Good employees quit or corporate employees are mediocre


Good employees quit because they value themselves. Companies are chock full of employees who span the gamut of experience, intelligence, and goals. Some employees are happy to just have a job and get a paycheck while others are looking for a challenge, something to stretch their minds and test their abilities. Most employees like the steady paycheck, get married, have kids, and get a mortgage – all the stuff the company wants its employees to do. Why? Because when an employee does these things it solidifies the company as the employee’s owner/God.

However, sometimes, the company hires an employee who just doesn’t fit in. Chances are you know the type of person I’m talking about – the employee who asks questions, who questions authority, who sees through all the bullshit, who doesn’t play the political passive aggressive games, and who calls it like they see it. This post is for those who think they may fall into this category.

Before we get into the meaty details, let me first define a good employee. A good employee is a person who has real world skills (computer programming, web development, sales ability, design, writing, deal making, and resourcefulness). Real world skills are skills that can be used in the real non-insulated corporate world to make money. Can you imagine a middle manager at a big company being thrown into the real world with the task of creating a company and making money? I imagine that once the middle manager is thrown out of  the insulated company, the manager won’t know what to do. Why? Because reading reports and looking over spreadsheets for company jargon isn’t a real world skill. It’s only purpose remains within the company. How many businesses are there that specialize in reading reports anyways? Frickin zero. Why? Because it’s simply not a valuable skill to have.

My point is this – employees of companies who have no real world skills are trapped in a jail from which there is no escape. The goal then is to develop real world skills as quickly as possible. Good employees by definition have these skills and are voted most likely to quit, start a company(s), and become millionaires. **Note** your company may offer trainings and leadership courses but please see these for what they are – a waste of your time which would be better spent learning a real world valuable skill.

The logic behind this is rock solid. So without further ado, let’s look at what makes a good employee. A good employee in the quitting the corporate life and becoming a millionaire sense.

  • Good employees refuse to play political games for the rest of their lives. And why would they want to? Good employees as defined have real world options. Real world options mean the good employee will consider many business ideas all at once. So while the passive aggressiveness and manipulations in the workplace are going on, the good employee will silently contemplate various exit strategies that require real world skills. The good employee places a value on their life and on their abilities. Thus, the good employee quickly realizes they are better than and above the petty office environment and as such will design an exit strategy promptly.
  • Good employees refuse to have ceilings on their income. Good employees as described above value themselves and their abilities. Since this is the case, the good employee quickly realizes they are worth more outside the company than working like a rat inside the company. In other words the good employee realizes they can make more money utilizing their real world skills in the REAL WORLD not in the insulated company environment. The good employee asks themselves the question, “does anyone or any company value someone that can read spreadsheets and format reports good”? The answer is the real world could care less about a person with these abilities. Definitely not enough to make a good living and earn freedom that’s for certain.
  • Refuse to bow down to someone mediocre (boss). Good employees also quickly realize their career minded middle manager bos isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. And why would they be? Chances are this middle manager has made the tough choice to try their luck at being a career employee thus entrusting their future to the company. Why would the manager choose this? Because the manager has no real world skills that could serve to make money in the real world. And yet, this boss gives orders and commands to the good employee. For those who don’t believe that manipulation exists in the workplace can’t you see the contradiction here – a good employee serving a mediocre boss. Do you honestly think the mediocre boss is going to play nice with the good employee? Nothing could be further from the truth!
  • Refuse to spend the best/rest of their lives in a cubicle. Pop quiz – who wants to spend the best days/years of their life living and working in a cubicle? Not anyone that is sane – that much is certain. Good employees will be the first to refuse to live the best years of their life in a cubicle. And when I say best years of their life, I mean ages 28-60, you know the most important years of anyone’s life that include getting married, having kids, buying a house, and doing all of the things more important than sitting at a cubicle reading reports. As described above, the good employee values themselves and their abilities and so it is a small thing for the good employee to refuse to spend their life in this manner. The good employee will look at their time as a priceless commodity which serves to make the good employee devise ways on how to exit the false corporate world.
  • Good employees want to engage their brains and abilities to the fullest extent possible. How can you fully engage your brain reading stupid reports and typing numbers on a spreadsheet? “Oh my gosh honey, a new Excel Spreadsheet guidebook just got released on Amazon, I think I need to learn some new formulas for work!”. Ok, I’ll stop with making fun, but the point remains, this is just ignorant. Nobody fully engages their mind doing this type of shit. When I say fully engage I’m talking about something like coming up with an idea, planning it all out, designing the website, developing the website, setting up the business framework, getting logos, setting up all social media, making networking connections. What I’m talking about is the difference between simple work versus creating something that has never existed before. It’s easy to do the same job day in and day out. But it’s quite another thing to create something from scratch, something that hasn’t existed before. Now you tell me, which engages your abilities more? For a good employee the choice is easy.
  • Know they are worth more than what the company pays them. A good employee will constantly be thinking about how much money they could be making if they were working for themselves rather than the company. A good employee while being employed at the company will constantly be improving themselves. And I don’t mean by getting an MBA, JD, or graduate engineering degree. There comes a point where school education doesn’t matter anymore. And if you have a college degree, that’s all you need. Anything more and you’re splitting hairs. No offense if you have a grad degree. I have a law degree and I think it’s one of the most useless things ever. What I’m talking about is the good employee by their very nature will be curious and eager to learn. The good employee will read a lot on a wide variety of subjects and thus improve their ability to see the world and the major trends underlying reality. This serves to put the good employee in a position to make money off their hard earned knowledge in the real world.

