A few months after graduating college, the federal government offered me a job to work for them as a Special Agent. I was 21 at the time and the prospect of a “cushy” government job seemed too good to pass up. I mean, I had $28,000 in student loans to pay back after all.
I remember taking the job and being asked by my peers if I thought I was going to do this gig for the rest of my life. My response was always the same…
“If I’m still doing this job five years from now, I’ll probably do it for the rest of my life.”
Right at the five-year mark I got super motivated to look for a new job. I applied to a couple dozen positions, had a few interviews, but was rejected from every job I applied for. In case you aren’t familiar with the process, getting rejected sucks. But hey, that’s life right?
Now, in my seventh year as a fed, I’m coming to terms with the fact that I’m probably a lifer.
That’s right, I will most likely work the exact same job, day in and day out, for the next thirty years.
AND I’M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT IT!
At 21 years old, I thought one’s professional success is defined by the job title they hold and the salary they command.
I nailed that first one. I mean how sweet is it that my literal job title is Special Agent?
The second one, not so much.
While I make a nice chunk of change, I’ll never earn a huge six-figure salary. It is the government after all and everything is regulated by congressional mandates.
But at almost-30-years-old, I’m realizing one’s salary means very little in the grand scheme of things.
Ten, twenty, fifty years from now you are on your death-bed. One of your teenage grandkids looks at you and says,
“Grandma/Grandpa, What’s the one thing you wish you could have done more of in life”
How many of you are going to respond to that question with “I wish I could have made more money.”?
Probably not you. right?
Although we may not always act like it, deep down inside, we know that our income should not define our worth.
To further convince myself of this fundamental truth, I decided I would make a Pros and Cons list of my position:
According to math there are far more things on the left side than the right.
Therefore, I should be content and keep my job.
Anyone else out there a “lifer” in your position (teachers, firefighters, and physicians where you at!)?
How many jobs have you held in your adult life?