“Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go! Move it, you have two minutes!” they yelled from the machine areas.
My shirt was wet under my neck and down my back. Dirt was sticking to the inside of my throat and I wanted to cough. The other guys had a habit of spitting saliva mixed with dirt onto the concrete base at the door where the big rig trucks and the warehouse met.
It was disgusting, but I guess I understood it better now.
During my first week there, I had an overwhelming feeling to throw up whenever the job got too hectic and you were forced to push your body to its limits or risk getting fired.
The job was simple:
“You see those boxes over there? Get them on the conveyor belt and send them our way.”
But those boxes carrying business cards and invitations eventually turned into truck tires and heavy packs of nuts and bolts wrapped in so much tape that it would hide all of the cardboard and make the box all the more slippery with the humidity of the 4am dew… into 60lb boxes of reams of paper and packs of steel plates.
Not my idea of a cool job.
Finding Your Worth
Some people will tell you that if you don’t like your job, then quit.
And I used to be one of those people.
But then I realized that most of those people that do quit end up getting another job that they don’t like and repeat the process all over again until they get used to it and are forced to weigh the outcomes of not having a job vs having one you don’t like.
One means falling behind on your bills and the other means getting by. Though I don’t like either of those options, I’d rather be getting by.
That’s if you consider only those two options. There are more.
How much do you get paid right now?
For the following example, I’m going to use myself as a guinea pig and show you exactly what I mean. I used to get paid $8.50 at that job I was describing in the beginning of this post. I was working at UPS unloading trucks. At the same time, I was building up an idea for a business and going to a community college after dropping out of my 4-year university and coming back from an internship where I was getting paid around $3,000 per month.
I went from an okay paying job to a minimum wage job and was still unhappy at both. That’s how I got by at just about everything because I thought life was about “being happy.” Quitting jobs because they weren’t making me happy.
Is that what life means to you too? Just being happy?
I hope not.
To me, life is about contribution, about service, and about making an impact. And there’s no way in hell I was getting that done by sitting at a desk for 9 hours a day or unloading delivery trucks. For some reason, we associated better pay with a better life and that’s all.
The Dilemma of Time
Time is all we have.
It is measurable, consistent, and every single human being on this earth has the same exact amount of minutes in a day. We can do what we want with it.
You can invest it, spend it, or sell it.
Time as an Investment
Time spent on education, learning a new skill such as reading, writing, building, critical thinking, etc., are some of the ways that people invest their time. You take time out of your day in order to learn something that will have an impact on the value of your time in the future.
The same way that money grows in an investment fund, is the same way that your time grows in value if you decide to sell it because suddenly your time is worth more to yourself and others.
Others like to look at time invested in a relationship or partnership can be an investment as well.
Sometimes time is invested and sold at the same time, like when you gain experience in your career. You’re getting paid while making yourself more valuable to companies with your newly gained experience.
Time as Something You Sell
Have you ever seen a security guard at work and wondered what else they do besides stand around with a badge and a flashlight? They have the training required to help during emergencies and provide safety to the establishment’s employees and customers. They’re also selling their time.
For every hour they work, they get paid $15. A fast food worker also sells their time.
Time Being Spent
This is what most people do after work. They sit down and watch television. They have fun doing whatever they like. Or just waste it. And that’s cool.
You can spend your time however you want, but you can also spend it, invest it, and get paid for it at the same time. I think that’s the way to go, but most of us end up balancing out the three.
The basic formula to figure out how much your time is worth
Formula to Calculate Your the Value of Your Time
How much you get paid per week (Divided) by number of hours worked: Value of Sold Time (Hour)
Let’s take me as the guinea pig. At one of my jobs, the Value of Sold Time (Hour) was $12.
That means that I can sell one of hour of my time for $12.
But see, that’s not all true right there and just about every time worth calculators I’ve found online so far only account for what my current job is, and can’t consider that I can charge $10,000 for consulting services and work for three weeks, or go drive an Uber for a week straight during a peak season and get some extra cash that way.
How much would you pay to get an hour of your own time back? If you can gauge that and place a value on it, then you can figure out the value of your time.
Not a very easy task.