Q&A: I Hate My Job But I Make a Lot. What To Do?

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Q:  Okay I am 17 I work at a country club and I am the only outside guy who cleans carts,clubs and the driving besides my boss (who if me and the inside worker girl are there goes plays golf) I work 5 hours(2-7 so I can not hang out with friends) a day and make 8.00 a hour but make 35 in tips on a good day 15 on a bad but I hate golf and all the stuff I always get treated like I am a punk but everyone who is says I am a gentleman so I have a offer from Hastings one of my favorite places for coffee and books 8.50 a hour but I can work more 12:00-5:00 and get discounts on stuff. But my mom is not letting me she is saying I make too much to quit.

-Austin

A: Congratulations on your success to this point, Austin. There aren’t many people who can say that they make the type of money they want to make on their job, nor are there many people who can say that they have been offered positions at other places of employment while they are still on the job some place else. It sounds like you are doing something right! Keep up the good work.

To determine the right choice for you, it is best to weigh the pros and cons for each alternative. Here are some of the ones I have derived from your post:

Old Job:
* Outside work cleaning carts, clubs, driving
* Isolated from other employees who seem to have the better end of the bargain
* Less than desirable hours (conflict with other plans)
* Work 5 hours per day @ $8.00 per hour + $15-35/day in tips (potentially$55-75/day)
* Treated poorly, but recognized by others for your work ethic
* You hate golf

New Opportunity:
* Inside work dealing with a diverse group of customers (and/or interesting products)
* Several other employees on staff, fun, family atmosphere
* Better hours (earlier in the day, though still 5 hour block)
* Work 5 hours per day @$8.50 per hour ($42.50/day), employee discount, possibility that schedule may change to more or less hours periodically because of the nature of retail; tips, only if barrista (not guaranteed to be as high as $15 per day)
* You love Hastings and would take advantage of the discounts.

Other Things to Consider:
* Are your working a guaranteed number of hours each week at the golf course (i.e. 25 hours per week)?
* The nature of retail indicates that managers schedule according to their needs for the day/week. Will your total hours per week at Hastings be guaranteed?
* Will your schedule at Hastings be flexible or will it always 12P-5P? Are you required to be flexible in this way at the golf course (for holidays, weather, etc.)?
* Are you interested in a long career at Hastings? Could you see yourself moving up in the company (to be a General Manager, for example)?
* Are the transportation costs to both jobs the same or different?

I generally steer people in the direction of doing the things they love. If I were to make that suggestion for you, I would suggest that you go to Hastings, since you have a strong dislike for golf and enjoy Hastings overall. My hesitation, however, is twofold. First, the networking possibilities at golf club are awesome. Hobnobbing with the people you have the ability to meet at the golf course could only serve you in the future. These are the types of people you WANT to see your work ethic. Just like you were offered the position at Hastings, you could possibly be offered an even better, higher paying position by a golfer who sees something special in you. This makes the work at the golf course a good grooming ground for you. A change in your perspective concerning that fact could be helpful.

Secondly, a job in retail is not the most stable position there is and your upward mobility is generally limited to retail management. There is nothing wrong with that if this is the arena to which you aspire; however, turnover is high, both in lower level employees and management because business is often driven by sales. This also affects how often and how long you get to work.

Is there a way you can do both? Perhaps you can pick up a few hours a week at Hastings to test the waters and if you decide that you want to do that exclusively, you can transition to that being your only job. If you decide that the work ISN’T for you, you won’t have lost your other position.

Best wishes.

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