Home > Gen-Y, Uncategorized > Materialism and Gen Y — How I quit my job after just 14 months

Materialism and Gen Y — How I quit my job after just 14 months

“People think that what’s holding them back from taking risk is some big financial idea of stability and well being, but it’s really fear of losing your comfortable material life, whatever that is. Mine is so spare that I can easily replace it.” ~ Penelope Trunk

My generation, the Gen-Y-egotistical-everything-needs-to-be-free-on-demand-credit-card-carrying individuals, could heed great personal growth from Penelope’s statement. I know, mainly because I am one. I have only one credit card, but have been coned into several more though shady free tee shirts and beer mugs that my dorm room would have been vacant without. Creditors have told me that the new stereo I want is only a swipe away, and with low interest introductory rates I can buy anything I want as long as I pay it off in a year.

When I got my first desk job and had a paycheck directly deposited into my account every two weeks, I began to daydream about all the stuff I could now afford. The new iPod, iPod integrator for the car, Nike iPod running kit, flat screen TV, surround sound, leather couth, house plants and on and on. My head was swimming with possibilities to make my measly apartment the high tech bachelor pad Best Buy and every other Hollywood movie had fed me.

In the end I was able to refrain. It was rough. I did buy a bike, a nice shiny new road bike that was my flat screen TV, but since I was participating in triathlons, the thought of buying it was justified. I didn’t, however, buy the best one—I had to swallow my pride on that one.

Now just fourteen months after getting my first desk job, I’ve decided to quit and move on. Not because I was being abused, or because the money was not good enough, but because I wasn’t following my passion. That little blaze of light inside of me that pushed me to do things without the feeling of being at work. Like Tiger Woods, I wanted to do what I enjoyed, so when the lines between work and life would be blurred, it wouldn’t be a nuisance, but rather my passion coming to fruition.

I was able to quit mainly because I hadn’t let my lifestyle adjust to my new income. I hadn’t succumbed to the fact that a bi-weekly paycheck would let me get the new iPhone, high tech gadget, or fly rims for my ride. Sure I had spent money; maybe a bit too much on certain things, but what I hadn’t done was purchase out of my means. I was able to pay off my credit card, keep a low monthly payment on my new car and make a substantial dent in my student loans. I had forced myself to buy the middle-of-the-line instead of shooting for the stars and breaking the bank.

Penelope Trunk, you have nailed it with your post today. Don’t be surprised though if I give you a ring if I ever end up by your house. I might need a couch to sleep on as I pursue my career as a struggle, starving, writer.

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Categories: Gen-Y, Uncategorized
  1. Michael M.
    August 18, 2007 at 4:15 am

    Thanks for the inspiration. I have definitely had the longing to pack up and go on a roadtrip or backpacking but, as you said, I’ve grown far to comfortable with my iPod-as-soccer-ball lifestyle. I think you’ve just changed my goals for the next few years or so. I’ll See you on the trail or in the rapids sometime. Thanks T.

  2. November 6, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    Hey–
    Good luck and stay true to your mission of finding work that’s closer to your heart. After a few months, when the ol’ bank account runs low, it’s easy to forget how wrong that job really was. Keep the faith–you’re on the right track!

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