Ultimately, my goal is to live in the middle of nowhere and take up a rural and primitive lifestyle. I try to build and develop my skills and interests to support that end. But for now, I live and work in a mid-sized town (about 50,000 people total when the University is in session). I do program development, event planning and membership management for a nonprofit organization. I like my job because I only have stress 8 weeks out of the year. The rest of the time it’s pretty mellow-yellow. How many people with 8 to 5 jobs can claim that? I love the people I work with, and I like what I do. I get paid a comfortable wage, and because I don’t have any dependents (save for one furry, four-legged child) I don’t have need for any more money than what I make. Again – how many people can claim that?
So a week ago my boss (the Director of our organization) rendered his resignation effective 60 days from now. He and I have talked about this day quite a bit over the past 12-18 months. I knew it was coming – but I didn’t know when. The “when” turned out to be last week. I’ve been approached by not only him, but a couple people on our Board of Directors to apply for his position. For as many reasons as I can think to do it, I can come up with just as many reasons not to. Actually, probably more “not’s” that “to’s”.
I don’t want the stress. That’s the biggie right there. This organization is filled to the brim with needy, egotistic creatives. They’re writers, photographers and TV- and Radio-personalities. I have no doubt that I can do the job. I’ve been working in nonprofits for nearly a decade, with nearly a decade in the private sector before that. Honestly, the biggest “don’t do it” reason I have is the stress level. Although, in reality, my to-do list would probably be shorter.
I would be making pretty close to twice what I make right now, and there’s also a very distinct possibility that we’ll be working from home pretty soon, too.
The money would put me closer to my dream of ditching the grid because I would be able to save a lot more money a lot more quickly. But at the same time, my life of voluntary simplicity and quality of life would be set back because of the enormity of the job.
Am I stupid for not wanting to apply? I told my boss I would give him my final answer on Monday after I took the weekend to consider the possibilities. I also want to talk to LLM to get his take. I guess I could view it as a temporary position – use it for a year or two to make and save as much money as humanly possible, then ditch the job in a heart beat when I’ve had too much. In reality, I want to stick with this organization until at least 2012. We’re going to Alaska for our annual conference that year, and I selfishly want to go back to Alaska on someone else’s dime. (yes, my ethics are awful – what can I say?)
So, if it were you, would you suck it up and take the stress for a couple years to bank a bunch of money, or would you continue on with the easy life with a sufficient and comfortable wage?