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2023-01-10. Should I Get a New Job?
Episode 1010th January 2023 • Aboard Podcast • Aboard
00:00:00 00:16:35

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Rich advises Paul (who is pretending to be a guy who works in video editing) on whether to quit his job or not. Together, they look into THE VOID. The VOID looks back. Paul digresses on corporatist epistemology. In the end everything is okay.

Transcripts

Paul Ford:

So the reason I asked you today if you would get coffee with me is, is

Paul Ford:

um, I'm trying to figure out my next move.

Rich Ziade:

I thought you just wanted to see me, but, okay.

Rich Ziade:

Well, how's work I was about to ask,

Paul Ford:

uh, well work's okay.

Paul Ford:

I've been there for a while.

Paul Ford:

You know, you guys, you guys worked with us.

Paul Ford:

Yeah.

Paul Ford:

At one point, um, doing the video editing, so I'm still there.

Paul Ford:

I have like a, I'm okay.

Paul Ford:

I have like a team now.

Paul Ford:

Oh,

Rich Ziade:

Oh, nice.

Rich Ziade:

Congrats.

Paul Ford:

They're good.

Paul Ford:

You know, I've been.

Paul Ford:

Seven years now.

Paul Ford:

Okay.

Paul Ford:

So I'm just like, you were somebody who I always thought kind of got

Paul Ford:

what a next step should be, and I was like, Hey, maybe, maybe Rich

Paul Ford:

would have like, I don't know.

Paul Ford:

What do you think?

Paul Ford:

What, what's it look like to you?

Rich Ziade:

So it leaves me to ask the question, what's wrong?

Rich Ziade:

Are you enjoying

Rich Ziade:

work?

Paul Ford:

I mean, it's okay.

Paul Ford:

I go to work every day, you know,

Rich Ziade:

that's a good sign.

Paul Ford:

I get on the train and I'm like, I don't go some, we're in the

Paul Ford:

office about three days a week, and about in, uh, about two days a week I'm home.

Paul Ford:

So that's, that's our post pandemic.

Paul Ford:

I, so I don't know, like the work is okay.

Paul Ford:

I'm not learning a whole lot.

Paul Ford:

I'm not really like, so I, that's what I'm trying to figure out.

Rich Ziade:

So, are you happy at work,

Paul Ford:

Richard?

Paul Ford:

What is happiness?

Paul Ford:

When you're in your forties and you're working and editing the videos and

Paul Ford:

putting them on YouTube, what does it all

Rich Ziade:

let me ask different, ask it differently.

Rich Ziade:

Do you like the social setting of being around the people

Rich Ziade:

you work with in your team?

Rich Ziade:

Like, do you look forward to seeing your team and your colleagues?

Paul Ford:

I like some of them.

Paul Ford:

Sure.

Paul Ford:

I don't love my, you know, the management team, but I, I do like

Paul Ford:

some of the people I work with.

Paul Ford:

I like my peers.

Paul Ford:

I, I love my group.

Paul Ford:

They're great.

Paul Ford:

I want them to succeed.

Paul Ford:

The

Rich Ziade:

The work's not challenging you though.

Paul Ford:

No, the work is not challenging.

Paul Ford:

I can now do it not in my sleep.

Paul Ford:

It's a lot of clerical and a lot of like, just, just, you know, you're

Paul Ford:

just kind of batch processing hours and hours of video and putting the titles on

Rich Ziade:

Is the pay grade?

Paul Ford:

No, of course not.

Rich Ziade:

It's okay.

Paul Ford:

I, I mean, I'm fine.

Paul Ford:

My kids are okay.

Paul Ford:

They're in school and you know, it's, college is gonna suck, but I'm okay.

Rich Ziade:

I can hear it in your voice though.

Rich Ziade:

You're not happy and you're wondering if you should make a change.

Paul Ford:

I am not happy.

Paul Ford:

I'm wondering if I should make a change.

Rich Ziade:

We're here having coffee now.

Rich Ziade:

Yes.

Rich Ziade:

Do you want me to tell you to quit your.

Paul Ford:

job?

Rich Ziade:

Kinda, have you been putting feelers out?

Rich Ziade:

Are you having other coffees

Paul Ford:

Of course not.

Rich Ziade:

So, okay.

Rich Ziade:

I will give you advice then.

Rich Ziade:

Let me give you advice.

Rich Ziade:

You're not happy.

Rich Ziade:

No.

Rich Ziade:

You feel like you're sleepwalking through your work days.

Rich Ziade:

True.

Rich Ziade:

That's kind of lame.

Rich Ziade:

Yeah.

