Sunday, February 3, 2008

Work - Learn Not Earn

I was having lunch with a former colleague from Microsoft. She was telling me how she was reading the book Rich Man Poor Dad and thought of me as she read it. In that book, Richard Kiyosaki describes how each job he took he took more for the experiences he would have and the lessons he could learn rather than the money he could earn from the job.

It is true. Each job I have taken I have taken with purpose. I have done this because I know that life is much more a marathon than a sprint. It is like my lesson on compound interest. Small sacrifices now can have a big impact down the road.

Now, that being said, I've been pretty lucky.  It's not like any job I took forced me to live in a box and survive on Top Ramen.  But as I was considering whether or not to take a certain job, I definitely focused much more on the characteristics of the company and the job than on what my paycheck would look like.  This continues to pay off with each subsequent job I take as I'm very easily able to articulate why I took the job and what I gained from it.  This actually means I can generally get a job that paid me significantly more than what I made previously because I have had great experience and have a career with purpose.

So I am not advocating ever taking a significant pay cut just to get a job that gives you slightly better experience and learning opportunities.  Doing so has other bad side effects later on down the road.  But never ever make salary your primary concern.  Working to learn not earn will keep your career trajectory aimed very high.

1 comment:

  1. You are pretty lucky. I've had to take some filler jobs to pay the bills and believe me they did nothing for my resume or skill level.