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Are any jobs beneath you? No, no job is beneath you
No job’s beneath you, and here’s why. Dr. King said, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.'” Start paying off credit card debt today with the free 7-StepCredit Card Debt Slasher here.
Why no job is beneath you
Many today suffer from un- and under-employment. Though there are many who are begging for work, there are many who are working and give no respect to their job. As so many today don’t have the dream job they desperately think they want, they often despise their job, their boss or the people they work with.
Because of this mindset, many close themselves off to opportunities that a job or task may teach or the leverage they may gain.
Every job has value and isn’t beneath anyone
It’s adding to the overall product or service that’s being delivered to a customer. You may not want to be the janitor, but without a clean establishment will many customers return? You may not enjoy having a smile on your face every day as customers complain, but good customer service skills are the foundation of many great companies today and lacking customer service skills can cause a company to go bankrupt.
As we grow Debt Free Guys®, we continue to do tasks many would view as menial or administrative. We do data entry and reporting. We answer and respond to customer/reader emails and comments, some of which are complaints and corrections. We sift through more junk mail that should be legal. Mostly, we wake and start work before sunrise and work well past our bed-time confident in knowing that our efforts will pay off soon. Our ability to do all this and wake up early and stay up late to work, work, work was fostered by what many would consider crappy jobs.
- Matthew McConaughey literally used to clean up crap; he cleaned chicken coops
- Before he was Wolverine, Hugh Jackman was a clown at kids parties
Opportunity? Often it comes in the form of misfortune or temporary defeat. – Napoleon Hill
David swept and buffed grocery store floors in the middle of the night when he first graduated high school. John washed dishes for several restaurants as his first few jobs. The jobs seem tough enough, but often the toughest part of the job was the people for whom we worked. John was yelled at by his first boss because he used a whole sheet of paper towel, rather than half to clean a bathroom mirror. At the time, he perceived his boss as a cheap, old man. Now we get excited when we can cut any Debt Free Guys™’ expense in half.
Many teenagers and millennials who can find a job are lucky even if their job isn’t what they actually want to do or why they went to school. Each of these jobs, however, teaches at least one lesson. The lesson may not be apparent today or may seem like the exact opposite of a lesson, but with an open and appreciative mind, the lesson will eventually come.
- Ellen DeGeneres used to sell vacuums before she got her own TV show
- Before becoming the Queen of Pop Madonna used to sell donuts at Dunkin Donuts
This is how you pick the best career (and life):
Most start their careers at the bottom
Many rich and famous people throughout history started from the very bottom and leveraged what-ever opportunities and lessons they could to climb the ladder of success. Today’s economy is a tough one to be sure, but success is possible and eventually, the economy will turn around. When the opportunity comes, hopefully, you will take full advantage of the lessons you have been provided. Remember when many companies are first starting, the boss has to do all the jobs; sales, customer service, janitor and bookkeeper.
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. – Seneca (First Century Roman Philosopher)
- Packing groceries was Oprah Winfrey’s first jobs as a grocery store clerk
- Jennifer Anniston used to be a telemarketer before building her entertainment empire
It’s no unheard of people using their current job, the job they never intended having by need, to fund the dream of their next job. That’s exactly what David did and why he, ultimately, quit his job – not once but twice!
Hear why David quit his job twice (and loved it) on this Queer Money®:
To quit his job both times, though, he worked really hard to be good at both. That built a solid foundation for his career move and left him with a bit of a safety net in case his next move wasn’t smooth.
Here are three steps to use your current job as the foundation for your dream career
Using your current job to launch your dream career
1. Make the most of your current job
Many of us aren’t in the job or careers we went to school for, and many are far removed. After college, I was an over-qualified lifeguard. Then, I went in to temp work and data entry. These certainly weren’t my career goals and I never predicted they’d be a part of my career path, but they were and I was grateful.
I made the most of each and every job I had, if for no other reason than I respected the people for and with whom I worked. So, with each and every job I had, I worked hard and I did my best. There were times when my best wasn’t good enough, but I did my best.
Your best tool, second only to your job performance, for a pay-raise or advancing your career, is a marvelously written annual performance review. If there’s one thing I can do is sell myself. That’s why we’re sharing our six tips to write the best annual performance review ever.
6 tips to write the best annual performance review
Aside from once working for a major bitch, I had a majorly good career as a W-2. I attribute much of that to two skills of mine. The first is that I interview well. Sometimes I’d hear myself interview and think, “Who the hell is that?” I often got the job.