Rich Ziade:

You're a talented guy.

Rich Ziade:

Thanks.

Rich Ziade:

Um, and, uh, you.

Rich Ziade:

to leave, but you're scared because it's scary to leave.

Rich Ziade:

It's scary.

Rich Ziade:

The uncertainty ahead, the instability.

Rich Ziade:

You've got a family, how are the kids, by the way?

Paul Ford:

They're great.

Paul Ford:

They're doing good.

Paul Ford:

I mean, up and down, typical kid stuff, but ultimately they're,

Paul Ford:

they're doing better than I am.

Rich Ziade:

I'm gonna tell you something about advice, Paul.

Paul Ford:

Okay?

Paul Ford:

Let's break character for a minute here.

Rich Ziade:

Break character.

Rich Ziade:

15 years ago, I would've told you, quit that job.

Rich Ziade:

Douse the place with gasoline.

Rich Ziade:

Get on that motorcycle and there's like a wall of flames

Rich Ziade:

behind you as you ride away.

Rich Ziade:

Because I was giving advice to me.

Paul Ford:

Sure.

Paul Ford:

I was your business partner for years.

Paul Ford:

That sounds about right.

Rich Ziade:

but what I've learned is that for most people, that kind

Rich Ziade:

of chaos and uncertainty on the other side is hard to stomach.

Paul Ford:

Can I tell you what I, what I really think here, you and I, you.

Paul Ford:

In a very chaotic environment.

Rich Ziade:

I did.

Paul Ford:

so did I.

Paul Ford:

Different, but, but ultimately, like I had, we had unstable relationships with

Paul Ford:

our fathers would be a good way to put it.

Paul Ford:

Um,

Rich Ziade:

what we should name the, the podcast by the way, unstable Fathers.

Paul Ford:

Um, and that's right.

Paul Ford:

I'd never been in an office before I was 22.

Paul Ford:

Yeah, right.

Paul Ford:

I didn't know what, I didn't cubicles.

Paul Ford:

I didn't know what that was.

Paul Ford:

Yeah.

Paul Ford:

And you know, when I saw a movie like Office Space, I went,

Paul Ford:

well, that looks kind of nice

Rich Ziade:

It's a comfortable setting.

Paul Ford:

Everybody hates their life.

Paul Ford:

But I'm like, well, the printer's broken.

Paul Ford:

That's kind of cool.

Paul Ford:

You can mess around with the printer.

Rich Ziade:

If you ever worked in a New York, I worked in a New York

Rich Ziade:

pizzeria when I was a teenager office.

Rich Ziade:

Space looked

Paul Ford:

that's the thing.

Paul Ford:

Like there's, there's

Rich Ziade:

of cheese.

Rich Ziade:

When I went home, I was, it was just this grotesque setting.

Rich Ziade:

It was like being in a

Paul Ford:

There is a great piece of advice I have to tell you about a job.

Paul Ford:

I had this one of the worst, but there's a great piece of advice, uh, which was

Paul Ford:

like, if you don't know what you want to do, go into the army and then you'll

Paul Ford:

know that you want to do something else.

Paul Ford:

Right.

Paul Ford:

Like that's the advice for 18 year olds who can't quite figure it out.

Paul Ford:

I once had a job, uh, in college.

Paul Ford:

I got a work, it wasn't work study.

Paul Ford:

It was like, it paid like $12 an hour.

Paul Ford:

It was great.

Paul Ford:

And the job was slowly lowering pieces of glass used for medical injections

Paul Ford:

into an 850 degree salt bath.

Paul Ford:

At which point boiling.

Paul Ford:

Would, would, would set your shirt on fire.

Rich Ziade:

Oh God.

Paul Ford:

You either wear these big gloves and it was summer and

Paul Ford:

like no one lasted at this job.

Paul Ford:

I just kind of kept going cause I like $12 an hour.

Rich Ziade:

It's money.

Paul Ford:

yeah,

Rich Ziade:

you're a kid.

Rich Ziade:

Short

Paul Ford:

catches, fire.

Paul Ford:

And, um, anyway, regardless.

Paul Ford:

I do think that most people approach work not as like, where am I?

Paul Ford:

What's going on?

Paul Ford:

Let's create a hurricane, or I'm going over the cliff.

Paul Ford:

Most people are like, I want a job and I want to do my work.

Paul Ford:

And I, I, I, I would prefer to be a classical composer, but I'm not.

Paul Ford:

Yeah.

Paul Ford:

And, uh, I want to have a good life that's respectful and I want to have a house.

Paul Ford:

Like, I think, like that's, that's most of the world.

