Do you feel like you’re stuck in a job you can never escape? The work follows you home. The stress invades your personal life. And yet, despite hating this situation, you continue to work hard because you feel you owe your company something?
You might be selling your soul to work for your company. You wouldn’t be the first person to do it; you can end up in an unhealthy place without even realizing it.
A study done by Gallup in 2019 found that only 15% of employees worldwide are actively engaged in their work. That means that 85% of people feel no emotional commitment to their job. It’s an obligation—something that they have to do, but don’t necessarily enjoy.
And they, like you, might feel as if they’ve sold out by choosing to work in a job where they aren’t motivated by or dedicated to the work they’re doing.
What are the signs that I’m selling my soul to my company?
Read the following description and ask yourself, “Does this sound like me?”
You dread going to work. You don’t enjoy what you’re doing. The work leaves you feeling bored, stressed, and/or unfulfilled. You feel obliged to constantly maintain peak productivity, yet you spend more than 40 hours a week to help the company achieve its goals. And, no matter how tired you are of this job, you just can’t leave.
If that sounds familiar, then you may be selling your soul to your company.
This post will break down some of the biggest warning signs that indicate that you’re sacrificing too much of yourself for your work:
1. Lacking a sense of purpose and enjoyment
Everyone is motivated by something. Working in a job that doesn’t fulfill that sense of purpose will leave you dissatisfied. The experience is exhausting and unpleasant.
People often talk about settling in relationships, but you can settle in a job, too.
Sometimes you take a job for the money, or just to know that you’ll have stable employment—even if that work isn’t exactly what you want to be doing. Maybe you choose the job as a stop-gap solution until you can find better work.
But when you give up on finding something that gives you a purpose, that’s when you start to sell out.
2. Compromising morals and beliefs
This is probably the most obvious indicator that you have sold your soul to your company: when you are willing to do anything for the job, even if it goes against your own values and morals.
An environmentalist or advocate who works in a fast-fashion company is a perfect example. They would have to overlook the pollution and forced labor in the industry in order to do the job.
3. Having no life outside of the job
You may be selling your soul to your company if you have given up your personal life to spend more time at your job.
Now, obviously, if you love your job and you’re happy with your work-life balance, that’s fine.
The problem is when you find yourself working extra hours to prove your loyalty and value to the company. If this is you, stop and reconsider your boundaries when it comes to your work. Do you really want to be doing all of this overtime for a job you can’t stand?
However, lack of autonomy in your job, poor workplace dynamics, and work-life imbalance are all causes of job burnout. When the company has more control over your career than you do, and you find yourself working extra hard all the time in order to one-up your colleagues, this creates the perfect environment for job burnout to develop.
Headaches, pain, or digestive difficulties that can’t be explained
How can I avoid selling my soul?
You have to put in the effort to find work that feels effortless. When you’re in a job that gives you control, creative freedom, and purpose, it won’t feel like work (at least, not all the time).
Take Brett Wiggins as an example: he still works at the same “summer job” he started 12 years ago because he finds it so fulfilling. He has control over his work, and he loves the flexibility and fulfillment it brings.
Not everyone finds this with their first gig, though. The best thing you can do is try different jobs. Follow your instinct to find jobs that seem right, and then test the waters. You don’t have to be committed to your first job forever. Give yourself room to explore and grow.
Study the field that interests you. Find a mentor who is in a place you’d like to be and ask them for advice (rather than your parents) because they’ll give you input that is relevant and objective.
Stay true to your values by working for yourself
If you want to experience autonomy and fulfillment in your work, like Brett Wiggins, then try direct sales. It’s a great place to start. As a contractor, you can be your own boss, choose your own schedule, and get creative with your work. You’ll never have to worry about selling your soul to your company when you work for yourself.
With Vector Marketing, you’ll never have to sell your soul—only knives. Learn more about our employment opportunities today.