Friday, August 7, 2009

A Few Words On Life Decisions

In the spring of 2008 I was faced with one of my life’s most interesting decisions. I had to choose between accepting an attractive job offer at a new organization or staying at the job I had known and loved for more than five years. Numerous predecessors before me had lasted between six months and two years in my position, but none longer. At over five years I could feel myself burning out. Long hours without enough time to recuperate led me to question the sustainability of such a schedule. However, I did like my job most of the time and found it to be fulfilling work.

The job I was being offered would have been an advancement professionally and a significant increase in annual salary and benefits, but it would likely mean just as long hours and perhaps even less time off. Ultimately a third option would be the path I eventually followed. A new agreement with my employer would restructure my contract into a ten month position. Similar to a school teacher’s contract I would get eight weeks off in the summer, but would retain my benefits all year. All and all it was the best possible outcome, a rare “win win” situation in a world that seems to lack them. My employer retained an employee they valued (me), the company saved money by not paying me for two months a year, and I kept a job I loved, but found a way to build in the downtime I needed.

I wonder if someday I will look back on my decision and regret not choosing the path of increased wealth and professional advancement. I turn thirty soon. How long can I continue to choose kayaking over planning for life outside kayaking? Will I ever retire with such an approach to decision making or will I be working until I fall into the grave. Will I always consider this decision to be the right one?

Having just returned from my eight weeks off work for the summer I feel reaffirmed once again in my decision to choose time and quality of life over money and professional advancement. I am relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to work hard at my job once again. A job that once felt was an unsustainable workload and schedule has become manageable and fun again. I am a happier person and better employee with my current contract and that is a “win win”.

Until Next Time...


kayak session

1 comment:

Tyler said...

what do you do for a living?