Profit vs Progress – A Personal Struggle

17 Aug
The path to progress and profit

Image taken from an article on Good.Is titled Progress vs Profit

I am at a cross roads in my life. My current job pays the bills with extra to stash away in the bank, it has good benefits, and I am basically completely independent and can prioritize my day in any way as long as it benefits the company and stuff gets done.

However, my job does not make me happy. I do not feel like I am accomplishing anything, that I am giving back in any way, or that I am being challenged at all. There is no growth here, those above me on the food chain I often think are idiots or spineless, and a lot of my comments or suggestions fall on deaf ears. I take attitude from my users, tell my boss, and am told to “bite the bullet”. I ask for a reasonable raise, and I’m told that my boss has consulted the vendors that work for me and that they say that doesn’t seem reasonable. I do not hate my coworkers, but I enjoy the company of very few and have even fewer that I have a anything in common with. There is no creativity here. There is no self expression. It is a dull and lifeless place full of squabbling hens and cocky roosters.

I have decided I want nothing more to do with this “easy” life path to Profit, I want a fulfilling one that challenges me. I still want to Profit so I can pay my bills and feel financially secure, but I also want to feel like I’m on the path to Progress and doing something with myself and the world around me.  Not only does the squiggly line look like the harder path but it looks like there are way more chances for adventure on it. And my life, thus far, has been seriously lacking in any real adventures.

Growing up I always thought that money = freedom and debt = prison. I needed a lot of money to live a fulfilling life and to have a real sense of self-worth. I believed that up until I started writing this entry.  Money is a prison for me. The more I make, the more I need, and the less secure I feel. I keep saying that once I am making a certain amount of money a year, or have a certian amount in the bank, I will feel less stressed and more secure, but the closer I get to that goal the more anxiety I feel. The more money I have in the bank the worse I feel about buying anything at all. The bigger my financial cushion the more terrified I become of falling, failing, and losing it.

I feel better being able to mull over this internally and look forward to hearing Amy’s (and anyone else’s) thoughts on it. I don’t really know how I am going to get over my unhealthy relationship with money, but I’m ready for something to derail me from the Profit Path and get me started down the line with a little more Progress in it.


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2 responses to “Profit vs Progress – A Personal Struggle

  1. Kim

    August 18, 2012 at 2:43 am

    This seems to be a topic that is on the minds of a few people at the moment (including my own, but that’s probably a discussion that I’ll save for another post).

    I can understand your ambivalence … you’re financially secure where you are, but your work is not satisfying to you, and you’re worried about what your financial future may entail if you leave. My suggestion is, rather than actually think about leaving right now (which seems to be causing you some anxiety), consider the possibility of making a planned transition to a new job. Such a process would begin with researching two areas.

    First, think about yourself – your interests, your abilities, your limitations, your transferrable skills, your desired working conditions/workplace, and in particular, your financial expectations. How much money do you need to make you feel secure?

    Second, think about the labour market. What jobs are available in your local area that call for your skills? Are you familiar with anyone that works with the organisations who have openings? If so, talk to them about what it is like to work for the company, and evaluate what you can find out with reference to the needs that you have already identified they meet your needs (eg your interests, your desired working conditions, your financial expectations). If not, look at their website, and see if you can find out any information in trade publications about them to get a feel for not only how they could meet your needs, but also their corporate ethos, which can sometimes be a barometer of workplace satisfaction. For example, organisations with a diversity management business model are more likely to be supportive when catering to the needs of staff in the workplace for the trade-off of accessing a workforce that is able to think outside the square.

    By doing this research and making the unknown knowable, you may be able to reduce your anxiety and feel more prepared to consider making the change to a new organisation when you are ready.

    I wish you all the best, and look forward to reading more about what you decide to do as time goes by 😀

    • River Hawthorn

      August 18, 2012 at 8:23 am

      Thank you for the words of wisdom, Kim! That’s a great list of things to think about, and I will write them down in my journal and see what I come up with! Don’t worry to much though, I don’t intend to dive into the great unknown without a plan of action, it would aggravate my anxiety to much! 😉

      I’ve actually wanted to quit my job now for a year or so, and have been trying to figure out what else to do with my life. I don’t have any desire to stay in my current field, but I don’t really want to go into debt going to university (currently I only have an Associates degree in IT). I live in a city of around 30,000 people, so the labor market isn’t exactly full of options as far as things that interest me. I have been considering possibly going to work for the railroad as an Engineer or Conductor, since they are paid very well and get quite a good schedule once they have been there for a year or two, but it’s just a random idea and I’m not sure if anything will come of it.

      Also, I have been discussing all this with my therapist, and don’t intend to switch jobs until my anxiety issues are a little closer to being under control lest I lose my health insurance and not be able to afford therapy! I am also putting away roughly $1000 a month into savings in preparation for the big quitting day, just in case things don’t go as planned 🙂

      I guess the main realization from my post was how much money affects me. I always considered myself an experience person, not a “thing” person, but I’ve lost focused on living life as I’ve become more obsessed with my bank accounts. That scares me. I don’t want to live for money!

      You obviously have some experience/have done a lot of research on switching jobs! Everyone who is thinking about switching jobs would benefit from the comments you have left, as all your suggestions are very smart when it comes to changing jobs/careers! Thanks again for your comment, and I will definitely be taking some notes from it!! ^_^

      Also, a side note, it looks like when you leave me comments it shows your wordpress as, which has no posts on it! I just happened to click your name and it took me to your actual blog (which I am now following). Up until this point I thought you had a blank blog, or I would have followed you sooner! You might want to check your settings and see if you can change that 🙂


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