Monday, December 06, 2004

Work, Money and Changing Jobs

Here is something about work and money and changing jobs.

Freud thought that the key to a meaningful life was the successful ability to work and to love. I think most people nowadays would also add the ability to play as a necessary ingredient to the mixture. But if play and love are so important to us, why are the rewards of work so vital that we put it before both the others? I think the answer is relatively simple.

Work has the unique characteristic of providing us with a disguise. Work can offer us the leading part in a play, it enables us to save the kingdom from ruin and to win the heart of the leading lady. We may not be entirely aware that this dramatic scenario is unfolding but there is no question that this is all happening. Work offers us the opportunity to come home at the end of the day and feel, as we walk in the door, that we are heroes. We have met face to face the worst that life could throw at us and were victorious. As the protagonist in Tom Wolfe’s novel The Bonfires Of The Vanities put it, he was the master of the universe.

Can you really then put a price tag on the opportunity to feel so great. Can you financially quantify the opportunity to come home soaked in the warm feeling of success? In the eyes of your family you may be the same person who left the house earlier in the day but you know you are not the same. You have a job that pumps up your ego that enhances your self-esteem and pushes your self-confidence through the roof. Can you truly say how much that feeling is worth?

If you have a job that provides you with one of the necessary ingredients for a meaningful life you must hold on to it. If, however, you are not the conquering hero at the end of the day you must look elsewhere. Buying a bigger house, a faster car or a bigger television? That’s not the answer. You need a different job. Forget about the money. The important thing is how you feel about yourself at the end of the day. Money cannot buy that feeling. Nothing can buy that feeling because that feeling is not for sale.

If you want to be happy you need a job that makes you feel special. Not rich, not handsome, not talented. Special.

Find the job that gives you that special feeling and you will find that it is better than being rich or handsome or talented. You will come home at day’s end a better person. Your family will thank you for it and the rewards will be invaluable.

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