How Much Is Your Time Worth?
Before the final move to Arizona, I thought I was being pretty smart flying out several months beforehand to set up a job. I'd called in favors, used contacts and landed a great position with an international company doing what I love best...and the salary was fantastic.
There were only two things I failed to consider in all of this.
- The commuting distance from home to work. I blame this on being totally unfamiliar with the area and not realizing quite what the word "traffic jam" really meant.
- The branch manager of this particular facility was a micromanaging nazi.
After about five months of getting up in the dark, driving one and a half hours in heavy traffic to arrive by 6 a.m....putting up with this jerk for a full day because it was expected that we'd leave, and reluctantly at that, no earlier than 6 p.m....only to fight my way home with the other lemmings...somehow whip together dinner...only to fall into bed totally exhausted...well you get the picture..I was miserable. Worse though, was that this was NOT the reason I came to Arizona in the first place. I was here to be with Donnie...and working six days a week was not giving me any time with him at all.
I was fortunate though that the salary I'd earned in those five months gave me the luxury to quit and re-prioritize.
What I realized was this...
My time is valuable to me. When I was younger, work may have taken a greater precedence...but I'd paid my dues and didn't have a damn thing to prove anymore. What I was in effect doing...was selling my time, hours of my life that I would never get back. And to me...despite the very good salary, it was no longer worth it.
This is not to say that I didn't want to work. I hate being idle...it makes me feel useless. But if I was going to work again, I wanted it to be on MY terms.
I did find a perfect fit after about three months of vegging in front of my computer and playing endless hours of World of Warcraft...*grin* The company is small, the people I work with have an attitude that fits with mine...that is...work is work, but if it's personally important to you, work can wait. My hours are sane and more in tune with my natural sleep cycle. And the commute is about a third of what it once was.
Sure...I took a cut in pay. I'm selling less of my time...so of course I would. However, I'm richer in many other ways.
Oddly enough, I don't feel that I'm unable to afford what I need to be happy with the cut in salary. Obviously, whatever I was buying wasn't making me happy enough to miss it. I've taken back some of my life and decided not to sell it to anyone. Instead I'm going to spend it wisely...