5 Reasons to Continue Being Your Boss’s Bitch

by Alexander Heyne · 5 comments

“I’ll take a quiet life, a handshake of carbon monoxide, and no alarms and no surprises…”

-Radiohead

Be your boss’s bitch, aka stay with the job you’re currently doing rather than run the place.  Because, believe it or not, the former may be more conducive to your goals.Be Your Boss's Bitch / Sheep / Slave

The media is filled with tons of examples of disgruntled individuals giving the royal middle finger to their boss.

There are 450 reasons to quit your job and work for yourself, right?

Well, you know I like messing with your head – one day I’ll write why it’s better to be self-employed, and another day why it’s better to be your boss’s bitch.

But it’s all about knowing what you want.  Don’t hate on the cubicle life.

In all honesty, if you aren’t willing to step up to the plate, dream big, work insanely hard, and realize some big changes – a comfortable job that doesn’t expect much out of you may be perfect.

So, why to continue being your boss’s bitch, and never work for yourself:

#1 It’s Mindless

There’s just about nothing new at a job you’ve been working at for a long time, or sometimes even a short time. Now that may vary regarding the job – but the closer to entry level you get, the closer the job resembles something a robot could do.

Thus, there are no demands being placed on your brain. It’s boring, but it’s easy.  You don’t even have to care or be concerned, you just put in your headphones and get to work.

Some people don’t want to think, and they don’t need to.  “I’m not paid to think!” become the default excuse.  I’m paid only $12/hour so I’m only going to gives $12/hour worth of work.

No millionaire dollar ideas required to change the world, no creativity or thinking needed.  Easy.  And convenient.

#2 Smoke Breaks (Predictability)

Sometimes routine can be a soul crusher. Sometimes it’s exactly what people need.  But right along with #1, it’s mindless, #2 is predictability.

I know people that genuinely don’t like surprises.  They just like knowing where everything is in their house, what’s on the schedule (and there’s always a schedule), watching the same tv program at the same time, as well as needing the sense of control in their lives.

So, in case you’re a neat freak, love routine, or are a just a straight up weirdo, keeping your job and continuing to pamper your boss is a no-brainer.

Plus you know that from 9-5 you’ll be working. At 5, it’s windows down music on, tie off, middle finger to the world.  Working for yourself entails some 4 hour days, and some 14+ hours days.  It’s not balanced, but hey, nothing great ever was achieved by being balanced.

Predictability is God’s gift to boring lives.

#3 Less Stress

This one may be a coin toss for some. Overachievers are always stressed no matter the demands or lack of demands the boss may put on them.

But for others, having a job that expects the same thing out of you only is stressful at the start – once you’ve got the routine down it just becomes another day.

The less stress part usually comes with #2.  If it’s a job you’re just doing for money, aren’t learning much, and you don’t care, it probably takes Godzilla walking down the street to get you to show any psychological signs of arousal.

“I don’t care” means you can spend the day chillin and thinking about other, more important things that you actually enjoy. Even work is free time!

#4 You know your pay, you have no control, and thus are in control

Here you have the illusion of control.

The predictability of knowing your pay, being able to plan accordingly, and having “no control” over how things get done (since your boss runs the place) give you the illusion of feeling in control.

If you can’t change it, why worry?

If everything is set into a system and you are given orders, you just do what you’re told.

Plus there’s no risk you won’t get paid, as long as you show up to work.  Working for yourself entails not getting paid (at best) for dumb mistakes.

#5 Failure is easy and (a little) blame free

Since you’re just taking orders and are being paid to do what you’re told, if anything goes wrong you can diffuse the blame and pass it on to someone else.

“The instructions weren’t clear.”

Yippeeee. Blame free, kinda.

Something goes horribly wrong and fails?  You can just pin it on the person who trained you, blame it on your own ignorance, or, best of all, say it was a “silly rookie mistake.”

But if you’re running the show, and you’re telling people you are building your empire, your legacy, your genius – And then you fail big – the only one getting the blame is you.

You hyped it, you failed huge, it was ugly as hell, and there’s no way around it.

For some people, owning a business is definitely not what they want to be doing or should be doing.

More often than not working for yourself entails long hours at some point, high stress, high demands, high risk, a high degree of focus and creativity, networking, failure, failure, failure, and then maybe some degree of success.

At some point you gotta ask yourself if that nasty list above is something you’re willing to deal with right now — if not, go back to the quiet life of “no alarms and no surprises.”

If you have any thoughts to share please comment or tweet this post below :). 

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy November 1, 2011 at 11:03 am

Alex –

I enjoyed this. This is something I have struggled with my whole career – I have super ambitous, motivated friends whose focus is climbing the ladder, money and being in charge. I’ve always felt like a slacker because I don’t share those feelings at all. I like not having 24/7 demands and stress in my life – I get to leave at the end of the day. I work to live – I get to come home at the end of the day and focus on my family, friends, and hobbies. I get to go on vacations without my cell phone. I sleep well. :)

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afheyne November 1, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Amy,

I guess it’s different strokes for different folks. Right now I like the LACK of responsibility associate with the fact that once 5 pm hits, I’m gone. Less stress, and way less demands like you said. For now it suits me — and there’s nothing wrong with working for other people forever… The newly fashionable thing to do is criticize the cubicle life and live “location independent” and “be an entrepreneur,” but it’s not viable or even worthwhile for some people.

And amen x 100 to the vacationing without a cell phone.. haha

Alex

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Amy November 2, 2011 at 8:28 am

Its funny – this post has really had me thinking about the 20-30 something crowd. I think alot of us have been raised on the idea that we are all special, unique people. Which we are. But, its hard to feel special and unique in a cubicle. I think most of us crave that external validation while also wanting some deep meaning out of our jobs. While there is nothing wrong with either of those things it is easy for those desires to consume us and for us to lose sight of what our priorities really are.

afheyne November 2, 2011 at 11:54 am

You’re right. And I think another paradox of feeling special is that you feel entitled to a lot of stuff… which is a very, very dangerous feeling. Entitlement can go two ways: you can think that you are special and you are going to do *big* things with your life (and thus will).

Or, you can think you’re special, and you shouldn’t be working hard or doing the legwork.

Apparently there’s a story of a young Steve Jobs who came home one day upset because a kid asked if his biological parents got rid of him because they didn’t love him.

His adopted parents told him: “No, it’s not that you’re parents didn’t love you. WE looked for you and got you because you are special.”

And supposedly he carried this sort of entitlement-bordering-on-arrogant kind of attitude that he attributes to at least some of his success.

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