I had a moment at work today that caused me to reflect on my job. I was seeking advice from a coworker. He is knowledgeable, a sort of elder statesman around the office. The kind of guy most people go to when they need help or see something that throws them for a loop. When I was done picking his brain he asked me how things were going. I replied and asked him the same question. “Oh you know, too much to do like always.” His inbox full of emails and voice messages seemed to back this up.
As I walked back to my desk a few thoughts crossed my mind. Would he take a pay cut to be able to work less? Could he? Does he enjoy his work?
Then my thoughts turned to me: Would I take a pay cut to be able to work less? Could I? Do I enjoy my work?
Let’s start with the last question first:
Do I enjoy my work?
I wouldn’t say I don’t enjoy my work. It is interesting work and I feel adequately compensated (although I wouldn’t complain about more). The people I work with are great. However I don’t see myself doing the same thing in 20 years.
Some days and weeks are better than others. When I am caught up on my list of things to do I work less overtime and enjoy myself more. When my list gets longer and I have a lot of outstanding tasks (or particularly thorny ones) I find myself being more stressed. Sometimes I find myself thinking and worrying about these things at night or on my days off. This is not ideal. Overall the level of enjoyment at work is acceptable. Onto the next question:
Would I take a pay cut to work less?
At the current time the answer to the above question is no. I am not exactly where I want to be financially yet. I would like to get my student loans paid down and save up a bit. But down the road the idea of part time work intrigues me. Either working only so many months out of the year or so many days out of the week. I think this would lead to less stress and overall life satisfaction. To be able to make this move, however, I would need to have a beefy emergency fund.
Could I take a pay cut to work less?
I don’t really know of anyone at my current employer who works a part time schedule in my position. As I noted above I am a ways from being in this position. But it is something I may start looking for or contemplating.
Reflecting on my Job
Overall I think the moments like the one I had today are important. They help me reevaluate where I am and where I want to go both in my career and in my life. I know that I still have some time before I get to where I want to be. I get impatient with these things but I know that I am laying a strong foundation. I have room to grow at my current company. And if I decide to move I have transferable skills. I will continue to make the most of my current job by learning and growing my skills set.