Paul Ford:

And then we have injected this idea that that has to associate itself

Paul Ford:

with meaning and focus and life.

Rich Ziade:

that's right.

Rich Ziade:

And, and, and, but look, I can't fault the person in their thirties

Rich Ziade:

and forties wondering, is this it?

Rich Ziade:

Right?

Rich Ziade:

And, and I,

Paul Ford:

well that's the advice here is very different, right?

Paul Ford:

Because if you're in your twenties, just quit.

Paul Ford:

Just stop.

Paul Ford:

Cause cuz you're actually driving every, you're driving everyone crazy anyway.

Paul Ford:

You don't think you are.

Paul Ford:

But they all know

Rich Ziade:

No, but also take some risks.

Rich Ziade:

You don't have kids yet.

Rich Ziade:

I mean, assuming you don't have kids, you don't have a mortgage, you don't have

Rich Ziade:

all the things that kind of weigh you down and make the equation a lot harder.

Rich Ziade:

Go, go try stuff.

Rich Ziade:

Go try stuff.

Paul Ford:

Tell me, I, I'll tell you, I'm saying this as someone,

Paul Ford:

lots of 20 year olds have quit on me.

Paul Ford:

Like it's not, it sucks, it's pain in the ass, but go.

Paul Ford:

But also when, when it happens as a boss, you're just like, okay.

Rich Ziade:

The other thing I've learned is that when people come

Rich Ziade:

to you for that advice, they actually don't want the advice.

Rich Ziade:

They already have sort of a preconceived idea of what they should do.

Rich Ziade:

Sometimes they actually, I've had examples where people did want

Rich Ziade:

the advice and they actually took it, but usually, It took time.

Paul Ford:

90% of the

Rich Ziade:

the , they had to kind of stew in it for a while.

Rich Ziade:

Most of the time they just don't, they actually just want

Rich Ziade:

permission to do what they

Paul Ford:

that's right.

Paul Ford:

This is funny cuz we're, we've started this podcast about being advisors, right?

Paul Ford:

Yeah.

Paul Ford:

But we really should call it, um, Zian Ford permission.

Paul Ford:

Like that's, that's what people want.

Paul Ford:

Yes.

Paul Ford:

And I honestly, I.

Paul Ford:

I'll give it to you right here in the podcast.

Paul Ford:

You have permission.

Paul Ford:

Whatever you need to do, just go do it.

Rich Ziade:

Just go do it.

Rich Ziade:

I, I wanna, I wanna also give a comforting sort of signal back out to

Rich Ziade:

the person that just can't seem to do it.

Rich Ziade:

I have friends, I know people who are just generally frustrated in kind of

Rich Ziade:

this perpetual state of frustration.

Rich Ziade:

Not unhappiness, but just feeling like, you know, they get to

Rich Ziade:

vent with their friends about the job, but they never leave.

Rich Ziade:

They never actually take the leap.

Rich Ziade:

And what I wanna tell those people is that's okay if, if you don't have

Rich Ziade:

it in you, like again, this is not.

Rich Ziade:

The 20 years ago me, which would be like, you coward, you sad, sad coward.

Rich Ziade:

Now I'm more like, I understand where you are, uh, and I understand

Rich Ziade:

why you haven't made the move.

Rich Ziade:

What I would, the advice I would give those people is

Rich Ziade:

stop judging that as failure.

Rich Ziade:

Like you're, you're doing okay.

Rich Ziade:

You've made decisions.

Rich Ziade:

You've actually made probably sacrifices cuz you're taking care of

Rich Ziade:

either elders or kids or whatever.

Rich Ziade:

It's okay.

Rich Ziade:

It's okay.

Rich Ziade:

Don't beat yourself up about it.

Rich Ziade:

Yes, they dive into their hobbies and they wait for their vacations.

Rich Ziade:

That's normal.

Rich Ziade:

That's like most of the world.

Paul Ford:

I don't know why people look for joy at work and

Paul Ford:

look for comfort . It's work

Rich Ziade:

that's a very out of fashion statement to

Rich Ziade:

make, right?

Rich Ziade:

Like you're supposed to find fulfillment and joy and happiness.

Rich Ziade:

We are also in the most wealthy advanced society in history

Rich Ziade:

where you can pretty much cherry pick what you want to do, right?

Rich Ziade:

Um, but.

Rich Ziade:

Try to find that good place where you are.

Rich Ziade:

Like there, most people don't have the stomach to just jump into the void and

Rich Ziade:

say, wee, let's go see what this is about.

Rich Ziade:

And that's okay.

