Reflecting today on something Greg McKeown says in his book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.
If it’s not a “Hell Yes“, then it should be a “Hell No!”
Easier said than done, my friends. Easier said than done.
I mentioned back in my post, Lost, that I was struggling finding meaning in my career. In my plans for My Year of Living Dangerously, I’d resolved to stick out my current role for another year before going freelance. I’ve freelanced before and enjoyed the freedom and flexibility that the lifestyle offered. I made a good income, comparable to what I make as an employee, but I missed the collaboration that comes when working in an office. Ultimately that was what drove me back to full-time work.
I’ve held two jobs in the past 3 years (less than ideal) and I’ve struggled with both. Not the work per se, but the culture of my industry. Long hours, poor planning and many late nights working to unrealistic deadlines. Unpaid overtime with the promise of time-in-lieu that never quite materialises. It makes it hard to build a life outside of work when work takes up so much time and brain space.
An opportunity has now presented itself to move to a different industry. A similar role, or a role using similar skills, but in a different capacity. It is really an ideal job for someone in my position.
But the question is, do I want it?
The fact I’m asking the question suggests it is not a ‘Hell Yes!‘, which means I should be saying ‘Hell No!‘…. BUT, it is a good opportunity. It should be more money, more benefits and hopefully a different work culture. If I was determined to stick with my current career path, this opportunity would be a no brainer. It is definitely a good ‘career move’. The issue is that I’m not certain I want to stay in this career – so this opportunity may actually just serve to commit me to more years down a path I don’t want to be on.
The Minimalists have been talking about the differences between Career, Passion and Missions in their podcasts of late – their theory being (paraphrased somewhat!) that Careers can distract you from your Passion and you Mission. I tend to agree. But I do also think that pursuing the career can give you the financial freedom to pursue your passion and find your mission. There are arguments both ways!
It’s all hypothetical at the moment – as I haven’t actually been offered anything concrete. But I’ve been struggling with the hypothetical anyway. Whilst I don’t think this opportunity will lead me down the path I ultimately want to be on, I do think it will add valuable skills and credentials to my resume – which in turn will give me more freedom when (if) I do decide to go out on my own again. And from that perspective, it doesn’t seem like a bad idea.
So I guess I’ll see what the next few weeks brings. I’d be interested to hear your perspective on how you can balance your passions and creating the life you want with the need to earn an income. As the main income earner in my household, the importance of bringing home the bacon does weigh on me a bit. So I’d love to hear your thoughts.