I’ve been back in full-time employment for a whole year now, and I’ve been thinking about the place work occupies in my life.
I do not want my life to revolve entirely around work … but that said, I would much rather focus on work than the domestic front. Paid work can be frustrating (and a whole bunch of other adjectives) but I find it so much more personally fulfilling than doing household type work.
If money were no object, I would literally never cook or clean. I would pay to have all that done. Not because I think my time is super valuable, but because I simply don’t enjoy those tasks and I am not very good at them. Eating good food made by others = one of my biggest joys.
On a macro level, here’s what else I’ve been contemplating, more generally.
Your pay does not always reflect your worth
It’s common sense, and we all know this. You are more than your paycheck. But this REALLY hit home for me this year, having moved out of a field that is notorious for underpaying and overworking.
It seems crazy to me that people like the Starbucks barista profiled by the NY Times work so hard and get paid so much less than I do. Or that some construction foremen can earn less than me when that is objectively a much harder and more important job. And don’t get me wrong, I’m hardly rolling in it; I’m only now making the equivalent of a starting salary in many other fields. Yes, sometimes it’s because the higher-paying role genuinely creates more value/ROI for the business – but not always.
There is a LOT of money floating around out there
I have written about countless funded startups and interviewed both investors and entrepreneurs. T has sold stuff to people with (in my humble opinion) way too much money.
It’s clear to me that there is money to be made – if you can tap into it. That means getting into the right industries in the right kinds of roles.
Money affords happiness
There’s no such thing as ‘broke yet happy’ in my world. Never has been, never will be.
I earn more now. That reduces my stress levels. It enables me to live a more enjoyable life.
I hate scrimping. Don’t get me wrong, I am really frugal by nature, and I suppose that’s why I hate to have to cut back beyond that.
For years I thought T would outearn me – but that’s not how life has worked out.
Strangely enough, an unexpected benefit of what I do these days is that the things I struggled with previously – the external/outward facing stuff, coming up with story ideas – aren’t factors anymore. And for the first time I feel like I have the means to support (financially speaking) the creative things I love – bands, publications.
New Zealand can offer a great lifestyle, but it’s not a cheap place to live, particularly in Auckland. If I have the opportunity to earn more to fund a better life, then that’s not a route I’m going to turn my nose up at.
Also: at some point, I would like to work someplace that pays bonuses. Just to see what it’s like.