By nature, I am a glass half-full person. So even though there are many dark clouds hanging over this long and painful recession, I continue to look for the silver-linings. And I believe this recession is going to force some people to finally find the work+life fit they really want.
The other day I had lunch with Bob, the brother of a friend, to help him think through a difficult work+life fit decision. A year ago, Bob negotiated that in January 2009 he would take a package and leave the job he’d held for 10 years with the same company. While he had been very successful, a change in leadership and the sense he needed a new challenge made the package seem like a perfect segue into the next phase of his life. Then the recession hit full-force, and now he is reconsidering.
He doesn’t want his current job anymore and his employer wants him to stay. They have offered him a few alternative jobs none of which are particularly appealing. But Bob has a 15 year old going to college soon, and a large portion of his college fund as lost in the market downturn. Bob is concerned that there won’t be any jobs out there, which is understandable given the unemployment figures.
He’s stuck in an all-or-nothing quandary—do I stay and have salary, or do I leave and face a financially scary unknown. This is where I come in. We talked, and ultimately Bob realized that maybe there was a middle way work+life fit. Here are some clues from our conversation that helped Bob begin to see the possibilities.
“They’ve offered me a lower level job I could do in my sleep. It would give me money, and a lot of flexibility to investigate other opportunities, but my ego would take a big hit.” Maybe Bob doesn’t have to quit. He could try take this lower level job, do what he needed to do, but take advantage of the autonomy and flexibility to beginning setting up his next career move. (Click here for more)