Happy new job!
It’s 2020. Do you know where your next job is?
Or are you one of those very special people who love their current job and would never ever thinking of changing? We have a name for people like this. We call them “weirdos.”
For everyone else, the idea of a new job or even a totally new career is always simmering right below the surface. What can bring this slow simmer to a boil?
A bright, shiny new year.
If a change in your employment status ranks high on your list of New Year’s resolutions, resolve to take a gander at “Thinking About a Job or Career Change? Read This,” a recent article by Tim Herrera in The New York Times.
The article starts the ball rolling with a provocative question — “Are you doing what you actually want to be doing?”
Though Herrera admits it is “one of the toughest questions we’ll grapple with in our lives,” I believe a better question is — would you do what you are doing if you weren’t paid for doing it?
Unless you have some deep-seated need to be hammered on by an overpaid, undereducated louse of a manager, the answer will be “probably not.” (If the answer is “absolutely yes,” please send me your resume immediately. I’ve been looking for someone like you for a very long time.)
Assuming a change does seem attractive, Herrera introduces us to Art Markman, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of the book, “Bring Your Brain to Work.”
I must confess this title did not appeal to me. On any given workday, you may find me at my desk, but my brain is at home, eating salty snacks and binge-watching “The Politician.”
For those who do occasionally participate in Bring Your Brain to Work days, you may be surprised to know that “the average worker will spend roughly 80,000 hours at work over the course of her working life.”
Eighty-thousand hours isn’t nearly enough to grasp the wonderfulness of “The Politician,” but when it comes to spending time in a job you hate, it could motivate you to consider a change. But consider thoughtfully. You don’t want to jump from the frying pan to the fire and from the fire to the Instapot and from the Instapot to the Breville Joule Sous Vide, 1100 Watts, All White — at this writing, $144.95 at Amazon.
In the opinion of our authors, the decision to make a change requires “thinking about your values” and finding a job that “fits that core set of values you have.”
For those of us who shed our values the instant we received our first paycheck, it may be difficult to come up with even one itsy-bitsy tiny value. (If this is your situation, take one of mine — value sloth, especially when it comes with a ridiculous amount of disproportional remuneration.)
Assuming you have absolutely no interest in “putting time into genuine, honest introspection,” Herrera suggests that a simpler way to approach the decision is to ask yourself, “What are the situations that make me feel terrible, and what do they have in common?”
If you feel terrible when given an assignment that requires effort and carries with it an expectation that you will actually produce results, you will know that the right job for you requires only that you show up, look pretty and breathe regularly.
In other words, get ready for your new career as an HR professional.
If it turns out that one of your core values is making money, instantly banish this thought from your mind. Studies have shown “that money starts to offer diminishing happiness returns once a salary reaches about $75,000.”
It’s not that simple. For example, you may be quite content with earning $75,000 until you learn that your co-worker earns $75,001. But Herrera is sticking with his story, insisting that “you can’t spend your way out of doing something that makes you genuinely miserable.”
I suggest you test this theory. Go ahead! Make 2020 the year you get yourself a new job. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as it pays $150,000, or maybe $500,000, or maybe a cool mill after taxes, with 26 weeks of vacation and a Gulfstream III thrown in for good measure.
Keep at this job for 10 years, and then see how you feel. If you’re still miserable in 2030, you can start thinking about a change.