Claiming back your soul from the company store

                When I was a kid my Dad always sang in the car whenever we went anywhere.  He was born in 1941 so all the songs he sang were Doo Wop songs from the 1950s and early 1960s.  One song I remember him singing repeatedly is Tennessee Ernie Ford’s “Owe my soul to the company store”.

As I prepared to write this post this song jumped into the forefront of my mind.  It got me to thinking about how this old song about an even older idea, a full surrender of your whole life to a single company to the point that you’ll never get out of debt, never have a decent life (just an acceptable one), isn’t as old fashioned as some of us might think.

                Lots of people from all walks of life around the world fail to plan when it comes to their career and end up in some job that they have just because they need a job.  It’s sad that we do this to ourselves—some planning and clear preparation can prevent each person from being stuck in a job they don’t love.

                John Maxwell once said, “Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” This lack of desire to do well comes from this victim mentality that people have about work.  The idea that we can’t have the career we want is a fallacy.  If you want it bad enough you can get it: you’ve just got to work on it, sacrifice for a time, and with perseverance land the job you’ve dreamed of instead of settling for something that you feel trapped in!  And the problem with this trap is the longer you stay the less likely you’ll believe that you can ever get out.

The Python Principle

                Having a job that you feel stuck in soon feels like the life is being squeezed out of you.  If you don’t change your mind about your job, or change your job to the one you’ve always wanted, you might lose your mind as well as your chance to do what you’ve always wanted to do.  Now I’m not suggesting that you quit right now; it’s important to have a plan.  Have an emergency fund in place before you quit, and have a good reason to quit—several of them in fact.  In Jon Acuff’s book Quitter there’s a whole quiz you can take to find out if you’re ready to make the leap and if not, what you can do to get there.  It’s a good book and worth the read!

For those of you who’ve gotten the dream job, what advice can you give to those of us who are still trying to get ours?

By the way if you want to watch Ford sing the song I mentioned here’s a link:


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