Running on empty: a millennial’s saga of terrible jobs

featAs I begin the last week of yet another terrible job, I think to myself: is there such a thing as a good job? Where are they and how do I get one?

According to job/career happiness studies in 2015, there are many different positions that people, particularly millennials, find enjoyable and fulfilling.  Often included on these lists are: teacher, school principal, gardener, engineer, and executive chef. I’m sorry, but no thanks to any of these.

I’ve had jobs that have stripped me of myself, made me question who I am, made me meek and second guess myself, exhausted me so much that I have lost my intelligence and control over my emotions. And what has this all been for? Other than a small paycheck. Am I just being a whiny millennial? Well I don’t think so.

Millennials like myself have to face an ever-changing job market that requires us to have new-world and old-world skills. Be mobile, but forget about benefits. Spend four hours making a video and a cover letter to apply to the job, but don’t expect more than $40,000 a year if you get it.  And let’s not forget – the distinct line between work and personal life that many of our parents enjoyed is pretty much extinct.

So how do you break away from the poor pay, long hours, unappreciative or absent managers, mandatory volunteer hours, and responsibilities well above your pay scale? I guess the short answer is be a shitty employee – but if you’re like me, then it’s hard to justify getting paid for doing a crappy job. As an educated, hardworking and fairly competent person, I ask myself this question on a daily basis. I must admit that I am afflicted with the millennial condition of thinking I’m special and therefore deserve to be recognized as such.

snookiAnd, I’m sorry to do this for a second but, why not? I busted my behind in school and university, and I’ve been living in self-imposed poverty for three years trying to pay back my loans. I even moved back in with my parents for a while. I’m a walking millennial stereotype.

After a series of horrible jobs in cities across the globe including Victoria B.C., Edinburgh, Scotland, and Stratford ON., I have made the decision that my happiness is much more important than a paycheck. I realize that as a non-parent with no desire as of yet to buy a house or have real responsibilities, that this decision is a luxury and it saddens me that many people don’t have the option to pick the path of workplace happiness.

I will keep looking for something better and let you know what I find.

In the meantime, here is my saga of terrible jobs – these jobs are in order of holding them, though there were a few non-crappy ones in between.

Image credit: Flickr/torbakhopper, Tumblr/mindofanadolescent