The second skill is writing the most amazing, best annual performance reviews. I was so good at it that others on my team had me edit their annual performance reviews. I was Michael Carrington doing Stephanie Zinone and the T-Birds’ homework in Grease 2 – didn’t see it? Not many did.
This is what I’ve learned in all my years of bullshitting selling myself for more money.
1. Use last year’s annual review and this year’s goals
Annual performance reviews are measurements and measurements need at least two data points. For projects and responsibilities that have lasted more than one year, use last year’s annual performance review to show how far you’ve come with the project has come or how well you did.
Address each item included in this year’s annual goals. If your goals changed mid-year, share how far you got with your original and new goals. If there was a mid-year change, it’s likely your boss is currently focused on your current goals. You should still get recognition for what you did. At least, mention that your goals changed mid-year and your success with those goals should be included when determining your annual performance review results.
Properly setting goals is as important as reaching goals, and setting goals is as much a science as an art. You’ve possibly heard of SMART goals. We put a twist on that with QUEER goals.
Get the 411 for setting QUEER goals on this Queer Money®:
2. Be specific and detailed with your successes
Especially if you report to a senior manager or higher, be specific and detailed. Your boss will be frustrated if you submit War & Peace. They don’t have time for that. Likewise, your boss can read through your bullshit. Don’t get carried away with colorful commentary and fancy pros.
Go Dragnet, and give “just the facts.”
3. Be benefits-focused (what’s in it for your boss?)
You’re an expense to your firm, no matter how big or small you are, or it is. You’re taking up space and costing money. That’s fine if you’re providing enough value. Your company needs a clear return on investing (ROI) in you. Therefore, state quantifiable examples of the value you provide your team, your boss, your department and the business.
Each time, complete this formula: “I did A, which resulted in B,” where A equals your action(s) and B equals the quantifiable benefit(s).
When you’ve completed that formula for all the benefits you’ll include in your annual performance review, rephrase your statements for the same results without writing a monotonous annual performance review.
For example, “I closed the firm’s biggest client this year, bringing an additional $10,000,000 in assets under management.” Or, “I updated processes for documenting accounts receivables, decreasing processing time by 15% and expenses by 5%.”
4. Be real, not really stupid
I’ve already addressed the need to not include bullshit, at least too much, in your annual performance review. You can bullshit a little if you’ve got the data to back it up. Include too much bullshit and your boss will dismiss your review, and that could mean no bono or promo, and that’s no bueno.
Being real means including challenges in your annual performance review. You’re human, and to make it appear otherwise is inauthentic. Your boss wants an authentic annual performance review, so they can work with you.
That said, never admit to a mistake, an error or doing anything wrong in an annual performance review. Put your attorney’s cap on, and say you “had a challenge here” or “need to improve there.” This was a struggle” and “that needs more attention” from you, your boss or someone.
Provide a healthy dose of reality. Don’t show all your cards.
5. Use proper grammar and punctuation
Your annual performance review isn’t an internal email. It’s not a handwritten note posted to your desk. It’s certainly not a text trying to find your friends at a packed bar. This is an official document to your boss detailing why and how you’re more kickass than the reigning butter sculpting champ.
For the love of all that is holier than holy, use proper grammar, punctuation and spelling (I don’t buy the Oxford Comma).
Use, don’t rely, on Spellcheck. Use Dictionary.com to double-check words you’re not sure are spelled or used correctly. Use Thesaurus.com to find righter words – I need a Thesaurus.
Use Grammarly to triple-check your spelling and double-check your grammar. If you pay more for Grammarly’s subscription service, it’ll help reduce repetitive words in your annual performance review and in the world in general.
6. Prepare all year for next year’s review
Can you wait until the last minute, like writing a term paper in college, to write the best annual reviews? Sure, and it’d be passable. However, you want to make more money, right? How about a lot more money? Then, don’t shoot for a C or even a B.
Go for the A+! We’ve done all the work for you.
The first time you turn on your office computer in the new year, create a folder in your email and a file folder on your computer both titled for the current year. For example, “2020” for 2020, “2021” for 2021 and so forth.
Anytime you get a positive comment or review, file it in this email folder. Anytime you’ve completed or been a part of a successful project, file supporting documentation in this file folder. Start immediately because it’s not likely that you’ll remember in November or December what you earned and accomplished in January and February when you write the all-time best annual performance review.
