How to build a better job
[Recently] we had this major Powerball lottery that a lot of people got excited about. Our CEO at NPR bought everyone in the company lottery tickets, and so we spent a day speculating what it would be like to win $200 million.
What I found most interesting was that we asked several people, "Would you quit your job if you won this money?" and I found it very revealing what people's answers were.
So some people unhesitatingly said, of course I'd quit my job. Why in the world would I keep working if I had $200 million in the bank?
And other people had exactly the opposite response, which was sort of complete bewilderment. Why in the world would I quit my job when I'm doing something that I really enjoy doing?
I think it speaks exactly to what you're saying here, the people who are working because the work is an end in itself and the people who are working because the work is a means to an end.
The episode explores how people who view their jobs as callings are generally happier, but not because they lucked into landing the perfect gig. Instead, they have redefined the shape of their work to make it more personally rewarding. This can be risky and difficult, but the rewards are immense.
It covers some of the same ground as my post recommending you never settle for a day job you hate, but from a different perspective.
Andrew Reeves is an entrepreneur, touring musician, and practitioner of eleven martial arts. He reached financial independence at age 28 and has dedicated his retirement to fighting crime and helping others.
Can you shape your job to fit your heart? What podcasts do you listen to? What would your work day look like if your energy and interests were aligned?
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