Insight News

Feb 06th

(Plan Your Career) What are you working for?

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Hunting for hats and gloves last week (October?) I was reminded of a friend who might be coming up short in the winter clothes column this fall.  This family was driving by an apartment complex and saw fire trucks, ambulances and many, many residents: adults, children, infants and grandparents standing outside in mid-MN-winter, watching everything they owned burn to the ground.  Some were in stocking feet.  Few had jackets or hats.  And it was cold.  This friend and her family wheeled back to the apartment complex and the parents threw their coats, hats and mittens to the residents.  The children followed the parents’ lead and handed their jackets and boots out through the car window.

This winter, everyone is a little poorer than usual.  But looking around, you might discover you’re wealthier than the next guy.  Do you have time, talent or treasure to spare?  Do you have a closet full of shoes you never wear?  Extra school supplies in the junk drawer?  Do you have an hour to watch your neighbor’s kid so he can run to a meeting or job interview?

If you are working now, surveys show you are working longer days with fewer vacations than ever before in America.  So think about it.  What are you working for?  Food, shelter, health insurance, cable tv… people need money to live.  And I’m not saying don’t earn more.  If you want to get rich and you can, by all means go for it.  But if you are caught in the egocentric cycle of working more to earn more to buy more stuff, then you might be missing out on living a healthier, balanced lifestyle.
Take a look outside yourself.  Maybe your neighbor’s house isn’t burning down, but maybe, figuratively, it is.  Look for opportunities to share something with somebody today.  You will be better off for doing it, and richer, too, on the inside.

Julie Desmond is Director of Career Planning Resources at Help Wanted Workshop in Minneapolis.  Please send your career planning questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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