Hello everyone!  Hope you’ve had a great weekend and a very happy Valentine, Galentine and Balentine’s Day :)

This week, I would like to cover the ever-important topic of hustling.  I originally planned on discussing all the details in one post, but I quickly realized that the topic is too complex to squeeze into a single post.

I’ve been asking myself a lot of big questions this year.  Who am I?  What makes me happy?  How do I get there?  But the question that really makes me scratch my head is, When will I stop hustling?
You can always count on Derek Zoolander to ask life's biggest questions - gif from here
You can always count on Derek Zoolander to ask life’s biggest questions – gif from here

 

What is hustling?

So what do I mean by hustling? I don’t mean being out there on the street doing something deceptive or sleazy.  I also don’t mean prostituting yourself in the literal sense, although you might come close to it.  I do mean struggling to make a living.

I do mean having to get creative to pay your rent.  I do mean doing things that you’d rather your classmates and peers not know about.

Sometimes you need to do some embarrassing things to get where you want - gif from here
Sometimes you need to do some embarrassing things to get where you want – gif from here

Not because they’re illicit or immoral, but because it might be a tad humiliating when you have a degree in kick ass and don’t get to use it.  (By degree in kick ass I mean: Juris doctor, doctor of LAW, B*!)

For instance, you might not know where you’ll work next week, so your family members might offer some practical tips on getting a new job

When I talk about hustling, I also mean living in a constant state of unknown – whether it is not knowing when your current job will end, or when you’ll find the next work, or simply not knowing where the next month, week or day will lead you.

Hustling is both liberating and unbelievably scary in its unpredictability and total dominance over your life.  I never know what will happen.  My job could end without any notice, or it could go on for months longer than I anticipated.

A hustler may not have a nine-to-five job with a 401-k to structure things, and sometimes it gives you a lot of independence.  You can work 80 hour weeks for five months, and then when your assignment ends, you can take a week or two to travel, relax or try new hobbies.  Or you could wait it out, applying for every job out there while on unemployment.

New Job, New People!

Another great perk is the people you meet.  Since you do not have a permanent job, every new assignment brings you to new people, and new environments.  Sometimes those people are totally awesome, and sometimes they’re a tad wacky!  But that only means that you have a constant source of entertainment.

Sometimes it's a blessing to have an over-enthusiastic coworker- gif from here
Sometimes it’s a blessing to have an over-enthusiastic coworker- gif from here

But that freedom can sometimes be paralyzing.  How should you spend your free time?  Do you continue applying for “real jobs,” or do you try to enjoy those precious moments on things like sleep (especially upon working 70-80 hour weeks)?

Who’s In Charge Here?

Another unexpected aspect of a lifestyle of hustling is that you have both less and more control over your own destiny.  We might be under the thumb of some very large players, whether it be the economy, a big corporation that pays us, or the people who choose to give us (or to withhold from us) any means to learn a living (like recruiters).  And these players really do structure our lives in ways that might not be readily apparent.  What firm you work for, or what assignment you are placed on often is out of your hands because the people above you will decide.

However, you only really get anywhere through by relying on your own wits.  I’d like to think of it as a mix of luck, determination and balls of steel.  If you set yourself apart, you are more likely to get more work further down the road.  You need to make a good impression on everyone so that you are asked to return.  And those are things that are in your power, yours only.
Sometimes hustling feels like this - My own picture
Sometimes hustling feels like this – My own picture

Now, a year into working temporary law jobs, I’m wondering how I got myself into this position, and why I am still constantly worried about the next paycheck.

I still have absolutely no bargaining power when it comes to how I am treated, and the entities that hold all the cards really don’t give a rat’s left buttocks about me.  To them I’m disposable.  If they realize that they will make more money without me, they will not hesitate to throw me back on the street, or put my job “on hold” for a few days or weeks while they get their act together and decide to rehire me at a time that’s convenient to them.

However, I also know that my integrity and positive attitude is my personal means to success, and sanity!  So here’s to taking baby steps.  You never know where the hustle will lead you.

Your future starts now?? Oh wait, where am I going? - gif from here
Your future starts now?? Oh wait, where am I going? – gif from here
      Are you hustling?  What tough choices have you made to improve your odds at a solid paycheck, or a worthy career?  Do you appreciate any lessons you’ve learned from these obstacles?

Please comment, share your thoughts and let me know what you think.  Please help me keep this a positive forum.  I am so excited for some debate, but let’s respect each other please.  I reserve the right to monitor and delete any inappropriate posts.  Thanks in advance!

3 thoughts on “Every Day I’m Hustling

  1. I hustled my way through 2012-2013 and it certainly makes me appreciate my underpaid full time job. I think it’s frustrating how expensive it is to gain skills that don’t have much value in this economy! Anyone else??

    1. Agreed – it’s a tough time, but hustling leads to unforeseen avenues :) Thanks for your feedback, I appreciate it!

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