How Do You Escape The Rat Race?

rat race (noun): the unpleasant life of people who have jobs that require them to work very hard in order to compete with others for money, power, status, etc.
Source: Merriam-Webster

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In a previous post I have mentioned FIRE. This movement encourages people to be frugal so they can retire early. This is usually done by people who hate their jobs. While I do advocate for FIRE, especially since it recommends frugal living, I see better ways to escape the rat race. Some may look at the above definition and say “I do not work hard for money, power, nor status.” Hate to break this to you, but most people hate their job to some degree, what other reasons are there to work at a job you hate?


Find Fulfillment In Your Work

You can find fulfillment in your work. The Inc. published that people fulfilled by their work feel a connection to their work. I can see that. While I went into biochemistry wanting to cure Alzheimer’s I went to do my work instead in RNA biochemistry. I eventually developed a connection in my work and an now impassioned by what this work can uncover. That is why some of the best career advice I have ever heard is that you should go where your gifts suggest, but make sure your passions follow. Read Creativity Inc. to read a story about a person interested in art who instead learned about computers, and used both to make a fortune.

Changing Your Career

Many people may suggest that if you hate your work you should get a new career. This is very difficult, it may even require a new education. It can be very expensive to receive an education, especially in college or grad school. However, there are multiple ways to change your career without a completely new degree.

Entry Level Jobs

After years of a career in which now pays you pretty well, starting over with an entry-level job does not sound very enticing. However, if you hate your job, you may ignore the lower salary and escape the rat race anyways. Surprisingly, some entry-level jobs do not require a degree, but make sure these are jobs which do not require years of experience.

Certificates

Certificates are essentially mini degrees that show people have learned new skills that are not always provided by other degrees. For example, in addition to my Biochemistry PhD, I am receiving a certificate in statistical analysis. I plan to use my Biochemistry PhD to find good jobs when I graduate, but I believe that pursuing this certificate will display that I have a variety of useful skills beyond biochemistry. If a certificate could be useful to me, it may be useful for you.

However, the certificate must be in a marketable skill. Statistical analysis will always be marketable, especially in the biochemistry research and development community.

Making A Business

If you cannot connect to your work at all, maybe the best way to do so is to start a business. You can sculpt your business to do whatever you want. However, you must make sure you connect to it, because eventually you will have paperwork to do, and I do not know many people who have the doer attitude required to start a business and really connect to paperwork. You will eventually burn out if you do not. Check out one of my previous posts about businesses that could cost less than you may imagine.

Final Thoughts

If you are stuck in a position where you just need an out, the best thing you could do is try to find a way out. It may not be immediate (in fact it is unlikely to be), but making a plan to escape the rat race can give you a new goal to chase. Chasing a new goal could reinvigorate you and help you forge your wealth.

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