Jun 12, 2014

I have enough

I don't talk about work much on the blog....if ever. But I had a eye-opening conversation and realization yesterday with a newer co-worker that I just had to share.
Okay, I should preface, I have always had this "realization" but I guess that how it came up yesterday confirmed a lot about me.

So, boring stuff aside, we hired a new finance person who will ultimately be our CFO. I am transitioning the daily finance portion of my job to her as it was technically not really part of my job description, but hey, when you're a small company, you wear a lot of hats, right?
I must admit though, I am kind of happy to be letting it go sooner than later. The great thing about this new person is I feel like she will kind of be my in-office mentor in a way....guiding me through the transition and offering insight.

Yesterday afternoon we are going through 2013 tax documents (isn't my life exciting?) and are talking about salaries and leave of absence policies and all that junk. Like, general gossip whilst working through Profit and Loss reports. We both know what everyone makes in the office because it's the nature of the job. Except, since she is so new, I don't know hers.

I don't really know how it came about, but we were talking about raises and reviews and it was a whole, "you show me yours I'll show you mine" thing.
So I tell her.
And then she tells me.
And I fucking gasped. Like, for a split second kind of choked on my words and got jealous.
Why? Because the number she told me was $100,000 more than the salary I make.
I am instantly drooling at the thought of making that much money. What I could do with it, what we could pay off, what I could save for...our problems would be over, right?
As she sees me dazing off after she tells me, I immediately ask for background info.
How the Hell did you end up making that much?
So she tells me. She tells me about how, for the past 20 years, all she has done is work. Work, work, work. A million hours. Traveled a million miles. Met a million people. Fought and climbed and negotiated her way to C-level management. She didn't have 'free time.' There were a million things pushed to the back in her personal life. A million things she just didn't do. Ever. Because she was working.
She is about 10 years older than me. And is thrilled to be working at our company now. The work-load is less. She has free time and better pay. She can start living now.

And it clicked.

So she asks me, "well, Tia, do you want to move up? I can help you get where you want to be professionally. You can always make more money."

And my focus set in....directly to her eyes, and I boldly stated, without hesitation.

No. I am exactly where I want to be. 
My goal in life is not to be head honcho at some company.
To take work home.
No not live life.
My goal is to be as good as I can be in a job that I feel safe and secure at, make a good living for my family, contribute, make someone's day, and then go home and relax with my feet up, a beer in my hand, basking in the warmth of a perfect summer day.
Would I love more money? Sure. Who wouldn't.
But you won't make me work more hours to do it.
Won't make me sacrifice my morals or test my limits.
I have been there, done that, for salaries and bosses that were much less than where I am now.
I like it here.
A lot.

And then I confessed to her I want babies. I literally haven't told more than 2 people at the office.
It's private you know? And who knows if that makes me look less professional, but it's a struggle I have dealt with on the sidelines for a while. It is rapidly coming to the fore front.
And every week I get closer to starting to try again. 2 weeks, to be exact.

I kept thinking that if I put it off, our office policies will be better. More of the professional stars will line up and there will be a "perfect time" to have them. And then I realized that is all bullshit.
If I want it, I just have to dive in.
Find out what is in store for us.
Make it work.

Do I plan to come back to work after babies?
You bet your ass.
We will not currently survive on a single family income with our mortgage, daily lives, and a new baby.
No way.
I am super frugal but it still wouldn't be possible.
Judge all you want, but it is too much of a risk.
Especially since we still technically have a second mortgage (with renters, of course, but you know that could always go away) so I have to be prepared.

It was completely relieving to finally admit that I'm never going to be a ladder climber. I'm not a money hungry fiend. I am a simple, yet extraordinary lady, with a humble, yet fabulous life.
And I wouldn't change it for the world.

Sharing my story with these lovely ladies:

The Grits Blog

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  1. I agree with you, Id rather live my life than live to work. The money isn't always great but the time with my family is priceless.

  2. Wow...This is a great post. I agree. Be thankful for what you have, is my advice to myself a lot of times. I don't want to live breathe eat sleep on work. No thank you. I prefer to live my life outside of work. When I have work...one day. :-)

  3. Good for you girl! It has been ingrained in our generation to climb the ladder and get that amazing title, but it's just not meant for everyone. It is really cool and inspiring that have someone in your career who can mentor you and you can learn from, not all of us are so lucky to have that! Good luck with the baby making, can't wait to see how it all unfolds :)

  4. Thanks for sharing! I have had similar moments, where I know that someone who does my exact same job is making boatloads more than I am. And I get pissy. Then I realize, they took a lot of time away from friends and family to pay for and attend a bunch of classes (how you get a raise in my school district is by earning more grad school credits)... Well, I've gone on vacations, bought a house and done a ton of other amazing things.

  5. People ask me why I went from a good size law firm to a smaller one instead of moving up to a bigger one.... I wanted to be close to home, didn't care that I was taking a pay cut, didn't want the drive and was happy with all of it. I am with you. Would I live to move up, sure. But I won't because my family comes before work (and this firm is completely ok with that).

  6. I feel the same way! My boss (who is a mentor to me) is always asking me what I want to do next. I'm not sure I want a "next". Like you said, who wouldn't want more money but at what cost? More time away from my family? Away from my "me" time? No thank you! I think one more level up in the work food chain is where I want to be.

  7. What a great post Tia - you should be proud of what you (and Mark) have accomplished because it's a big deal! You don't always have to want to climb the ladder and I'm glad knowing that is freeing for you :)

  8. Good for you! Everyone should have the ability to live their life the way they want to, not the way someone else lives there's. It's great that you know what you want! That quote is so perfect, love it!

  9. That's so funny because I'm the same way - I don't have any ambition to be a manager or anything with authority because a) I'd be insane if I were given any form of power and b) I like to leave work and literally ignore it. I am on call for emergencies right now for a week and that drives me bonkers but it's how I earn my keep once every two months :) I earn enough I just have SO many bills and such that it's getting ridiculous, especially medical bills. It's good to be happy with where you are and it's good that you are satisfied with your lifes direction - I will be happy in one year when I get to return to school! Best of luck "trying" :) Have a great weekend Tia! -Iva