As I said when I started this site, I want to be very open, honest and transparent with you about my life and financial situation. That’s because I want you to be comfortable here, and view this as a place you can share without fear of judgment or scorn.
In that spirit, I want to talk about a recent “setback” that happened to me at my day job.
I put “setback” in quotes because to me, I don’t really view it as a setback. Let me elaborate.
Back in August I was asked by the chief of staff of the government agency in which I work to interview for a major promotion. Without getting into details, the job would have put me in a supervisory position and responsible for approximately 200 people. I would be responsible for a budget well into the millions. I would also technically have become a public figure, open to lawsuits and also responsible for the actions of my employees. It would have come with a 50% pay raise, and I would have been making a significant amount of money.
I knew the job was available, but I purposefully did not apply. I’m not sure why, because it is a good job, a great career stepping stone, and I feel that I would have been a great candidate. Something was keeping me from going all in with this.
Without applying, I was asked to interview anyway. This made me happy because I actually thought I would have a chance to get it, and know that I got it because they wanted me to have it. I wasn’t about to bug them and pester them about why I was the best.
The interview went well, in my opinion, but was followed by months of waiting. I never did the follow up that career coaches tell you. I didn’t send a letter thanking my boss for the interview. That is how I know, deep inside, that I really didn’t want it.
What I am trying to say here is, don’t be afraid to follow your heart and reject things if they don’t seem right.
For me, I wasn’t exactly thrilled by the extra responsibility and dependence people would have on me. In the last year, I’ve made a lot of realizations in my life. Money is not the most important thing to me anymore. My time is. And this job would have, at first, taken a lot of my time.
I am also trying to transition out of my current job into something easier. Every other year I am required to work 6 months of intensive schedules, over 100 days in a row without a day off. It is very stressful and was damaging to my mental health and family. If I would have taken the promotion, I would have been locked into this organization for the next 6 years, on top of the 8 I have already put in.
This promotion simply did not fit with the direction I want to take my life in. I’m more interested in becoming self sufficient and self employed. Becoming the boss for 200 people does not fit with that dream.
For once, I feel like I am following my dream.
It’s not easy being passed over for a promotion, especially when conventional wisdom trains everyone to feel sorry for you and treat it as if it were a bad thing. My wife, for one, is disappointed.
But I’m not.
This is how I know I’m truly on the path towards building a life that I want, not one that other people want, or one that society tells me I should have. I have everything I need, almost everything I want…except time. I don’t have a good retirement fund built up, but I’m working on that (mainly be redefining retirement to be what I want, but that’s for another post.)
If you have any stories where something happened to you that was supposed to be bad, but turned into a blessing in disguise, please post in comments.