You won’t include every positive quote or successful project in your next annual performance review. You’ll include the best quotes and those from the most influential people and your most important clients. These give third-party support for your amazing annual performance review. At a high-level, include the total number of positive comments you got from your company’s leaders and clients, then be prepared to share them if asked.
Include the most important projects, biggest deals closed and the projects on which you had the most influence. If, because you were short-staffed, for example, and the number of projects you’ve worked on or completed is an accomplishment, list every single project. Otherwise, include the biggest, the best and most important.
These are our general guidelines for writing the best annual performance review ever to get that promotion or raise. When you get your raise or promotion, use your increased income to build a more financially secure future by increasing your retirement plan contributions, paying off debt and investing.
Successful careers are rarely linear and clear
The only people born into a career that last their lives are royalty. The rest of us have to figure it out, and sometimes that’s not easy no matter how sure we are about what we want to do.
In fact, many people’s careers are so circuitous they sometimes wonder, “Why I ever make it?”
Such is the case with Curtis Wong, Senior Editor for Huffington Post. We talked with Curtis about his career and how it eventually led him to his ultimate goal (meeting Madonna).
Meet Curtis Wong on Queer Money®:
2. Supplement your current income with a side-business
It’s possible that you simply don’t like your current job and dream for something else no matter how much money you can make from it or how far you advance. So, be the best you can possibly be at your current job, and start a side-business or supplement your current income or give you a way out from where you currently are.
Thanks to the gig-economy, the barrier to entry to starting a side-business can eventually become your full-time business or a notch on your resume for a brand new job in a brand new field.
Hear how to supplement your income with a side hustle:
Some ideas for businesses of your own to create:
- Start blogging! Best of all, you can start with as little as $4 a month. Sign up here for BlueHost and get our negotiated discount rate.
- Become a social media influencer. Every influencer today started with one follow. Sign up for The Mother of Marketing’s Instagram Masterclass by clicking this link.
- Sell other people’s products or your own products on Amazon and Etsy.
- Become a Facebook marketer. Businesses all over need Facebook to grow their brands. You can help them. Learn all there is to know by signing up at this link here.
- You could learn to become a freelance writer from our mentor here and make $60,000 a year, as we did in less than two years. Sign up here.
- For $22 an hour by clicking here you can teach English to Chinese people.
- Write and publish your own book to strengthen your voice, brand and resume. Start your authorship by clicking here.
- Become a virtual assistant, and work from anywhere in the world for up to $10,000 a month. Sign up for $10K VA by clicking this link.
- Become a romance novelist and sell your ebooks on Amazon. Learn more by clicking here.
Hear about the pros and cons of starting your own business:
3. Get emergency income if you don’t have emergency savings
It may be that you’re in an emergency situation, and you need income fast. In that case, it can be hard to give a job you don’t like (and may not be paying you well) the attention it deserves because you’re struggling with financial insecurity.
Don’t let that sabotage what you have but rather figure out how to earn money fast for the situation you’re in now. Then, work on building that side business from above or building out that resume. We have some urgent income strategies below.
See our 9 tips to make money right away:
4. Save money to fund your dream or for your “fuck off” fund
Once you’ve saved or made available enough money to help with your immediate needs, maximize the increased income from your current job and from your side-business.
What does that mean?
If you’re not happy with your current job, don’t want to be stuck in a future job you’ll hate or simply want to be your own boss by turning your side-business into your main business, save your increased income to give yourself those opportunities. With enough money in emergency savings or in a “dream job” account, you can tell your boss to “read between the lines” if you ever feel the need.
With enough money saved in your dream job account, you’ll be able to leap into that new career or go all-in on your entrepreneurial interests. Without these savings, such options are risky at best and stupid at worse. So, be smart and reduce your risk.
For dedicated accounts, like emergency savings accounts, travel or holiday accounts, dream job accounts – whatever – keep them an arms-length away. By that, we mean opening a savings account with no bells and whistles at a bank or credit union where you don’t already have a relationship.
The idea is to keep this money as far away and hard to reach as possible. This reduces the chance that you’ll spend this hard-earned money on something less important, which will be a disappointment. If a true emergency arises or you finally saved enough money to take that big leap, your money will be there for you.
That’s when it’ll all be worth it.
Note: Most savings accounts have a maximum of 6 account withdrawals per month.
