The Benefits of working in a shitty Job during Travels

Markus Ruzicka Random bits and bobs of life, Travel 101, Work and Entrepreneurship 1 Comment

There are about a bazillion homepages, videos, and blogs out there about why it is solely important to be happy, and to follow your dreams. Apparently, one of these dreams is to find a job you truly love. Don’t get me wrong, as we spend a great amount of time of our lives working, having a job you like is a big plus in feeling well overall.

But, the truth is, sometimes we are stuck in shitty jobs, either because we need the money ourselves, do it for the insurance, aren’t qualified for our dream job, or numerous other reasons.

Well, at the moment that’s the situation I am in, and there aren’t only drawbacks.

Secure career path, or traveling?

There are 5 main reasons, why working full time in a job you truly love, and traveling the world often are contradictionary.

1.) Even in Europe, most companies only offer 5-6 weeks of annual leave. Though these weeks mostly are paid leave, often you can’t take more than 2 weeks off at a time, and come on,…5 weeks a year are very little to actually explore the world. (Yea, I’m talking #firstworldproblems #entitledlevelover9000 here. Deal with it.)

2.) Finite money. As long as traveling the world just is a lifestyle, and not a job, I.e not making more money than you spend on it, eventually your money will run out, forcing you to get yourself a day job when returning back home. (Sooner if you didn’t save a lot, later if you were smart and planned ahead.)

3.) Working on the go often requires certain visas, takes up a big amount of your time traveling (but can be a great experience on its own), and not everyone has the necessary skills to work as a freelancer. Plus, some markets (copy writing, photography, design,…) are quite saturated, with the pricing pressure being quite high, and hence the salary often less than what you hoped for due to a high competition. Just check clients from hell, if you don’t believe some people perceive the “free” in freelancer literally. (No wonder some people are joking that a BA only is the abbreviation for Bartista at Starbucks,…that being said by a psychology student aspiring to get his BA :p.)

4.) If you choose to work in a job only as long as you need to save enough and hit the road again, at some point your CV will be quite patchworky at best, making it quite hard to lure your new HR Manager into believing you will stay at the new job for a longer time. If you plan to eventually move up the ranks, earn your spores, and get a career going, quitting jobs after some months probably won’t do the trick, as your next job most certainly again will be an entry level position.

(That’s the situation I again was in after paddling my kick ass red canoe through the wilderness of Canada and Alaska, and apart of nearly capsizing or dying a few times, I enjoyed every second of it.)

5.) Some jobs are so great (really, not being sarcastic here) that people just don’t want to quit them. As we grow up, get older, and plan to have a family (financial) security starts to play a bigger role in our lives, and if we haven’t traveled extensively in our 20ies, we might never get the chance again.

Might as well go for a shitty job then.

Ah, fuck it, a shitty job it is!

After dropping out of university one month prior to graduating, I kind of was stuck in no man’s job land.

I am “Under qualified” for proper jobs as I’m missing a title, objected by HR managers who want to play it safe, and think I might be obstreperous and hard to handle, and not enough money is coming in from free lancing and writing.

As beggars can’t be choosers, I applied for pretty much any open position for which I even was peripherally qualified.

It took me 68 (unfortunately not 69) applications to land me a new job, my savings were getting less and less, and without a proper working contract, I couldn’t move to my new apartment. (Plus, imagine how girls react to a 26 year old guy staying with his parents. Big turn off.)

I have to admit, while working as a marketing intern in one of the biggest austrian companies, I probably was a bit spoiled by savoring all the incentives I had there. Cheap but fresh and delicious meals, fresh fruit and mineral water for the taking, a nicely lit office, great coffee machines, varied tasks and oh boy, the toilet paper. So fluffy, much cozy, such wow.

Right now, I work in a sparsely lit, noisy b2b vendor call center, with my salary solely being commissionary, the only task being to call customer after customer trying to sell them shit (though not literally) for multiple hours straight, a microwave is our “cafeteria”, next to one of these shitty coffee vending machines, and yes, nothing says “I don’t care about my employees” more, than single layered toilet paper.

But guess what, I truly cherish it! (At least until I saved enough to again set off to another adventure, or get hired somewhere else. If you happen to be one of my supervisors reading this: it’s a prank, it’s a prank,…ergh, yea :p)

Shitty job to the rescue

Up and foremost the biggest advantage of some job (even if it’s a shitty one), over no job at all, was obviously to no longer have to bother my parents giving me asylum, or worse, becoming homeless. Big plus. Alas, girls, prepare your an….swers, as I’ll be making you lots of witty compliments.

But there are also other reasons, why working a shitty job, might not be too shitty overall.

Routine. Being forced to get up early in he morning, certainly re adjusted my day/night schedule, and somehow I seem to sleep better, as I am quite exhausted in the evening. Plus, it keeps me off from bad micro decisions like getting wasted too often.

Social contacts. Some adults seem to have a really hard time making new friends, with the job being the main source for new social contacts. Big plus of a shitty job: it’s super easy to find companions while nagging about how shitty the job is.

Cherish free time more. As we constantly compare things to estimate it’s value, suddenly we perceive our (free) time to be way more valuable. No more lying around in bed because we are bored out, and have that much time on our hands, and don’t know what to do with it.

Find out, what’s important to you. Only very little people know what they really want. Even though we are able to speak our mind, and tell others what we think we want, saying what we want, and what we really want often are two different things. What’s easier for most people, is to think of something they dislike. By working a shitty job, I guarantee you, that in no time you’ll think of numerous things you would rather do now.

Alas, no matter if it’s flipping burgers, cleaning toilets, or harassing customers on the phone,…at some point some of us are stuck with a shitty job. We might as well embrace the suck,…until we quit, and continue traveling the world :).

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