I like what I do, but…

Today I had dinner with Wilson and Zixuan. It was the first time in many years (I’d think it was ten) that we’d had dinner together, the last time probably when we were still in Montfort Secondary.

We chatted about the usual things: our jobs (or lack of); other people’s jobs and their salaries; and money in general. Sure, we talked about marriage too: “wah, he’s married?!” exclaimed Zixuan and I to Wilson’s remark on Perry’s (another ex-classmate of ours who had been invited to our dinner today but couldn’t make it) marital status. But the novelty of the fact that one of our friends was married expired seconds afterward, after which the topic boomeranged back to money.

In the middle of our dinner the topic of my job came up; I was asked what I did (“it’s not really what a business analyst does, is it?” asked Zixuan) and how I was finding it.

I told them what I tell the fiancee all the time, “I like what I do, but I just don’t feel like I’m getting paid enough for what I do.”

I suppose it might well be a universal feeling that we’re underpaid and deserve more (so universal, in fact, that I recall having seen mugs sold in shops with the slogan “overworked, underpaid” more than once), but I do feel underpaid for what I do. The reason why I put up with it is, well, because I actually enjoy what I do, and I’m damn bloody good at it too.

I remember listening to an audiobook by Brian Tracy which told about how many self-made millionaires would continue to do what they do even if they weren’t paid for it. “If you had a million dollars,” I think Tracy asked, “would you continue doing what you are doing today?”

Well, duh, “of course I would!”

The thing is, I don’t have a million dollars, and that’s the very thing prompting me to consider my options. What I’m really looking for is not only for work that I’d do even if I had a million dollars, but also one that’d get me a million dollars in the first place. And at this rate, it’s certainly not going to be here.

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