My last job turned into a nightmare. Not one of the lovely horses that visit you in your dreams. A crazy place that thought they owned me because they paid me a salary. I should have read the writing on the wall when I was notified in the interview that the standard work week was 45 hours. Of course the position was as a salaried “exempt” worker so that meant that the company could require me to work as many hours as necessary to “get the job done”.
Now, I’m not a complainer and I did make an effort to meet their requirements. 45 hour work weeks turned into 50 hours as a rule and often I would work 70-80 hours a week for no additional pay. After two years of this my body just was unable to handle it anymore. I had to call it quits.
A Normal Work Week?
After extensive research I have found that this may be abnormal, but is the norm for the industry that I was in. The 40 hour work week may be normal for the general working public but when you become a salaried employee all bets are off. Your boss will expect you to earn your money and they are more than willing to burn out an employee that doesn’t meet their expectations.
There are some enlightened bosses out there. There is a reason for the 40 hour work week. Studies have shown that working beyond this threshold does not make for more efficient employees. In fact performance degrades rapidly beyond this point. A great article was written about returning to the 40 hour work week by Sara Robinson. Follow the link if you are curious.
When I left my last position, I had a couple of choices. I could look for a new position in the same field or try to find something that actually makes me happy. I thought I would look to see what sort of things make people happy. I know that anytime that kids or pets show up online the views go through the roof. I have been training dogs on the side for almost 30 year now so I looked into doing this professionally. I don’t see a way to make a good living doing this but I still maintain my volunteer work with another trainer and help her along. I even took over her website so that she has an internet presence.
The Internet Lifestyle
About this time, I decided that the internet might yield some income and so began my search for a legitimate way to make a living online. I looked at a lot of very nice slick presentations. Each one ended with an offer, some were $39, some $97, even a few that were $997 or 3 payments of …. You have probably seen many of these. All hype, usually a hard luck story somewhere in there and now…he’s ready to help you dig your way out of your hole. But very little substance. Never did I see a free trial or someone that really seemed to be trustworthy.
Eventually, I joined a group called Wealthy Affiliate and have learned to make a good living online through Affiliate Marketing. WA taught me the ins and outs of online marketing and how to get a site noticed. This has had other benefits as well. I have time to get all those little things done that need to have my attention. I can control my own time and work when I am able. My hours are my own, late nights are OK now as I can work wherever I am.
I have started my own company that helps local clients to get online with their sites, and cleaned up several sites and helped them to start ranking for their businesses. Helping people to succeed is now my way of life. Now, I’m making a living and helping people in the process. I have never been happier.
The entrepreneurial lifestyle is not for everyone. It takes time to get your business functioning well. You need to wear many hats. You need to be your own sales department, technical lead and bookkeeper. You need to learn to be organized and most of all, you need to stop procrastinating. It can be rewarding but it isn’t all rosy you do need to work at it. The affiliate marketing side of my business keeps me making money day in and day out. The local side of my business lets me be helpful and make a difference in the world. Overall I have found a good balance. I still work long hours but my level of satisfaction with my world has increased 100 fold.