Money Money Money

Hopefully today's title instantly made you think of this: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCkOmcIl79s] Now, while I would love nothing more than to waste 20 minutes of your day talking about how fantastically ridiculous Abba is {you can thank me later for sparing you}, this post is on the "serious" side. Well, as serious as I can be on a FRIDAY as I anxiously await the arrival of 5:00pm and the start of my stress-free weekend!  I had the pleasure of attending an event at my church last night called Career Ministry. It's basically a small gathering that allows locals to meet new people in the area, network and connect with new faces in your career field. If anyone is in the Atlanta area, I highly recommend attending at least once. I'll skip all the details of my actual experience {as a pawn to get you there and see for yourself} but let's just say I left totally enlightened and excited about my future... something I haven't felt in a LONG time. While I am beyond thankful for the job that I have now, it's not necessarily the place I want to be forever. I mean come on, it's my first 'big girl' job out of college {totally calling myself out}, of course I want to explore other opportunities and branch out in my skill set. I am a firm believer that if you find yourself at a point where your done learning and expanding it's probably time to retire. But I digress... With the job market warming up SLIGHTLY, everyone has really picked it up in terms of hunting for jobs. If you have ANY experience in job hunting you'll know that there are about a million different factors that play into whether or not a job is worth applying for. And if you get an offer, there are a million more factors that will determine if it's the right job to take.  One thing that I have noticed since entering the "real world" is that the NUMBER ONE factor in both cases seems to always be money.

ALWAYS

Before I go on, I'd like to try and decrease the depth of the hole I'm about to dig myself. I'm incredibly blessed in the fact that I can pay for groceries in my frig, a roof over my head and clean clothes on my back. In the world we live in, money sustains life. If I get the opportunity to make a little extra cash, yeah, I'm definitely going to be interested. The point is, I don't think life should be solely based on how much money you have and how many totally awesome things you can buy with your mountains of cash. Popular culture has been smacking us in the face with the idea that we are less if we don't have MORE and that's a bunch of bologna.  {Can someone tell me WHY bologna is spelled the way it is? Ridiculous} I may have enough to live comfortably, but I'm not looking at the rich and famous thinking, "Wow, they much be so much better and happier than me." Moving on... You always here the phrase, "Money can't buy happiness". I've always kind of HATED this phrase because it's so double sided it makes my head spin. On the one hand it's quite true. In the literal sense, money cannot instantly buy you happiness. There isn't a happiness store on the corner of every street {cough... Starbucks?... cough} that you can just waltz into and secure a lifetime supply of smiles, butterflies and singing woodland creatures. Sorry folks, that only happens in Disney movies. On the OTHER hand, the road to happiness is often somewhat reliant on money. Not totally, just somewhat. If starting your own business were your dream, wouldn't it be easier to be happy and successful with help from a bank or by winning the lottery? Or if paying for your kids' college education was the one thing you've always wanted to do, wouldn't your happiness be slightly diminished when you're forced to ask them to take out a student load after losing a job? Like I said... really hate this phrase! Although we can look at the lives of spiritual leaders like Gandhi and Mother Theresa, who were {seemed} blissfully content with nothing but faith and love helping them achieve happiness, do you ever wonder if things would have been easier if they had a little extra cash in their pockets to give them a boost?  I think it's appropriate to say that while money can't buy happiness, it CAN assist in buying a path to success, which in turn can lead to happiness, unless you're just a total mess and I don't know what to tell you... This brings me to my main point {finally}.  In talking to friends who have been and are currently searching for jobs I've found myself in the minority due to the fact that I don't usually set money as my number one factor for whether or not I'll apply to /accept a position. I've worked in a variety of different fields with a wide range of paychecks and and even WIDER range of experiences {from blissfully grand to painfully horrible} and I've never felt like what I get paid is the most "important thing".  For example, let's say you snag a job that pays six figures but after a week of working there you realize that you totally hate it. Everything about this job makes you cringe. Everything but those dollar signs that keep you walking in the building every morning. If the ONLY thing you enjoy about any given job is your paycheck... is it worth keeping? Is it even HEALTHY to stay in an environment like that? 

Would you set aside the fact that you are absolutely miserable just because you are putting money in the bank or would you consider taking a pay cut in order to find a job that makes you happy {or at least not want to throw yourself off the roof every other day}?  It's a tough question, especially in this economy where the chance of finding a well-paying, full-time job is slim.  Before you start pointing fingers {which I know none of you are doing because you're such awesome people} let me clarify one thing. I am completely fine in admitting that if I were to be offered two jobs that were identical in almost every aspect, but one paid more, of course I'd take the 'better offer'? Who wouldn't. But when choosing between a job that I don't think I'll like but fills my pockets and a job I'm absolutely in love with that keeps me stable enough to support myself, the tables would definitely turn. What about you? Which would you choose? Have you ever been placed in a situation like this or left a well-paying job based on your happiness? Am I totally full of crap and making ZERO sense?  This whole topic is something I've thought about before but it has perked back up in my mind recently, especially after talking about past job experiences with my new friends from the Career Ministry. I just thought I'd release the pressure from my end-of-the-work-week brain and spill my thoughts out for the blogosphere to sift through. I know it's a mess. My apologies.  Right now you might be wishing I had blabbed about Abba and their wicked-awesome headbands instead of laying my opinions out on the table for the world to gag on. But you've clearly made it this far so I haven't put you to sleep or caused you to pitch your laptop out the window so... KUDOS TO ME! I'd love to hear what you all think about all this, but if it's too morbid for Friday conversation, I totally understand. Save it for Monday and tell me something funny and uplifting instead! That being said, I'll leave you with this bit of MORE THAN APPROPRIATE Friday fun. This MIGHT be the coolest thing in the world....

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fouvwilGWc]HAPPY FRIDAY!Until next time...My brain hurts.