I have seen a tear in the fabric of the FIRE/FI community as a whole. The fabric is the overall goal of reaching FIRE/FI. The tear is the argument for continuing to work or completely retiring. First-world issues at their best. There are many reasons why loving your job is not enough, this is why the pursuit of FIRE/FI is important for everyone.
I know you love your job and don’t ever want to stop. That is right now in this present moment. Let’s take some time and think long-term. What if you get a new boss next week? Will you like them? Could that be a game-changer for you? Will they like you? Will this change your love for the job?
The truth is all of those answers are a big maybe. You are looking at a 50/50 chance that you will still love it or not. I guess there could even be a little in the middle of not being in love with it but not hating it. Yet for this, we are talking all in or not. Take a hard look around you and ask yourself “Do I love my job?”.
Why loving your job is not enough takes a person to have to look at the bigger picture.
Just because you love your job does not mean it is stable forever. If the past has taught us anything is that the one constant in life changes. Remember Blockbuster, Radio Shack, and Circuit City? They all went under as a business and so could your company.
I know you are thinking my company is different. Maybe it is but maybe it is not. How about if it just downsized? Ever thought you could be on the chopping block to be let go from your job? No one usually is, but it happens more often than we all think. Think back to what happened in 2020 and how many Americans got let go from their jobs.
Check out this article on how Americans got impacted when they lost their job in 2020.
I’m about to turn 37 years old and I learned very early on about life changes. These changes can be at a second’s notice or might gradually change. That is the uniqueness of life and our journeys. Another reason why loving your job is not enough.
You love it today but will you love it next year? Or how about in five years? The truth is you don’t know so your focus should not be on your job. How about if something happens and you can’t do your job because of medical reasons? In life, we just never know what can or could happen.
Because of these few reasons a job in my opinion should not be the focus.
There is a lot more to life than going to work every day. There has to be something you value more than your job you could spend time on. This is for those that love their job and never want to stop working. I think it’s just ingrained into our culture that you should work your whole life until your 60s or older at which time you can finally retire.
I’m hoping I can have a part in changing that culture.
The focus should be a journey to Financial Independence. This way you have choices vs having choices made for you. Also if any of the reasons above that I mentioned happen you will be covered and can still open new doors as you see fit.
My Focus Based On Optimal Happiness
These days I try to focus on things that will bring me the highest level of happiness in my life. It just so happens none of these things include a job or a career. If you look into the countless studies done on the subject of happiness they all have pointed to the same things over the last forty years.
I am the type that if all of these studies point to the same things I will focus on those as the evidence shows that this will give me the highest levels of happiness. Yet even with these studies most people still focus on other things thinking that will bring them happiness.
What Are They
I have broken it down into a few key groups of categories to focus on.
All studies on the topic of happiness have shown without a shred of doubt these five categories bring the most happiness to us. So I naturally advocate that this is what we should focus on. Notice how none of these is a job.
Also, all of these categories are free or very affordable. We should all strive to spend more of our time pursuing these. The result will be a happier, healthier more fulfilling life.
Life Is Always Changing
Look around you right now, I bet there are many things that have changed around you over the years. The one constant in life changes. Some changes can be good, like a raise at work. Other changes can be bad, like a boss who micromanages everything. The truth is you can do more than roll with the punches.
If you are in a good place financially, have an emergency fund, FU money, retirement funds, and a plan you can just leave when the punches start. No more having to deal with that asshole boss, no more having to hope you will get that next raise, no more hoping that they will approve your vacation time to go to France with your spouse.
This is “why loving your job is not enough”.
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