So, no, no job is beneath you. But, if you’re wondering this, it likely means that you’re not doing what you want to do. That means it’s time to figure out what you want to do, then do what it’ll take to make it happen.
These four steps are the quick and dirty to getting there.
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More job and career resources for you:
16 responses to “How and Why No Job Is Beneath You”
Great article guys! To be successful you need to do things other people don’t what to do 😉
We agree. Sometimes it’s not pretty, but it’s important. Thanks for reading!
Excellent points. I think you hit on one aspect of crappy jobs that makes them important… when you’re good at them, you dont’ often stick around. Sometimes the people that are only mediocre at them are the ones who do stick around for a long time and end up in lower management. They may not have the skills (for example: communication skills in regardless to the paper towel incident) that could get them ahead.
Overall, though, like you said, every job is very important.
Exactly! Sometimes you just need to hang in there and tough it out. Something can be learned from every job, even if what you learn is what not to do. Thanks for commenting!
It’s important to take any job seriously and with a good attitude, because it may just lead to your next opportunity.
Brian, so true. There are many stories of people who were noticed because of their hard work and attitude in a less than desirable situation and that is what allowed them to be promoted beyond those they were previously reporting to. It also develops character and the ability of leaders to say, "I was there too once."
Thanks for the comment.
I’ve always believed that it doesn’t matter what we do; we have to do it to a standard that will get us noticed. I am a ‘lucky’ woman: my first job was on an archaeology dig. It thought me not to mess about and to keep digging :). My second job was as a tourist guide – it thought me that repetition is boring and if you bore yourself you certainly bore the tourists; so I got learning. Now I’m a university professor and your point about opportunities has never been more true: I try to give this skill to my students as well (and I teach philosophy :)).
And you know what? I’m not worried about the future either. If this ‘academe’ gig folds (and the way things are going with universities it is very likely this will happen) I’ll always make a living. If I’m not a professor, I’ll be a great shelf-stacker in the local super-market! Or a great writer; or…well that’s it really.
That’s a great outlook and one many could benefit from today. Whatever happens, you’ll be fine. If we rid ourselves of the fatalist mentality, many of our problems and fears would subside. Thanks for reading and sharing!
This is a great post. I have worked many jobs that people felt "were beneath me." But in the end, it paid the bills, and I was making a difference in that field.
That’s all that matters and there’s something you can learn from every job. Absorb what you can and move on when the time/opportunity is right.
My worst job was really an online contract position. I was managed by a person who thought that SHOUTING instructions via email was the best way to communicate with contractors. I did pick up a couple of things that were useful in my work. But mainly I learned that it was okay to push back, hold bosses accountable for their actions (or at least remind them of their guidelines), and exit quickly if/when I wasn’t being properly compensated. It also made me appreciately nearly every person I’ve worked for since.
When I started thinking about my “worst” job, a lot of retail gigs came to mind. I remember clocking out of my very first retail job to go to lunch. I walked over to the fast food place across the street and spent more than I’d made the previous hour – on one meal! That was an eye opener.
I don’t think of it as my “worst” job, but my HARDEST job was as a nurse aide on a dementia ward at a critical care and assisted living facility. For one summer, I lifted and turned, fed and bathed, listened and cried. I cried every night of that job. It only lasted for one summer. I took it as a summer job while I was in college. But, I’ve never forgotten it – or my mad respect for the people who do it and do it well.
One of my hardest jobs was working as an Employment Consultant at a non-profit, matching formerly homeless people with jobs, who often had issues with addiction and mental illness.
Lisa, sorry for the delay in replying. That does sound like a tough job, although I can imagine that it could provide some great rewards when you see someone with these issues make great strides in improving. A hard job can often be a good lesson in what we really want in life.
My greatest lesson came from my first boss in high school. Although he had an extremely successful restaurant business, often he found himself right beside us, packaging orders, answering phones, packed tightly into the small, busy kitchen. Now as I am advancing in my professional career, I take this lesson with me everywhere. It’s important and necessary to do the hard work regardless of your title. No job is beneath any of us. Never feel ashamed to do honest work. Thank you so much for writing this!
I worked in my ideal career in Audiovisual for twenty years. When my disability worsened and I was let go, I bounced around from job to job trying to make one work. I am a janitor now, and I feel like a failure. Should I just accept that this is my career now? Does it really matter now that I’m 50?