Two more things I want you to consider (1) if what I’m saying is true, then chances are the majority of employees at companies are mediocre (because the good one’s will sooner or later quit) and (2) How fair is it that a good employee who is more knowledgeable, intelligent, and better gets paid the same as an idiot for doing the same job? Alas, this is reality and to the company it is fair. Why? Didn’t you know, to the company you are just a number.


30 thoughts on “Good employees quit or corporate employees are mediocre

  1. Wow this article resonated with me. I’m currently in this work situation and I’m busy planning my exit strategy. Wish it could come sooner though.
    Thanks for the motivation and affirmations (I’m not going crazy)

    1. Super welcome Amin. You’re definitely not going crazy (although that’s exactly what your company wants you to think). Keep on keeping on, don’t question yourself, and push through. Once you get to the other side, you’ll see how much money you can make on your own and you’ll appreciate your new found freedom. I’m here to help, email me if you have any questions or want to talk!

  2. Great post. These are my thoughts exactly. You’re not only physically in a cubicle but mentally, creatively, and emotionally. That’s why I agree with your article James. Upper management, after being in a physical cubicle the majority of the day they leave work and their mindset is trapped within their mental cubicle. It’s sad because most don’t even realize their current state. Great post!

  3. Thank you for putting into words my thoughts.

    I’ve been a wageslave for twenty years.

    I find your advice and your train of thought to be inspiring and it reinforces my decision to build my own business.

    I have skills that are undervalued and underpaid. I am rapidly expanding my knowledge of experience of doing “it” for myself.

    I’m looking forward to leaving my wageslave past behind and striding towards my destiny as an entrepreneur.

    1. Matt, keep on keeping on! What I’ve found is that once a person wraps their head around this logic/train of thought it’s all downhill from there. I’ve heard it said that once you learn something you’ll never be the same. With this train of thought that we are all talking about on here, not only will you never be the same, but you’ll change the entire history of your life!

    1. Thanks Terry, much appreciated! When you think about this consider the opportunity cost of becoming a career employee. Sooner or later there comes a time when the line has to be drawn and you make the decision to quit or remain there for the rest of your life. The catch is you can’t wait too late to make the decision otherwise you’ll have a tough time developing the necessary skills to survive and thrive in the real world!

  4. My heart says yes but my mind says no…

    James, I can not describe you the battle going on between my aspiration for true freedom to do what I want to the reality knocking on my door.

    I’m writing you this as I’m currently interviewing for several job positions and I just can’t bear the thought that I’m helping accomplish someone else’s dream.

    I’m a curious guy, I’m a self learner and I have a wide range of of skills and knowledge and yet I feel like I wasn’t made to be self employed. Sorry for the bad language but I just don’t have the balls to go for it. Maybe it’s the fear from failure, maybe it’s the comfort of being told what to do and get my paycheck… I don’t know.

    There’s no point to this massage, just to let you know that your posts are a bittersweet reminder to me that there’s a way out, and maybe one day, hopefully, I will find it myself.

