It’s crazy what can happen in the span of just a few short months. As a country, America’s job economy went from an all-time best to a level that is worse than The Great Depression.
A few months ago, many of us were lavishing about the idea of being our own bosses, being able to work on our own schedules, and chasing all of the dreams we have long desired to achieve.
Now, many of us are just happy to even have a job.
Unemployment numbers in the US have passed 34 million. New York City, which is the largest populated city in the US, has a population of 8.6 million. If every single person in New York City were unemployed, that would only make up a quarter of those who are unemployed throughout the US.
People are scrambling to pay bills, to find any work they can, and even to put food on the table at night.
Due to the health crisis we are in, many businesses simply can’t afford to stay open or to pay their employees. Even some of the world’s largest companies are laying off tens of thousands of employees as the future is simply too uncertain.
The scary part about all of this – nobody knows if there is an end in sight. For all we know, what has been two months of quarantine could easily turn into two years. For those of us who are fortunate enough to have a job, we are simply holding on for dear life.
I Will Forever Be Grateful For My 9-5 Job
I am incredibly blessed to have a job that I have enjoyed since Day 1. I am also incredibly blessed to have such an amazing job at the young age of 26. But what I am truly grateful for is the fact that my company has come out and told all of its’ employees that there will be no layoffs. For the foreseeable future, everybody’s job is secure.
When I first heard this, I can’t tell you how relieved I was. I took a risk five months ago and quit one job to start a new one. While my new position came with a pay-cut, more importantly, I knew it was going to be a decision that was going to make me happier.
I hesitated with the decision at first, but I can now see and confidently say that this was one of the best decisions that I have ever made for myself. The job I am blessed to have now is one that is secure, whereas the company I previously worked for furloughed 90 percent of its’ employees.
Would I have been one of the 10 percent who still had a job? Maybe. But I am incredibly blessed in the sense that I don’t have to know.
All I know is that this pandemic has taught me to be grateful for my 9-5 job. It’s not that I wasn’t before, but these last two months have really made me realize just how good I have it.
Managing Risks During Uncertainty
There is risk with everything we do in life. Each time we say yes to one thing, we are saying no to a million other different things.
If you have said yes to a full-time job, maybe that means you have had to say no or push your personal dreams to the side from 9-5. If you have said yes to being your own boss, maybe you have said no to job security.
With every situation we face in life and with everything we do, there are always going to be pros and cons. You just need to make sure that the pros outweigh the cons.
I will admit that while I love my job, part of me wonders what it would be like to be my own boss. What would it be like to be out on the open road and build something from the ground up?
I have long dreamed of working for myself and chasing after all of my dreams, but when I think about the many dreams I know I will someday achieve, I often focus solely on the prize and don’t rationalize the risk that’s involved.
In the crazy times we are in, I am seeing just how important it is to manage risk. Not just job risk, but managing risk in every decision we make.
It’s sad to say that it’s taken a pandemic for me to really internalize just for fortunate I am, but we often don’t think about all of the different consequences of our decisions unless we encounter them.
Give Yourself A Chance
This doesn’t mean that you should drop everything you’re doing just to ensure your job is safe. Regardless of if you have a job right now or not, it’s important to at least give yourself a chance to achieve any and all of your dreams. If you are blessed enough to have a job right now, pursue a side-hustle. If you are one of the 33 million Americans who don’t have a job, use this time to devote every single waking second towards achieving your dreams. Nobody is EVER going to achieve your dreams for you. If you want to achieve them, then you need to be willing to start right now.
Every single person on the face of the planet has a choice to make right now. We can either look at ourselves in the mirror and think about the thought of achieving our dreams, or we can put one foot in front of the other and find out for ourselves.
Only one of these options will lead to us achieving the life we desire.
What We Can All Learn During These Times?
First and foremost, I think it’s important that everyone learns to be grateful for what they already have in life. Whether that’s a job, a home, the freedom to pursue any dream that passes through your mind, or the health of those you love the most, just be more grateful. You never know just how truly blessed you are until something vanishes from your life, and right now, many are having to learn this the hard way.
I’m not saying that life is perfect and that you will never experience pain again. We are all going to experience pain and heartache… that’s just part of life.
What I’m simply saying is that you can choose to focus on all of the negatives around you knowing that it’s not going to do you any good, or you can choose to appreciate all that you still have and make the most out of the opportunities you have in front of you.
For me, I’m a 26-year-old who is blessed enough to have a job when many people twice my age are without one. I can see just how much of a blessing that is, which is why I will never complain about having to work a 9-5 job ever again.
Before You Go
Just in case you don’t think I have any idea what I am talking about or that I am just another young person who has never had to face a day of adversity in their life, you would be wrong.
I can reflect back on the days in which I was battling depression. There were stretches of weeks at a time where I would walk around aimlessly not knowing what day if the week it was. Other times, I simply just wanted to stay in bed because I didn’t know how to take the first step towards getting help.
What I want you to realize, however, is that it does get better. Life gets a lot fucking better. But it will only get better if you take the first step towards making it better. You can choose to either sit back and make the most out of the opportunities you have in front of you, or you can sit back and later regret not doing more with the time you had.
It may seem like an impossible mission to accomplish in the here and now, but nothing is ever impossible. Believe in yourself more than ever before, trust yourself with your life, strive to be the person YOU want to be, and make it happen. You control your thoughts, and your thoughts control your destiny.