[Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Martin of Studenomics and now Start Freelancing Now, where he helps you make more money with what you already have.]
I was chatting with a good friend who hates his job. He always complains about his job and how much he hates it. That's perfectly normal. What bothers me is that this guy is talented and could easily make money elsewhere. I finally asked him why he didn't just quit.
"Because it's guaranteed money. I'm in a good position. I can't get fired and the money is guaranteed."
That makes total sense. Why risk something that's guaranteed? Why rock the boat?
What do you go for in your 20s? Should you take the guaranteed money or take some risks?
What's the case for taking the steady income?
Life is crazy enough. Your income should be predictable. Why risk how much money you have coming in on a consistent basis?
An acquaintance of mine, James, took a steady job with lower pay and less qualifications needed than he holds, just to have steady pay and benefits. We had a debate about this one day and he told me that he simply doesn't want to take any risks with his work. He wants something that's guaranteed, predictable, and stable. He wants a routine that he can stick to. This means that he wants to wake up at the same time, prepare his food in advance, and not have to worry about any deviations from his routine.
There's also the argument to be made for budgeting your money. When you have the same amount of money coming in on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, you can easily create a budget that you can stick with. With an irregular income, it's a bit more challenging to stick to your budget.
When you have the same money coming in, you can plan for all of your expenses, save up for future expenses, and live below your means. You don't have to worry about not being able to cover your bills because your income was lower than expected.
You won't get rich quick. You won't be cruising in a Bentley. You will have safe financial future.
What about the argument for taking risks?
“You want to be afraid, really afraid, take a look at what your life will look like not if you try and fail, but if you keep on keeping on for decades. That’s the real nightmare scenario for most people.” — Jonathan Fields
I don't want to throw any catchphrases out because it's careless to suggest that you quit your job to follow your passions without a real plan.
My argument here is real simple. Life's too short to spend it doing something that you don't like. I believe that you should find a way to pay your bills doing work that you actually enjoy and makes you feel good at the end of the day. 40 hours a week is way too much time to be spent on being depressed or hating life.
Time to finally answer the question...
Do you take the guaranteed money in your 20s?
I love the idea of starting an online business with no money and taking some risks. Others are not so keen on this. The truth is that you don't have to work for yourself to take risks.
How can you take risks with your career?
- Travel abroad to find work.
- Go back to school to upgrade your skills.
- Work for a small startup.
- Take a job with lower pay that offers growth potential down the line.
What I'm getting at is that you owe it to yourself in your 20s to take some chances. Life's too short to be miserable.
The worst case scenario with taking risks is that you fail. So what happens then? Nothing. You can go back to work. Is that really so scary?
What would you guys do? Take the guaranteed money in your 20s or take a few risks?
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