Posted by Tim Stobbs on September 22, 2010
You may have noticed on this blog we seem to have a common theme for some of our writers. We are seeking early retirement, not to stop working, but rather to choose what to work on. Now that might confuse some people on why would you work if you don’t have to? Well that is sort of like looking at a murder.
With a murder there are various degrees of potential guilt which is based on the idea of intent. How you approach the act determines how much you will be punished for your actions. If the murder occurred as an accident, or in a fit of rage or with prior planning, determines how serious the crime is. The murder itself becomes the concluding act while the intent is the important part on finding the level of guilt.
Work is similar in the fact your intent determines the level of the crime. If you intent to hate your job, you will likely succeed regardless of the job. Also if you intend to be at the job just to make money, that is a completely different level of commitment from being at a job because you choose to be there but don’t need to be. So in the end I want to leave work based on dollars and do work based on what I like to do.
Yet that brings up an interesting question, can you like your current job more if you change your intent on why you are there? To be honest I have my doubts. Your current job likely has too much history and routine built into it to truly allow you a fresh start while still sitting at the same desk. If someone was willing, it might be an interesting experiment to see if when changing jobs your intent can help you like a job more.
I’ve notice that since I learned I don’t need my day job that my threshold of being able to ignore problems at work is lower. I’m much more willing (partly because I’m able) to consider leaving that job. In some ways it’s making me lazy when it comes to working out an issue. I fixate on leaving rather that dealing. So that makes me wonder what occurs when I don’t need any job at all? Will I still be able to care about a job?
Lucky for me I already know the answer is yes. I can care about a job. My work at the school board is a good trial of the fact since I have never considered leaving that job. It’s still somewhat new, but I can’t really see getting bored while I’m there. There is just too much to do even with a three year term. I care about the job because my intent was different when I took it. I didn’t care about the money, but instead I care about the goals of the work itself.
In the end intent may matter more than what you are actually working on. So what’s your intent with your job(s)? Do you find it matters a little or a lot with your job?