Saturday, December 5, 2015

Adding Value

Many years ago, when I walked into the One Life to Live studio on West 66th Street, first as a college student fresh off the train to interview, and weeks later for my first day of work, I thought I was walking into a dream. What I was earning at the time barely paid my share of the rent and expenses of my New Jersey apartment. I spent parts of my day answering phones and making coffee. But I could not have been happier. I was in a job that most people could only dream about. I was meeting people and learning things completely unrelated to my college courses. And over the years, there was training, and promotion, and a paycheck that got slightly better, and then dramatically better. The job bought me a dream come true, and over time, a good salary, terrific friends, and all sorts of skills.

Among the things I have learned over the few years since that ended is that jobs can give you all sorts of things of value. At that first, and long-time, job, the value was often clear. But sometimes, what you're getting is not as clear. Sometimes, you just have to look a little more carefully to see the value. A job can buy you...

...Satisfaction at doing something you didn't think you could.
...Satisfaction at doing something that needs to be done.
...New people to enrich your life.
...New people to take you to your next step.
...Money to do what you need to do.
...Money to do what you want to do.
...New skills for today, and some for tomorrow.
...New skills for the current tasks, and for future ones.
...A feeling of power because you affect other people's lives.
...A feeling of power because you can affect your own life.

There are jobs that will check all these boxes, but I've learned not to disregard the ones that check only some. Because value comes in all kinds of forms. And we may as well not miss out on any.

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