What matters more, the process or the goal?

Hacking employment, improving work, professional development
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Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: What matters more, the process or the goal?

Post by Augustus »

+1 what brute said. The question needs context or it's silly.

My only advice is that you need to stick with something long term and that isn't dead end. You are in a position where you can hop around for a year without seriously hurting your career, so if you want to hop, then hop. That said you sound happier in this job, if it has the potential to hit 100k in a few years, stick with it for the next 6 mos to really get a feel for how you like it. You sound more like a people person than an anal number cruncher like I am. In 6 months there will still be plenty of other recruiters pinging you. Regardless, you need to stick to a career for 5 years to maximize earnings. But who knows, maybe you'll be happier bouncing around for 10 years of accumulation instead of 5 of one career.

Lucky C
Posts: 495
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:09 am

Re: What matters more, the process or the goal?

Post by Lucky C »

Optimal work in terms of psychology involves opportunities for flow, and self-actualization (top of Maslow's hierarchy of needs). For a software engineering example, being a software architect for the NSA may offer many flow opportunities but not self-actualization if it does not line up with your personality & ideals, whereas writing tedious repetitive code for years on end for a good cause may provide self-actualization but without flow - it lines up with your values but you just don't enjoy the work. Being a software architect for a quality charitable organization could be an optimal line of work for a software engineer.

So you could quantify potential job rankings by assigning some numeric value based on how much you would enjoy it and how much it lines up with your values. However, it is harder to determine how much a job will provide flow until you're doing it; It depends heavily on the corporate culture - micro-management, meetings, work environment - try to estimate these aspects during the interview process. It is easier to determine how a job lines up with your values and aspirations, but that is usually less important than flow for your day-to-day enjoyment of the work!

Then compare the potential enjoyment of the work to how long you'd have to be doing it based on the salary. If you are close to FI, the choice is clear that you should just maximize income and get it over with even if the job is only tolerable.

However if you have more than a few years to go, you have more to consider! First, you don't want to be at a job or series of jobs that are only "tolerable" for the next 10+ years, so you really want to find some place where you will at least somewhat like the work and the people. Second, the longer you are in the same career path, the greater the change of the work over your time there and the greater the change in salary. If you are a good worker, after a decade you might be doing more enjoyable work at twice the starting salary. Or you might be locked into a more stressful position without a way to go back to the more fun and easy working years of your twenties.

It's really hard to predict what will happen many years out, so the only easy job decisions are ones that you know you'll only be there for the short term.

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Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:17 am

Re: What matters more, the process or the goal?

Post by daylen »

+1 Lucky C

Maybe think of work as an experiment to do for 1-3 years that will help you find your flow.

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