Ask most anyone why they work, and their answer is most likely to be some variation of "for the paycheck."
Money is clearly a huge motivation for those of us who forgot to hit the independently wealthy button on the way out of the womb, but when we see it as the only thing we get from our work, it can lead us down a slippery slope.
A comment from a client that "there's not a lot of profit in working with non-profits" got me thinking about how we evaluate what we get from our jobs. I countered that that might be true if you take a one-dimensional view of profit, but that the story might be different when looking at it from a multidimensional view.
Is financial remuneration important? Of course it is. But it's not the full story. And taken alone, it is one-dimensional and limiting.
Assess your multidimensional profit
What if you started looking at your career decisions in terms of multidimensional profit? Rather than seeing salary as the sole driver of your decision, look at a matrix of profit types. For example:
- How energized and engaged you feel by the work.
- How much you care about the outcome of the work.
- How inspired you are by the difference you're making.
- How well it enables you to imagine looking back and not regretting how you lived.
- The time it allows you for quality connection with the things that matter.
That's just a quick, off the top of my head list. No doubt there are more. What would you add?
Next time you have a career decision to make, challenge yourself to move beyond the one-dimensional financial picture and start asking what kind of multidimensional profit you would make.
The key is awareness. You can't make an informed decision if you don't ask the questions.
Try this: Take a look at your current job. Using the questions listed above as well as any you come up with yourself, look at it from a multidimensional profit perspective. How profitable is it? What could you do to increase your non-financial "salary?"
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Time for a career change? Launch it with...
The Occupational Adventure Guide:
A Travel Guide to the Career of Your Dreams
by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst