One Job, Two Job. Red Job, Blue Job
Last night I spoke to one of my old college roommates and she commented on how strange it is how each of us seems to make a step toward what another roommate has recently stepped away from, deciding to take on a career that another has recently abandoned. For example: upon graduation I move to New Zealand at the same time that Roommate 1 starts her new corporate career. Roommate 2 joins a start-up tech company and lives with her parents while Roommate 3 waitresses and pursues acting. One year later Roommate 1 becomes fed up with the corporate world and quits, embarking on 8 months of what she deemed “funemployment” at the same time that Roommate 3 decides to accept a job at a corporate company. Flashforward to the present: Roommate 2 gets fed up with the slow start of the startup and joins the corporate workforce while Roommate 3 finds her role eliminated and makes a promise to herself to “do what she loves.”
Meanwhile, I’ve left New Zealand and have spent the past year looking for a job that I enjoy and not allowing myself to settle for anything less than exactly what I want. And what I’ve learned, is that it’s just not that easy to get exactly what you want.
This week, however, I was presented with a choice between two jobs – each offering an opposite half of exactly what I’ve been looking for. The first: financial security, 401K, savings plans galore, full medical and dental, but exactly zero room for creativity and growth. The second: risky start-up company, motivated and interesting staff, opportunity to travel, lots of room to be creative and grow my skills, but the pay barely surmounts to a survivable income – at least initially.
So what to do? It was my own Neo of the Matrix moment: take the blue job and you’ll go on living your life and be extremely wealthy and even content or take the red job and you’ll put yourself into a world that is uncertain and dynamic, exciting and has the potential to pay off big time or sink you further into debt.
I took the red job. My reasoning being that nothing ever comes from not taking a risk; the status quo is just that, the status quo, and I’ve invested too much energy over the past few years fighting that to give in now. And so, while Roommates 1 and 2 are beginning to make waves in the corporate workforce, I join Roommate 3 in the quest to do what I love.