Rethinking earning

I read a stat last week that said 70% of people prefer a good boss to a pay raise. Let that sink in for a minute. 70% is a big number and it’s more evidence that the world of work is changing; and I’d dare to say it goes well beyond work.

For so long conversations have centered around what you earn or how high you can climb on a corporate ladder. Most of us grew up with at least some sort of correlation between worth and what we earn or what title we hold.

Little by little that is changing. Little by little people are rethinking earning. Earning means more than a paycheck or a title. People change jobs because of corporate culture or bad leadership, not just because of a higher paycheck. As a Gen-Xer, I’d like to thank the Millennials for leading that charge!

Little by little the shift of worth being aligned with work is also changing. People are learning that the most valuable things are intangible. Very few people would choose a huge paycheck if it also came with a lonely life.

I see the shift every day and I’ve done the work to untangle my own worth from my work. I can tell you – what’s on the other side is worth more than the highest paycheck I ever earned. The most important things I’ve ever earned are my own self-respect, the ability to be kind to myself even when it’s hard (or means doing hard things!) and the meaningful relationships I have in my life. None of them have a price. None of them pay dividends and none of them boost my 401K.

What things have you earned, that although they’re hard to quantify, mean more to you than a paycheck? How can you re-frame your relationship with earning and start to include a more holistic view? Think about your health (emotional and physical), the caliber of your connections, the way you treat yourself, etc. All of those are things you’ve earned that have a tremendous amount of value.

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