificial - not real. I couldn't
be my true self - I could only reveal the smart, logical and masculine
part. I wasn't having fun putting on my corporate game face and playing
the game. It is possible to enjoy a corporate job if the work and
environment are in alignment with your true calling. Unfortunately, it
Take a moment to reflect upon the above beliefs. How did you choose a
corporate job? Were you following a belief or several beliefs? Or were
you following your heart and intuition? Do you still have this belief or
have your beliefs changed but your circumstances not changed?
Before you take action, work on replacing your old beliefs with new,
positive ones that serve you better. Meditation, journaling, and
positive affirmations are good ways to control your belief system.
About The Author
Find out how to break free from the corporate world. Debra Thorsen is a
happy corporate escapee who helps individuals create real wealth and
happiness without 9 to 5 jobs.