The hamster wheel is as famous as it is notorious. It is the endless everyday life, the same routine, the tiring monotony for weeks, months, years. The hamster wheel has many employees firmly in its discouraging grip and causes frustration and a lack of prospects. Somehow you imagined working life to be very different, but instead of pursuing your passion or making money with what you enjoy, you’re making money and making a living is on the daily schedule. How to recognize and what you can do to get out of the hamster wheel.
Seven ways to get out of the tiring job routine:
REALIZE THAT YOU’RE STUCK IN THE HAMSTER WHEEL
Everyone knows the hamster wheel, has heard of it before, knows about friends, acquaintances and colleagues who are stuck in it. But hardly anyone is concerned with the thought that maybe they are already in the middle of it.
At the beginning of your career, the focus is somewhere else. Big goals, the motivation to achieve something, to use your talent and to do a job that is more than that.
Most people want to do more than just spend time and make money. Your activity should make sense and be fun. We do not want a job, we want to make passions into a profession, understand work as part of our own lives that makes us happy and content. A wonderful idea that is regularly destroyed by the hamster wheel.
The hamster wheel describes the state in which you exert yourself, work hard, pedal and fight – and at the end of the day you stop. You are stuck in routines, nothing changes and even if you give everything, the wheel just turns faster without any further use.
The result is job frustration and dissatisfaction. The problem with this: From the inside, a hamster wheel also looks like a career ladder. It takes a while to realize that things are not going uphill. It is better to recognize early enough that you are stuck in the hamster wheel.
THESE 12 CLUES CAN INDICATE:
- Every day is absolutely the same.
- You have big dreams that you can’t get a step closer to.
- You get upset about your situation and then continue in the same way.
- Expectations: You only do what others expect you to do.
- Already on Monday, you hope that it will be the weekend again soon.
- You’re just doing a job for the salary at the end of the month.
- You fear change.
- You blame everyone else and the circumstances.
- As soon as you talk about work or just think about it, your mood sinks into the basement.
- Absolutely no point in your job and you have no idea why you doing it.
- You can only pursue your passions after work.
- Because you rely on job security you don’t think anything will change.
HAMSTER WHEEL: LIVE OR BE LIVED?
We often use the term job when it comes to work. perhaps we should speak of calling again more often because ideally both terms are closely related.
How does it happen that we get into a hamster wheel? In some cases, it may have been an inadequate discussion of your own goals and values. Sometimes the career choice arises randomly:
The final grades are suitable for many professions and then decisions are often made based on the highest possible income and reputation. And suddenly you find yourself in a job that has nothing more to offer.
Anyone who starts a family at the same time also has a lot of constraints and obligations that make it difficult to recognize a hamster wheel and exit.
So the exit from the hamster wheel is not only preceded by the recognition that you are stuck, but by the definition of goals, values , and wishes.
TO DO THIS, YOU HAVE TO ASK YOURSELF THE CRUCIAL QUESTIONS:
- Who am I?
- Where do I want to go?
- Who is important to me?
- What do I want to achieve?
- What makes me happy
The step out of the hamster wheel is not least a question of personality. This calls for independence and willingness to take risks that not everyone likes. Quite banal: it is easier to carry out the same tasks and follow instructions every day than to plan the way into the unknown.
And this does not necessarily mean self-employment in the professional sense – even if that can also be an option. Rather, you have to face uncomfortable thoughts and independently look for solutions for which you are not paid.
The reward for this effort comes much later and then in the form of a self-determined -professional- life.
GET OUT OF THE HAMSTER WHEEL: HERE’S HOW
The hamster wheel is often used as a metaphor and sometimes just said to describe the professional situation.
However, it is a mistake to underestimate the effects or to talk nicely about your situation. Anyone stuck in the hamster wheel has only two options:
Accept your situation and come to terms with it or take heart and escape the hamster wheel. Not an easy task, but also not as hopeless as many people believe. Concerning money, in particular, you should consider in advance what restrictions you are willing to accept.
In the hamster wheel, you sacrifice your happiness for perceived security. Although they have an income, they are unmotivated every day and in a bad mood. It is worth having a little less money available, but being satisfied with your own life in the long term.
These tips will help you get out of the hamster wheel:
MAKE IT CLEAR WHAT YOU WANT.
A change just to change something can backfire. Afterward, you suddenly find yourself in a similar situation and the hamster wheel starts again. You can avoid this by being clear beforehand about exactly what you want and what you expect from your job.
Create an inventory. What is bothering you in your current job? On the other hand, what do you like and which should be transferred at best? What should your activity bring with you in any case? Only when you know your priorities will you have a goal in mind that you want to achieve.
This self-reflection can be difficult. You have to admit that your job does not make you happy and you may have waited years to realize this and change something – but only then can you leave the hamster wheel behind.
CLARIFY YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION.
