Money talks but does money walk? I don’t think there’s such a phrase in English but you get what I mean. We’ve seen money as a good motivator for some people. Let’s face it, when money is good, it’s hard to resist it, isn’t it? So, will you jump at an opportunity or an offer purely based on the money factor? What role does money play in your life?
A month ago, I went to a family dinner party that I was invited to by a friend whom I had just met. It was my first time to see the host family and their guests so I didn’t know what to expect. Fortunately, everyone was so welcoming and charitable, I began to mingle with them and make small talk very quickly. Among many topics, one that stood out a lot was career. I guess talking about especially ourselves especially what we do for a living is often deemed as a good ice breaker. The host mother, a teacher and her teenage son, a recent high school graduate seemed to be very interested in what I had to say about my jobs, past and present. I could tell she wanted to hear my perspectives and apply to her son’s situation if any of my words was useful. I loved their curiosity. It really fired me up and made me want to share the practicality, the nuts and bolts of how I landed my jobs. For me, reviewing my career trajectory, all the ups and downs I went through and mistakes I made along the way, serves as a good reminder of how I got where I am today. It’s like taking a refresher course again. When I looked back on it, what I learned most was money was a wrong reason for leaving a current job or accepting a new job. Why? At one point, I went to take a job that looked more money and a nicer title on the outside but a few months down the track I discovered it didn’t bring me more fulfillment or happiness. In fact, I ended up working longer hours and even some weekends. Interestingly, when I saw it from an hourly rate point of view, I began to realize I wasn’t at all better off compared to the job I had before.
What do we get when we break things down into hourly rate pieces? Try this analogy: When walking through the aisles of major supermarkets here in Australia or perhaps your country too, you’ll see unit prices on almost all grocery items you come across. A unit price is a piece of information that tells shoppers exactly what they pay for per unit such as per item or per kilo. In turn, it helps shoppers see the real value of the goods they’re buying. An hourly rate works in the same way. I’m convinced that knowing how much we’re charged or paid for every hour worked, it’ll help us:
- Rethink if the task at hand is worth paying attention to
- Use our time more wisely and selectively when it comes to work-life balance
- Say No more often to time-wasters (imagine how much it’ll cost us if we waste an hour on this)
- Walk away from situations that no longer serve us
For what it’s worth, money is like a coin that has two sides, each with a distinctive character on its own. Together, money has the power to make or break our career, relationships and many more. Do you let money limit you or stretch you? To show who’s boss and make money work for you, why not start off by “charging” an hourly rate and see if money pay dividends in no time…