Paul Ford:

People

Paul Ford:

get real excited about that void.

Paul Ford:

I've been in the void a couple times.

Paul Ford:

It's not that great.

Rich Ziade:

It's a void.

Paul Ford:

Sometimes you're able to, yeah.

Paul Ford:

I'll tell you what.

Rich Ziade:

look,

Paul Ford:

So, you know, rich, look, this is Paul talking here.

Paul Ford:

Part of me would love to just go home and mess around with

Paul Ford:

computers and I have a little time, a little flexibility in my life.

Paul Ford:

I could do that, but I'm over here wearing a sweater and a shirt.

Rich Ziade:

Mm-hmm.

Paul Ford:

talking to you in an office.

Paul Ford:

Mm-hmm.

Rich Ziade:

Mm-hmm.

Paul Ford:

Because that's really good and healthy to have to set

Paul Ford:

some challenges, try some things and do things in a stable way.

Paul Ford:

Ideally,

Rich Ziade:

you get to do, uh, you get to do stuff that makes you feel

Rich Ziade:

fulfilled and good, and you also make lots of money to having both is the home.

Rich Ziade:

Usually it's, I've been at this consulting firm for 11 years.

Rich Ziade:

I'm unhappy, but they pay me lots of

Paul Ford:

money.

Paul Ford:

There is a lot of that.

Paul Ford:

There is, I'm, I'm building a wine cellar.

Paul Ford:

I, I can't ever get another job, right?

Rich Ziade:

Or there is, I lease the studio in Gowans and I'm

Rich Ziade:

an artist and I love painting.

Rich Ziade:

But I'm not making any money.

Rich Ziade:

There's a gallery, there's a gallery showing in six months,

Rich Ziade:

like it, those are the two.

Rich Ziade:

Now, if you can somehow get both of those to have, that's why people

Rich Ziade:

are just enamored with athletes.

Rich Ziade:

It's not their athletic ability, it's they get to kick a ball and make lots of money.

Paul Ford:

Yeah.

Paul Ford:

But you know, no one's ever happy.

Paul Ford:

No one.

Rich Ziade:

Well that's, that's a separate podcast.

Rich Ziade:

That's a separate series of

Paul Ford:

that's the thing.

Paul Ford:

So I, but this is back to the advice, right?

Paul Ford:

Like there is, it's as simple as the grass always being greener.

Paul Ford:

God, you do yourself a favor if you just cherish what you have.

Paul Ford:

And I don't know.

Paul Ford:

I don't know why.

Paul Ford:

My wiring is such, I'm an anxiety driven person, but I swear to God,

Paul Ford:

the minute I had $2,000 in checking, I was like, I'm gonna be all right.

Paul Ford:

Yes.

Paul Ford:

Know what I hate?

Paul Ford:

I hate that the job is the structure that is now supposed

Paul Ford:

to deliver meaning in society.

Paul Ford:

It used to be the.

Rich Ziade:

It used to be the

Paul Ford:

And it could be the

Rich Ziade:

which has its own set

Paul Ford:

No.

Paul Ford:

And it could be civic life.

Paul Ford:

Well, I know, but it, but it's, but you had like mainstream

Paul Ford:

pro Protestantism and so on.

Paul Ford:

You used to have these structures in life where it was like, and it was stuff

Paul Ford:

that we roll our eyes at now, like the Lions Club and the Rotary Club, and it

Paul Ford:

was very, and it had a lot of problems.

Paul Ford:

It was very male and so on and so forth, but, but there was this kind

Paul Ford:

of orderly life that you could get.

Paul Ford:

And your job was part of it, but not the only focus.

Paul Ford:

And so now we have this very corporatist view of reality in

Paul Ford:

which you have to be, the job has to deliver, meaning it has to make people

Paul Ford:

happy, it pays for your healthcare.

Paul Ford:

It's replaced.

Rich Ziade:

It's the center of your life.

Paul Ford:

But I, I don't know if that is sustainable for society to

Paul Ford:

have the job be the unit of meaning.

Paul Ford:

I, I think we, that's, and that's, I wanna grab the person who I'm

Paul Ford:

pretending to be by the shoulders and say, what the hell's wrong with you?

Paul Ford:

You have a Keurig machine and people pay you to use a computer.

Paul Ford:

You're doing great.

Paul Ford:

Yeah.

Rich Ziade:

And you've got those extra cycles to do stuff

Rich Ziade:

that is meaningful to you.

Rich Ziade:

Look, again, I don't wanna discourage that person from not chasing

Rich Ziade:

the thing that could give them meaning, but also pay their bills.

