13 August 2013

High Paying Stress or Low Paying Peace?

I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems.
Nothing is worth your health.
Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.

In August, I’m participating in BlogHer’s Blogging Challenge.  The theme this month is: Hot.

ould you work for someone who stresses you out even if the money was good? – Imagination Prompt

If you had asked the 20-something me this question, I would have said yes, no reservations.  And in fact, I did work in some fairly stressful situations because I was getting paid more than I had made at previous jobs.  But everyone has a breaking point.  Even an idealistic 30-something. Well, somewhat idealistic.  With a healthy dose of cynicism to balance things out.

I’m all about balance.

Kick ‘Em When They’re Up
It is amazing what we will put up with.  But more amazing is why we put up with it.  The larger paycheck.  The better car.  The bigger house.   That kind of corporate prostitution still happens, but generally today, we put up with a lot just to have a job.  I have a couple of friends who lost positions due to the economic downturn who are still pounding the pavement.  And I’ve been down that road in the past, so I know what it’s like to worry myself sick ~ literally ~ over money.  Or the lack thereof.  I’ve always thought, anyone who says money can’t buy happiness, has never been poor.

Or else they’re an idealistic 20-something who doesn’t care about whether they sleep on a real bed or on someone’s ratty couch.

And such ideals have their place.  Right now, however, I would rather work in a (relatively) stress-free environment for less money than work for more money but with a mad man who throws every Blackberry he gets at the wall in a tantrum.  (You think I’m kidding. Although I actually make more now than I did working for Mr. Anger Management-less.)

But I learned the hard way to put my emotional and psychological needs above my monetary needs.

 Image Credit: Pinterest
The High Cost of Putting Up With It
I am not the type of woman who puts up with violence in my personal relationships.  In fact, I’ve never been in a relationship where someone raised their hand to me.  (If they had, it would have been the last movement they would have made until they were taken out of the casts.)  And yet, I put up with a lot of verbal violence in work situations because I was afraid I would lose my job/not get another good paying job/etc.

Sounds crazy to me!

It wasn’t until I began visiting the emergency room on a regular basis that reality hit.  Right in the gut.  Literally. And even then, it took me a couple of years to finally connect the dots.  All my ailments were gut-related (not that you needed to know that!) and stress-related.  Granted, there were other situations that contributed.  But the main factor was stress.  And I just lived with it.  And paid for it too.  Hospital visits aren’t cheap.

In the end, I had poor health, less money, and more stress.

Getting Off the Highway to Hell and Onto the Peace Train
There are many sites out there that tell you that you can make money doing what you love.  And I don’t doubt that I can.  That’s just not in my near future right now.  And that’s okay.  My day job may not be exciting, or have “upward mobility,” or put me in the next tax bracket. 

So what? 

It pays my bills, allows me to do the things I am passionate about after five o’clock, and gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.  (Actually writing is what does that, but I digress.)  Most importantly, it provides me a work environment that has little to no stress.

And you can’t put a price on that.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

Would you work for someone who stresses you just to make more money?  Why or why not?

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