This quickly turned into a long rant. Sorry if it’s not super polished. I just needed to talk about this.
I went to school because that’s what I was told would be the best way for me to be successful.
I was good at math and science, why not become an engineer?
In high school I had never even thought about business or entrepreneurship. I thought the only way to make a decent living was to go to school and get a “real job”.
I go to college at RIT and cruise through without any major issues. It’s here that I learn programming (one of the best things that have ever happened to me).
During college, I was required to have an internship. I finally landed one after much deliberation at Corning Incorporated, a large glass and optics manufacturer.
The internship was great. I was learning new things, growing, getting exposure to things that not a lot of people get to see.
But then I graduated and needed a job with a real salary to start paying off those student loans. I’ve got about $100k, and it never impacted me until I had to make that first payment.
I took a job at the same place I had interned. They offered me a seemingly good salary for the area, and it was enough to pay my loans/live on.
Fast forward a year — the growth has all but stopped. Projects are now just a slight differentiation of something I had done a few months ago.
The work is incredibly easy, and SLOW. So slow, that I can do nothing for almost 4 days of the week and get all of my work done on Friday. Yet they’ll still say they are “happy with my work” in my review. I hate that.
I’m currently seated to replace someone who has been there for 20 years. He’s arguably one of the smartest people I know. He’s incredible at his job.
But if I look at his life, and most of the other people in the office, what do they have to show for their 20 years of work?
A decent retirement? More vacations? A pat on the back from the company?
When I look at the lack of growth in all of their lives, it’s so evident to me that I don’t want to be one of them. Their main goal in life is to show up at work, do good work, and take a vacation here and there.
There’s little to no growth. And when there is, it’s just a step up the corporate ladder.
The Corporate System Is Insane
The sole reason why corporations hire people is because the people are more valuable than what they are getting paid. That’s how corporations make money.
When I realized that, I began to wonder what I would really get paid if I was doing the same work as a contractor. Turns out I would make 3x what I make now.
But it also turns out that my skills that I have learned at work are hardly transitional to other job places. The stuff I do now isn’t really done the same way anywhere else.
So not only would I get paid more for the same work if I wasn’t in corporate America, my skills are almost useless outside of corporate america.
Let that sink in. There is a system out there that has convinced people to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to get skills that are only applicable in the system that directly benefits from the fact that they can pay less for good talent.
The sad thing is, this system has everyone convinced it’s the only way to a good life. It’s so sad. Parents are still forcing their kids to go to college even if they don’t know what they want to do. If the parents are paying for it, great! If not, it’s insane for a student to take on that debt.
Now I know there are jobs out there that aren’t all bad, and there are jobs out there that definitely require some form of higher education.
But to have that be the only option for kids in high school is absurd. Do you know how many kids think they are failures at life because they can’t pass their math tests? And yet they have so many talents outside of the classroom that they put little to no value on because the ‘system’ doesn’t value it.
Not only does the system force you into a job that matches a certain skillset, there is no guarantee that job exists, and there is no guarantee that you will be able to keep that job (layoffs, fired, etc.).
So you graduate college thinking you can just walk into a position that pays you what you need to get paid, but it turns out you have to put in a whole bunch more work just to be able to land a job. Then, you have to actively make sure you keep that job — otherwise you have no income.
The System Is Built To Keep You Poor
The literal exchange of time for money is the lowest possible form of income that you can bring in. The only form of growth is an increase in the amount of money you get for the time you spend working.
Why is it the lowest possible form of income you could bring in? Because there is no way it can grow beyond yourself. If you don’t put in the hours, you don’t get paid.
For example, if you create a product, or provide a service and you have clients, there are ways that you can make money when you aren’t working. If you have a product, you can bring in sales and revenue through proper advertising and social media marketing. You don’t need to go out and make every sale. A service can scale beyond you once you have employees involved that can distribute some of the work for you.
Not only does the system force you to exchange time for money, they base the system on the fact that you will spend all of your money — whether it be on entertainment, cars, a house, whatever. That’s why corporations have built-in 401Ks, because people are brainwashed into spending all of their money because it’s the normal thing to do. If they didn’t do that, people would never retire, and they would have to continue to pay you more than someone that would replace you with less experience.
They want you trapped, they want you spending all of your money so you can stay in the system and contribute to the agenda that keeps the rich rich and the poor poor.
And when you retire, the standard of living is very similar to what you are doing now. So you will work you whole life to maintain the standard of living you are at now. It’s insane to me that someone can spend 30 years honing their craft, getting good at something, only in exchange for a paycheck and a decent retirement.
How Can I Get Out Of The System?
Why did you by that brand new car a few months ago? Why did you buy that new phone? Why did you buy that house? Was it because that’s what you actually wanted? Or did you feel pressured to be normal?
Don’t be normal. Normal people don’t make an impact.
Is there a way you could do what you do at your job on the side and make more money? Could you start your own business doing what you do now? Want to learn a different skill entirely and be something completely different?
The system doesn’t want you to question anything. They want you to be okay with what they offer you.
Step out of your comfort zone, learn more about who you are as a person and follow that lead. You don’t always have to deal with your life as it is now. It can grow, you can grow, and you can live a better life.