Rich Ziade:

I don't wanna discourage the that person because that was the person,

Rich Ziade:

that's the person that is my makeup.

Rich Ziade:

My makeup is, I gave myself, I, I took care of my family.

Paul Ford:

that's, you going to make your

Rich Ziade:

Yeah.

Rich Ziade:

I'm back to me.

Rich Ziade:

Right?

Paul Ford:

next job.

Paul Ford:

Exactly.

Paul Ford:

The next job will not have more meaning than the old.

Rich Ziade:

That's, that's the rub,

Paul Ford:

Unless there is, there are transitions.

Paul Ford:

I, someone that I love very much went from a corporate job to a not-for-profit

Paul Ford:

job and there it is, hands-on and they work with homeless people and they make

Paul Ford:

the world objectively better like people get fed because of the work they do.

Paul Ford:

and that they get paid less money, but their life has more

Paul Ford:

complexity and richness and meaning.

Paul Ford:

So there are, there are transitions, but you are not gonna go from video editing

Paul Ford:

gig one and say, Hey, I'm really good with YouTube over to video editing gig two

Rich Ziade:

and find

Rich Ziade:

joy all of a sudden.

Paul Ford:

the same shit.

Rich Ziade:

you may do it for more.

Rich Ziade:

Look, if it pays better and you can go get it, go get it.

Rich Ziade:

Good for

Paul Ford:

money lets you go out and buy meaning

Paul Ford:

that's the best part of it.

Rich Ziade:

Go for it.

Rich Ziade:

Go for it.

Rich Ziade:

Um, I do wanna use another podcast episode to talk about quitting

Rich Ziade:

your job, to try the thing.

Rich Ziade:

You've got some savings, you have an idea and you want to go.

Rich Ziade:

And I'd love to explore that.

Rich Ziade:

That's a, that's a different case.

Rich Ziade:

A different example.

Rich Ziade:

Um, The advice is nuanced here.

Rich Ziade:

It's not quit or don't quit.

Rich Ziade:

It's, you're looking in the wrong place for that ju that nugget of happiness.

Paul Ford:

are looking for a personal solution to a societally

Paul Ford:

structured weirdness, right?

Paul Ford:

Like you're looking for an answer that kind of isn't there.

Paul Ford:

It it take care of your friends and family, live your life, um, and, uh, don't

Paul Ford:

feel bad that you don't love your job.

Paul Ford:

Yeah, it's not, you didn't do anything.

Rich Ziade:

wrong.

Rich Ziade:

Um,

Paul Ford:

Look.

Paul Ford:

The do I quit my job or not is like the ultimate challenge of

Paul Ford:

living in a capitalist society.

Rich Ziade:

Yes.

Rich Ziade:

Yes.

Rich Ziade:

That's right.

Rich Ziade:

And, and there's another, there's another consequence of this capitalist society.

Rich Ziade:

We've shit on social media a lot on this podcast for good reason, right?

Rich Ziade:

And I wanna shit out, shit on it once more.

Rich Ziade:

All the extra cycles outside of that job, um, goes into airing grievance.

Rich Ziade:

complaining

Rich Ziade:

and watching dumb videos.

Rich Ziade:

There's a lot of tech out there where you can signal out in constructive,

Rich Ziade:

creative, interesting ways, whether it be writing or if you're a

Rich Ziade:

coder, putting some projects out.

Rich Ziade:

There are other ways to express yourself and find fulfillment.

Rich Ziade:

Uh, the problem is social, um, really eats up all the extra cycles.

Rich Ziade:

You just sit on that toilet and just scroll.

Rich Ziade:

I think we, we helped here.

Rich Ziade:

I think we just wanna give people some perspective.

Rich Ziade:

This isn't about clear cut advice, but rather perspective with those

Rich Ziade:

extra cycles while you're not at work, you know what you should do.

Rich Ziade:

Paul,

Paul Ford:

Check out ziti ford.com and send an email to hello ziti

Paul Ford:

ford.com if you need any advice.

Paul Ford:

We

Rich Ziade:

love giving advice, we hope.

Rich Ziade:

Uh, thanks for the coffee.

Rich Ziade:

It was good seeing you, Jim Best of luck in your video editing job.

Rich Ziade:

I

Paul Ford:

think I need to do it like special voices

Paul Ford:

when I'm playing a character.

Paul Ford:

Oh yes, of course.

Paul Ford:

Richard.

Rich Ziade:

let's

Paul Ford:

Oh Damnit.

Rich Ziade:

Nailed.

Rich Ziade:

Have a lovely week everyone.

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