Friday, October 14, 2011

The Cost of Happiness

A few months ago I changed jobs. As an IT contractor this happens kind of frequently so I have learned. Contracts last anywhere from 6 months and up. It kind of sucks as typically firms don't have great insurance, you are thrust into new environments and have to establish relationships pretty quickly, and you have to learn new systems. So about 6 months in, you might just be getting your feet under you and you need to move along.


When I changed a few months ago the firm I was with had been bought out by a larger firm and the benefits went downhill. So with a pregnant wife, I was forced to look for new employment. I ended up with a new firm at a new place of employment. It worked out wonderfully. I got more money and killer benefits.


Well, as this contract is winding down to the 6 month mark I looked to evaluate my current situation. Where was I professionally? Was I happy with my current job? Were they happy with me? After some self-evaluation I realized I was not being optimized to my fullest potential. Now I don't want this to sound bad on my current employer as I have definitely contributed equally (if not more) to the overall feeling of funkiness of this job. As I was evaluated I came to the realization that I wasn't ready to leave my previous employer. Luckily I had kept some good contacts there and there was a need for me to come back in a better role than what I was in before. However, there's a caveat. I can't go back with my current firm & current firm's insurance. Also the money isn't as nice as it is here.


So that begs so many questions as the bread winner in the house:

1)       How much are you willing to give up for your happiness?

2)      Am I being selfish by putting my own needs in front of my family?

3)      Is money really the key to happiness? If not, is a good insurance policy?

4)      Damn, am I going to be a contractor the rest of my life? And what kind of pressure does that put on me & my family?

5)      Am I blowing this out of proportion and should I just be happy I am employable?


So starting next week I will be starting another new job back at the place I started as a contractor. There is some comfort knowing I am going into the situation with established relationships and a knowledge of their systems, but what happens in another 6 months – year? Well, here goes the gamble anyway, and wish me a successful stay and many many contract renewals.

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