How To Use A Job

Before you start that job search, let me ask you a question: Why would you want a job? Just for a paycheck? Instead of assuming that a job is a necessity that we all must have (it really isn’t), consider what is actually important to you.

Once you have determined what you really want, you may very well want a job. But you can then see it as a means to accomplish those goals that matter to you. It may also be a “limited engagement.” With that approach in mind, I have to say that jobs do have their advantages. Here are some ways to use a job temporarily, to get closer to more important goals.

1. To Save Money

Whatever your goals may be, a job is a way to create income – some of which can be diverted into savings for future plans. I used a good job to pay off my first home early – and then quit the job. Other jobs have been devoted to earning travel money. A job can provide the money for a business as well.

2. To Buy Time

People often claim they don’t have time for what is important – even for the ones they love. This is rarely true. Stop using a job to buy nice clothes or better furniture or whatever else you use it for, and it can buy time instead. Save enough money to take a week off from work to play with the dogs if that is what you really want.

3. To Get Business Training

Most people think of a job as an end in itself, or a means to a better job. But in many fields it is possible to use a job as a training exercise for owning a business. This is common in businesses like carpet cleaning and even restaurant management. You learn the business from the inside, and then move on to start your own with the training you have received.

4. To Learn Skills

Some jobs are a great place to learn skills. Many people join the military for this reason, but you don’t have to go to that extreme. If you work as a tax preparer for one season, for example, you can apply the knowledge and skills you learn to all of your future businesses. A year as a car salesman might prepare you with the negotiating skills to become a great real estate investor.

5. To Be Where You Want

If you want to be where the best skiing is, but can’t afford more than the occasional weekend vacation, what do you do? Get a job there! The next time you are in Aspen, Colorado, ask a few bartenders and other employees how they ended up there. Half came not for the job, but for the skiing opportunities. The job is just the means to that. You might get a job in the Florida Keys if you want more sun and ocean.

6. To Pay The Bills

This is not an exciting use for a job, but it is necessary at times. Unless you really love the job you get, though, make this a temporary solution. Remember, whatever job you get, if you got one that paid a little less you still would have survived, right? So pay the bills, but also put a little bit of every paycheck aside and start looking for ways to pursue goals that are more interesting. At the very least continue your job search until you take one more step up in income, and then save even more towards those important goals.