Money Isn't Everything (But It Helps)

by - January 13, 2012

It's a blessing to do what you love and be with your family.

The statement above was said in regards to the departure of one of my coworkers. Today was her last day with us before she moves back home where she's accepted an anchor job.

In this business, people are constantly moving, whether it's to break into a higher market size and make more money or to get back home. It seems like no one stays in one place for more than a few years before they're packing up all their stuff and moving again.

But not me. I'm not like that at all, and it didn't take getting engaged to the love of my life to reach that point. I've always been this way.

 I've never wanted to stray far from home. Family is too important to me to be so far away that the only possible contact would be a telephone call.

I'm coming up on my two-year contract anniversary with my station, which meant a meeting to renegotiate the terms of my employment.

That meeting wasn't exactly satisfactory, and it led to several other meetings with different people. Long story short, I found myself questioning why I would even want to stay where I'm at now, and that led to a weekend full of contemplation about what I should do and what I want to do.

I love my job. I have no desire to move up a market size, and I have no delusions of making it rich in this business, but making the decision to stay where I am and accept a mediocre, almost non-existent raise was a tough one.

Money isn't everything. I know that. But it sure does help make things a little easier to get through when you're not sure if you can buy groceries to feed yourself.

I know that in the end it's the people in your life that make it fulfilling and that when it comes down to it, it's up to me to make myself happy.

In the course of all those meetings I mentioned, my boss issued a challenge. More like a request, but it will be challenging. He asked me to figure out where I want to be professionally in the next three to five years and let him know so that he can help me to work towards that goal.

So where do I want to be at in my professional life in the next five years?

I have no idea where I want to be at in that time span. I don't know if the things I've always wanted to do professionally are even possible here.

And therein lies the challenge.

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  1. Forget about the past, and all your sorrow
    The future won't last
    It will soon be your tomorrow
    - George Harrison

    Five years pass quickly, Ashton. I've repeated that cycle twelve times. If you develop a five year plan and reveal it to Mr. Big he will surely applaud your initiative. It will be incumbent upon him to make good on his promise and help you to reach that goal which should include a better compensation package.

  2. It's nice to hear that someone loves their job. I have never felt that way ever. I've had three jobs already. I'm already going to my 6th year at my current job but I still can't say that I love it. I need it though. I have a job interview tomorrow and if I get accepted, I might move to the Middle East (Oman), which scares the eff out of me.

    I don't know. I'm still deciding though. I mean, yes, greener pastures, new beginning and such. But I don't know if I could live in a foreign country ALONE.

  3. The unfortunate thing about your industry, and speaking as someone involved in a different facet of the journalism / broadcasting industry, is that the options are dramatically being cut at a breakneck pace. Just in my state in the past two years, I've had four friends have their positions cut. I graduated from college in 2007 - as far as I know, I'm the only guy still reporting regularly.

  4. @Shady: Unfortunately, what I've always wanted to do in this business isn't available in a television station, and sadly it isn't in high demand here and appears to be a dying profession nationwide.

    @Gnetch: That is a HUGE decision to make. I know I couldn't work in a completely different country. I had a hard enough time starting a job in a different state!

    @Steve G: Since I started working in 2009, 6 people at my station have left the business altogether. I have a handful of friends from school who are, now, considering different career paths.

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