Probably the most common reason why workers are stuck in the hamster wheel is finance. “I simply cannot afford to change anything” … or “I also rely on the money to pay my bills” …
We all need money, rent has to be paid, other fixed costs have to be covered and at the end of the month, there should be a little something left to be able to put something back. To make it out of the hamster wheel, you should therefore carefully analyze your financial situation again. It’s not just about how much you spend on what, but above all the question: is it worth it?
If you can answer that with yes, then it is important to look exactly where you can save. Separate yourself from superfluous subscriptions – whether it’s the Netflix package, completely overpriced mobile phone contracts or other money guzzlers: take a close look at whether your quality of life really depends on it and then cancel everything superfluous.
DON’T GO THE WAY ALONE.
Getting out of the hamster wheel takes a lot of courage. You have to overcome yourself, possibly deal with rejection and digest one or the other damper. This can work alone, but you have more chances if you have friends and family at your side from the start.
The support of close caregivers makes you feel good about not being alone with this difficult financial situation. Then you know that someone is backing you up and confirming your decision. This also helps to overcome self-doubt.
If you only speak to critics and clairvoyants, you sabotage your project and quickly fall into old behavior patterns. Let yourself be encouraged and surround yourself with people who not only understand your decisions but who actively support you.
APPROACH THE EXIT SLOWLY.
If you jump out of a hamster wheel that spins at full speed, the likelihood of something going wrong increases. Before you get out of the hamster wheel completely, you should, therefore, slow it down bit by bit.
For your job, this means: You don’t have to throw everything away from one day to the next. Put the resignation on the desk and start all over again. This puts you under pressure, nobody forces you to break anything over your knee. Give yourself enough time to think about how to proceed.
For example, you can reduce your work to one half-day job while you use the other time to continue your education or prepare your future plans. This has the added charm of continuing to receive the salary as you prepare to exit the hamster wheel. At some point, however, you will have to overcome yourself – do not continue to rely on a later point in time.
DEVELOP A HEDGE.
There is no guarantee that you will get out of the hamster wheel and that everything will be as you have always dreamed of it. Turning your hobby into a job, earning money with your passion, finally doing something meaningful and also having enough free time that you can spend with the family. It can work with courage, initiative and a plan, but you should have a plan B.
With an alternative in hand, it is easier to overcome your uncertainty. You definitely have a plan, even if the first idea does not bring the desired success or simply takes more time.
However, make sure that your protection does not lead you back into a new hamster wheel. Only do that until it works with the other position can get you back to the beginning of your development. Choose a plan B that also frees you from the hamster wheel.
INVEST MONEY IN YOUR WISH.
Job profiles change over time and new jobs are created. Maybe you need new qualifications to get out of the hamster wheel. Further training is an option for which you should set aside some money every month.
Under certain conditions, you can even get state funding opportunities in the form of an education loan, master’s degree, or education voucher.
You may also conclude that your special knowledge is sufficient and that you want to become self-employed. Starting capital is not wrong here either; You can also get state support with the start-up grant.
IMAGINE THE WORST CASE.
The fear of change can be debilitating. You are not really happy in the hamster wheel, but at least you know exactly what you have. A regular income, well-known colleagues and customers, tasks that are anything but sparkling, but which you have already done a hundred times.
If you want to get out of the hamster wheel, you not only have to face this fear but also overcome it. It can help you imagine the worst-case scenario. This may sound contradictory at first glance, after all, you don’t want to talk yourself into even more fear. In fact, it helps not to overdo it.
No matter how you get out of the hamster wheel and what your new task looks like: Even if things go wrong, it is not as bad as you initially think you are. You can learn from mistakes, setbacks, wasted time and maybe money – but the world does not end there.
WORK IS YOUR HALF-LIFE
Charles Bukowski once expressed it in his typically direct manner:
How the hell is a person supposed to enjoy being woken by an alarm clock at 6.30 a.m., jumping out of bed, getting dressed, choking food, pooping, pissing, brushing their teeth, pulling their hair judge and fight through traffic chaos to a place where he makes a lot of coal for another and is still expected to be grateful for it?
If this is what your day-to-day work looks like and you don’t enjoy it, you have every reason and right to want to get out of the hamster wheel. We spend too much of our lives on the job not having fun.
You will probably be confronted with hamster wheel sayings in the course of your life, i.e. colleagues who want to talk you through your current work. This also happens: Others notice your uncertainty, your hesitation. Or they are even jealous that you want to change something.
There are always people who will reinforce your doubts because they don’t want you to move forward. Because, if they saw that something can be changed with the appropriate will, then they would have to admit their own cowardice or laziness.
You shouldn’t let that affect you. On the contrary: you should avoid toxic people.
Instead, look for people who inspire you. They can be mentors in your current company, they could just as well be other people you get to know through networking.