    1. Being a self-learner (self-taught) is absolutely one of the best qualities a person can have. With that being said, that fact alone means you have options. But there is a flip side to all of this which is there are typically two ways out (that I know of) of a company. They are (1) you go through a lot of shit at work with bad boss, co-workers, ignorance etc, get full on pissed off and fucking quit, or (2) you have balls of steel and are insane, and quit hoping that it all works out and quit. If neither one of these applies to you currently, then you won’t quit. It’s only and unless one of these things come to pass that a person will quit. Ideally you’d want one of these things to happen early on in your career rather than at age 50, but alas beggars can’t be choosers. I personally fell into category (1) even though I am pretty crazy. Keep this in mind as you go through your career and if you find yourself bordering on rage then thats a good sign it’s time for you to quit!

  5. James you are so right, I find it frustrating that a lot of people don’t even seem to want to break out, some even seem happy! I guess you can’t break out of a jail unless you know you are in one.

    I want to thank you again for the email exchange we had James. It was your response (that is still saved in my inbox) that was the final decision making point for me to do what I’ve wanted to do for 8 years.

    My notice is in 🙂 I leave on the 16th December this year, I didn’t really have the full plan but I was confident I’d work out. Just since making the decision to leave the job of 19 years that I started from college I’ve already had the best month for non salary income I’ve ever had.

    I’ve also sorted the first 6 months of next year out with a 2 – 2.5day a week contract that will equate to bringing in my salary now and leave we the rest of the week to work on other stuff.

    I can’t thank you enough!


  6. Hi James,

    At one point, the light around me appeared to dim without cause.

    I meandered for business ideas with the hope that it will brighten my day one day, but I found none that was suitable.

    Despite this fact, I’m “earning” a very good living as a cubicle chimp in finance. ?

    One day, I stumbled upon an article you wrote on Quora about using drones to help certain businesses.

    Weeks later, I decided to buy a DJI drone because I wanted to be a UAS pilot.

    That article sparked my drive to buy an Inspire 1, which I’m planning to use to offer surveying services and inspection for construction sites.

    After over a month of practice, I’m proud to say I’ll be working on my first paid gig next week. Luckily, my four years of flying an RC helicopter helped ease the learning curve. Plus, the drone app for the iOS helped tremendously.

    Thank you so much for your wonderful article! You’re a great inspiration to us all. God bless!

  7. James nice article.Iam a keen follower of you.let me introduce myself iam SK from India and I want to quit my 9 to 5 rather I would say it a 9 to 8 hectic job….need to talk to you personally…

  8. The story of my life. I just quit last June, bought shares of a local bar and started an ecommerce business. During my last job I was viewed as the rebel and good-for-nothing employee. I am glad to find this!

    1. Hell yeah Jaime, I love to hear that! Don’t ever look back. You’ll learn a lot from starting the ecommerce, skill which you can then use to create more companies. Stay in touch, and keep me up to date!

  9. I turn 50 this year. So my question is; Do I want to keep doing this for another 15 years till pension or do something more meaningful and real for myself and my children? Well my goal is 50 4 50 in 6 months. Thanks for the article – it resonates with me. With abseiling we know it is not scaling the cliff that is the scariest. It is going over the edge.

    1. Awesome Colin – I’m happy you like the article! Please let me know if you have any questions about anything. And you’re exactly right – going over the edge is what separates out employees from business owners.

  10. This is basically my world. lol! I’ve got one foot in civil service and the other in my own freelance company, because THAT keeps me sane. The real world skills you described? I do four of them and am always learning new stuff to stay current, but so much of what you said is completely accurate!!!

    I’ve lost count of the people around me who give 60% on average, whereas I’m usually functioning at 150-200% capacity. Actually, if I did ‘JUST’ my job at 100% effort, it would be like a vacation. 🙂 It’s a soul sucking, mind numbing, demoralizing experience to watch others out-earn me while doing less. Meanwhile, my bosses look at me like I’m *supposed* to be doing everything under the sun…cuz I can. Not because these skills are necessarily part of my job mind you, but because they know I’m able to and now they don’t have to hire extra resources to do it.

    Well, I’m refocusing on my freelance because a) it pays better, b) it’s mine and c) I’M the G-DAMNED boss! lol Looking forward to more of your articles 🙂

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