This is a guest post by Robert, who lives in Calgary and
works as a financial advisor retired at 34. He is married, has three kids. Robert and his wife then plan to return to school and become teachers, eventually living and working overseas.
I did offer, as an explanation, that I’m currently applying for a graduate program at the University, the Masters of Education. The volunteer coordinator offered that she would like to do something like that, but she has currently taken a part-time job. A friend of hers, who works in an office, knew that the office required more help and begged her to come in three days a week. But she’s finding that the three day per week office job is cutting into her workout routine and her volunteering.
Before, I would have considered her attitude to be a sign of laziness or the side effect of skewed priorities. Now, however, I find it easier to identify with her. In the last couple weeks, I have applied for a couple different jobs, when I stumbled across the opportunity and I felt I could learn something from the position. Two examples are a technical analysis investment research firm and the provincial securities regulator. In neither case did I receive an offer, but I was forced to think about what it would take for me to give up my lifestyle.
Presently, I don’t have to worry about work-life balance, because I don’t have a rigid work schedule. If I were to return to working for income, however, I would need to change my routine and give up some of my freedom. I believe that many workers accept less than ideal working conditions because they don’t have options and because they need income to survive. When I don’t need to meet those needs with a job, I become much more particular about the working environment and enjoyment I would receive from work (or volunteering), rather than the income or benefits.
I volunteer at the YMCA because the atmosphere is healthy and positive. I volunteer in my kids school so I can be with them and find out what they’re doing. What do you like about your work other than the pay? Where do you want to spend your time when you no longer need to work?