Category Archives: Life Design

Reflecting on my Job

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: Continue reading

Goals Page

I have recently added a goals page to the top menu. This will help me keep track of my goals and give me some public accountability. It will also help to keep me focused. I have been known to flit from thing to thing in the past.

I would like to keep the goals page to medium to long term goals that are realistic and measurable. I am not sure how well it will work but I think it will help me keep my goals fresh in my mind.

Do you have a goals page on your blog? Why or why not? How can I make mine better?

The Gap Year – Not Just for Youngsters Anymore

I was perusing Google News when I came across an article about baby boomers taking a gap year very late in life. (Article) I have heard of gap years for younger people between high school and college or between college and starting a full time job. This was the first time I have read about it for older people.

The impression I received from the article is that these individuals took a risk. They gave up their secure but stressful jobs to pursue a passion and they mostly enjoyed the change. I like this idea. I wonder how many people that do this wish they had done it sooner. I hope I have the courage to follow my passion when the opportunity presents itself (or to even make the opportunity.)

I think being at the same job for 30 years would be incredibly boring. I think everybody probably thinks that when they are starting out. I am working hard to pay off my student loans so I have the chance to pursue more opportunities if I wish. I would like to save up a bit of money and then take a year off and go traveling. This might not be the most practical thing to do but it gives me a medium term goal.

This post has given me two goals

1. Pay off student loans

2. Take a gap year to travel/pursue hobbies

I may make a goals page. This would be a good way to track my goals and keep me somewhat accountable. Sometimes just typing things out helps me understand the situation better. I would suggest a blog to anyone.

Have you taken a gap year or know someone who has? Did they feel it was an overall positive experience?

My actual dollars per hour

I live in Madison but work in the suburbs. I take the bus because I don’t have a car. I recently had the idea to factor in my travel time when figuring out my dollars per hour, and the result isn’t pretty. From the time I leave to the time I return at night is 10.5 hours. This makes a big difference when I look at dollars per hour. Let’s look at an example

$15 dollars per hour* x 8 hours a day = $120 / day

Now let’s look at it with travel time:

$15 per hour x 8 hours a day = $120 / 10.5 hours = $11.43/hour

Adding in my travel time reduces my $/hr from 15 to 11.43.

What does this mean to me? I know that I would not be riding the bus for fun if not headed to work so it is fair to count it as “work” in my mind. I should move closer to work. If I could cut my time away from home from 10.5 hours to 9 hours (8 hours of work + .5 hours lunch + .25 hours to and .25 hours fro) my new $/hr would be:

$120 / 9 hours = $13.33/hr. Moving closer to work and cutting my commute would be like giving myself an almost $2/hr raise!

I would like to move closer to work. I will keep my eye on Craigslist to see if I can sublet my apartment and find a new one closer to work.

Have you ever cut your commute time?

*not my actual wage