My Story: Boss mocked me
I was twenty-two and working a minimum wage job at a grocery store to pay for my college textbooks and my monthly metro card. I was fortunate to have parents that were willing to pay my tuition. One day, I was on my way back to my station – I worked in the prepared food section along with some other people – when the Curt, the general store manager asked me why I don’t have as many closing shift as I used to. I told him that since I’m still in school, I need time to do homework and sleep. Curt’s response was to laugh, turn to one of my coworkers and say “These young people are always using school as an excuse! My mother had three kids, worked two jobs AND went to school. Some people just don’t know how to hustle!”. He said all of this, in front of all my coworkers in prepared foods with a big old snarky smile on his face. I was left there wondering why a middle-aged man had such a problem with me going to college. What did me pursuing a higher education have to do with my hustle?
What is Hustle Culture?
Constant working, devoting as much of your day as possible working.
How can it become dangerous?
It gets dangerous when you:
- Constantly skip meals
- Spend less time with family and friends
- Miss out on educational opportunities
- Take on too many things at once
- Lack work life balence
When people devote ALL their time to working whether it’s for a dream or to save up money, they risk many health issues such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, anxiety, depression, etc. No amount of work is worth all that stress.
Is there a healthy way to Hustle?
Yes, there is. You can hustle healthily by
- Managing your time. There needs to be mandatory breaks.
- Consider school. It doesn’t have to be college. You go to a trade school or take individual classes. I went to college because I wanted to be a teacher.
- Learn new skills. This is great for building your resume. The more skills you master, the more desirable you are to potential employers.
- Make a list of goals. This will help you keep track of your progress and light a fire under you to stay on track.
- Really evaluate what you can do in X amount of time and be okay with it. You are not superhuman, and that’s okay.
- Know the difference between working hard and overworking.
My Story: Quitting and Getting my degree
I had ended my first year at my community college. It was summertime, and I needed a break. I was also coming up on my one-year anniversary of working at this grocery store and had a pretty decent amount of savings. This is not a crazy “eff you, I quit!” story. I did the professional thing, sending in my two weeks’ notice and did my job without incident. After that, I tutored every now and then while finishing school. Skip to a year later, and I was a proud twenty-three-year-old with an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education and a job interview set up. I looked my old grocery store up on yelp for the heck of it and read that it had closed for good. That grocery store was only open for about a year and a half. If I would have let Curt’s comments get to me, I would have risked getting my degree and other, better paying jobs in a field that I was passionate about. I would’ve risked a better future for a minimum wage job that would be gone anyway.