Friday, February 19, 2010

money or heart?

when i was a young single mom, i worked on a trading floor with a bunch of brokers who were living it up at the time and making ridiculous amounts of money. and i mean, i got an offer at one point to work with the guys on the floor. that offer came with with a hell of a starting pay. the thought of making 70 grand a year at 25 years old (with a 6 month old kid) was pretty tempting.

but only for about 5 minutes.

because you want to know how i think? i was flattered by the offer and knew it would probably be smart to take it so i could have financial security for me and the boy. but i also knew that my heart wasn't in the financial industry. and that if i did take that position, i would most likely feel stuck forever. i would be making so much money, that i would probably put myself in a position where i "had" to always make that much money (or more) from there on out.

and then the main thing for me was, how would i ever get back into the entertainment industry if i took a job like this with that kind of money attached to it? how would i ever be in a place where i could walk away from it?

i didn't take the job. i left and ended up getting a job at disney. and i've never regretted it, because i don't make my choices based on dollar signs. and plus i fucking loved working at disney. not the actual job i did, but i really enjoyed the company and the perks that came along with working there (disneyland every weekend for freeeeee anyone??)

i've always been this way.
it's how i'm programmed.
it's how i function.
i work with my heart. i'm not money based. i never have been. i always try to look at the grand scheme of things and not simply the immediate. i look down the road. i envision myself years later and then i plan accordingly.

and i think the biggest part is.... i feel like i really KNOW myself. i know how i'll react to something. i know when i can help myself out and i'll be thanking myself later. i knew that if i took that job, i would eventually regret everything about it- except probably all the nice things i had.

but it wouldn't be enough if i didn't feel internally happy. i knew my heart and soul would be screaming for me to get into something more fulfilling. to get back into the one industry that is so fucked up but i still love it. you see, i have to care about what i do. that's what makes me happy. enjoying where i work, what i work on, and feeling good about my contribution to it. the money doesn't hurt of course, but it's not what truly matters to me.

but i know there are so many other people out there who are the exact opposite. they don't care what they do, or who they work for, they just want the biggest paycheck possible. i don't begrudge them their success.... i just think we're different at our cores. and that's okay...

but i'm curious- which type are you?


Kelly said...

I am doing what I've always wanted to do, but I'm not as happy as I thought I'd be. Some days I want to throw it all away for a homestead in the country somewhere and other days I want a cushy office job that ends at 5 pm and requires no higher brain function than answering a phone.

The honest answer: I think I've learned that I am happiest with the least amount of stress. Finding that low-stress profession is the problem.

Jenna said...

Wow. You struck a cord with me with this post. I have always felt that heart should come first, no matter what the pay is. Ten years ago I felt differently. And now, ten years later, here I am stuck doing what I once wanted to do but am not fulfilled in any way in regard to my heart. And I can't tell you how much I want to be doing something different. I am faced now with a tough economy and it's hard for anyone to take a chance these days with someone with no experience - even knowing how passionate they are and how much they want to do it and make that change. I am really trying to make that happen. Sometimes I feel that it won't, but I'm trying to keep positive.

On another note...I, too, worked for a broking place in the OC back in 94. I had started as a receptionist, moved up to a brokers asst, and then I became one of the trading reps for the company. I'm laughing because they also offered me a huge package to move up, and I was at a crossroads and decided to move to NoCal to get my degree. Numbers/finance were def not my thing either.

Andie said...

I'm a bit of both. For me, I can't live the life I want if I don't have any money. I like to travel, experience things, live comfortably. So I have a regular job that pays the bills. And I'm happy at my job. My coworkers treat me well, the company treats me well, and while I'm not doing what I went to college for, I do find a certain sort of feeling of accomplishment when I get work at my job completed.

My "heart" comes out when I do the photography gig on the side. I love it and do it to earn a little bit of cash and it is super worthwhile to me. I hope that makes sense! LOL

Grand Pooba said...

Dang girl, you definitely have found the secret to life. I don't know many people who would give up an opportunity like that. Most people can only see what's righ in front of them. Not the big picture. I commend you for that my dear!

Me? I wouldn't say I'm whole heartedly not money conscience. The job I have now I chose over another opportunity because it offered more money. Both jobs sounded good but the money was the deciding factor. So I guess I'm sort of both, I like to pay attention to what makes me happy but at the same time, I want to be successful.

But I'd give it all up to have a kid any day.

judy in ky said...

With my heart all the way... it's why I'm not wealthy.

Alison said...

I obviously don't teach middle school for all the money they pay me. (That's a Ha!)

But, I love what I do, I enjoy the kids, and I am fascinated by math and science. I hope to inspire young ones along the way. AND, I may not get compensated with lots of money, but I get TIME. Summers off with my own family (husband is also a teacher) and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

P.S. Lesson planning, checking in homework, and grading tests after dinner or on the weekends? Sucks ass.

Lara said...

I'm a high school teacher. I think it's pretty clear which one I am. :-P

sara said...

Gotta love what I do...
That's why (pushing up on 40) I am back in school for Diagnostic Imaging and started a biz making functional art.
A far cry from the Architecture degree I initially went out for, oh...22 years ago. lol

But I couldn't have known that about myself at such a young age as you did! Good for you!!


Katie said...

I took the Coach job because I was unemployed and needed money, now that I have a job that I don't like I'm only going to take one that is worthwhile when I do find one...

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Heather@WHMB said...

Hmmm, I'm somewhere in between but it's a struggle to maintain that constant balance. I love being a mom, having good relationships with friends and family, but I also love kicking ass at work. I take a lot of pride in what I do and it's always been a challenge I love to face to be a high heel wearing bitch in the conference room. Now, I'm not really a bitch, and I actually work very hard to maintain the respect I know I deserve, but sometimes at the end of the day it can be meaningless. The paychecks are nice, and combined with my husbands allow us to do the things we love - have our babies, travel, buy a cute handbag, all the while maintaining that balanced.

Sonia said...

I was a money maker first, and did a job I HATED, for 15 years. I was forced to quit by no longer having a sitter for my son, and because I got robbed for the second time on the job. It was the best thing that ever happened to my work life!
Now I make piddle for money, but I'm doing a fun job that I enjoy going to every day. :) It took a long time for me to finally figure it out, but I'm after a job that makes me happy, before it makes me rich.

nakedjen said...

i follow my heart. that is the only way i can stay firmly on this planet.

also, i just finished reading spirited, too! i am a big believer in spirit guides (and talk to mine all the time). the book is great, isn't it?