Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Why I quit my day job

Before this summer I had never worked a "real" day job. Since May 24th, I have been employed at a 40 hour/week desk job as a summer intern. I was paid $11/hour, which isn't bad money for a college student. I went in to this job cautiously - I didn't know whether I'd be able to handle sitting in a cubicle all day, five days a week.

It turns out, I'm not bad at it. My work was (most of the time) pretty good. I never had a reprimand of any kind from any of my bosses (everyone is the boss of the intern). I got projects done on time or ahead of time.

The problem was: I didn't enjoy it. Sitting at a computer is one thing - I do that all day anyway. But working in Excel or PowerPoint auditing data or changing animations is not the way I had hoped to spend my summer. What did I think they would have me doing? I had no idea.

completely irrelevant photo...

 I learned a few very important things about myself from this job though.

1) I do NOT have a big problem with authority: I worked well with my team. I don't hate my boss or the other members of the group. In fact, I've grown to like all of them.

2) I need detailed instruction before I begin a project. The less I understand about the end-goal, the worse I am at doing whatever task is set before me.

3) I work well with music

4) The clock is the enemy

This last one is important - whenever I'm doing work on my website, editing photos, or organizing my Vault Photography materials in Excel - the time flies. I'm working because I want to be working. I'm working for me. I know the end-goal and I've figured out how to get there.

When I catch myself looking at the clock every 20 minutes, hating how insufferably slow time travels, I know something is wrong.

Lastly - I'm young! I have essentially no overhead (at least while I'm living with my generous parents over the summer). This is my opportunity to enjoy life without NEEDING to work. I don't NEED to pay my mortgage or feed my kids or any of that stuff!

Essentially, I quit my day job because I don't need the money and I don't enjoy the work.

Very few people out there can quit for either of those reasons - many get stuck in jobs that they despise, but they gotta pay the bills and feed the kiddies, so they suffer through.

In my humble opinion, life is too short. I'm going to take pictures, go  biking and hiking, swim, read, and enjoy my summer. When I graduate college and I'm living on my own and I need to pay rent, I might get a "real" job. It probably won't involve sitting behind a desk though!

Until then, Thanks to Mom and Dad for letting me enjoy my summer burden-free!