The Workplace: Happiness vs Money

QUESTION

I dread going to work Monday morning. I’ve been with the same company since college, the pay is good and I’m in line for a promotion would I be crazy to give it up and how do I figure out what job will make me happier?

ANSWER

JILL:
Don’t hand in your resignation just yet; there are a couple of things to consider first. Take the time to do some thinking and some research. Start by writing down the pros and cons of your current job. This will achieve one of two things; you may discover that it is not the company you dislike but maybe the specific work that you are doing there. You might prefer a new department or position. Secondly by listing the things you dislike you will get a clearer picture of what to avoid if you do decide to go somewhere else.

If moving on is indeed the best way to go I would recommend that in these difficult economic times you have something else set up before quitting. Discovering the job that will make you happier will take time. Work with a career coach and (or) research jobs that have peaked your interest. At parties and functions keep an ear open for interesting opportunities. Ask friends and family to be on the look out for you also. Finally, just don’t scan the classifieds, the business section will often write articles about new companies that are opening up or old ones that are looking for fresh talent for new areas that they are developing.

VICKI:
The fact that you’re unhappy with your job is a sign that it’s time to move on. Sometimes we need to take a leap of faith that the job of our dreams is out there waiting for us. You may need to close one door before a new one opens up.

A promotion and, I assume, the pay increase that comes with it won’t bring you joy; you’re actually more apt to resent your work more than you do now. This is about being true to yourself. If you can’t afford to leave your job until you find another then make a move towards discovering your true passion right away.

You need to ask yourself what may seem like a silly question; before I tell you the question I want to urge you to be open minded and accept the first thought that comes to your mind and try to create potential job or career ideas around that thought. The question is – what do I want to be when I grow up?

There is no time like the present to work towards creating a life that you truly desire. What you need most is to believe in yourself and in your dreams.

Should You Lend Family And Friends Money?

QUESTION

I’ve been dating a man for 3 months; he’s polite, considerate and generally very supportive. He was let go from his job a month ago and has no savings to fall back on. He has been looking hard for work, but in his field there’s not much just before the holidays.

He recently asked me if he could borrow $1,000 from me. I told him that I needed to think about it. I have savings and can spare the money right now. However, I’ve had bad experiences when it comes to lending money to men that I have dated. I swore I’d never to do it again. He is not at all like the men I have dated in the past and I do want to help him. Are there boundaries I can set or a way to protect myself in order to get the money back if I loan it to him?

ANSWER

VICKI:
When loaning or giving money, items, time or anything else of value, the rule is never loan what you cannot afford to lose. Keep in mind that you need to think for the future and not the present. If you lost this $1,000 would you still have enough in your savings for an emergency; for example would it make a difference if you lost your employment and couldn’t find work again for six months?

With that said, I stumbled upon a great article called, The Best Ways To Loan Money To Friends And Family from Geri Detweiler for credit.com. It covers all the important issues of setting a fair interest rate, getting an agreement in writing and setting up a formal payment arrangement.

If you do not choose to lend your boyfriend money you may think of employing him to do some odd jobs that you need done such as renovations including house painting. This way he has earned the money and there is nothing to be paid back.

No matter which you choose, remember that you must be true to yourself and make sure that you are taken care of. Your boyfriend’s present predicament is a great example of this.

JILL:
Even though you asked about boundaries and ways to protect yourself, I would like to address whether or not you should lend the money. So here are a few things to think about.

1. Why have you been able to accumulate savings but he hasn’t?
2. Would you ask a boyfriend of 3 months for $1,000-?
3. Pretend for a minute that he didn’t ask for any money, would you be perturbed by the other facts; that he is out of work, has no money to fall back on and cannot find work at this time of year?
4. What will you do if he doesn’t find work, cannot pay you back or asks for more?

I understand that everyone falls on difficult times and sometimes all they need is a helping hand. I just want to make sure that you have looked at the situation from all the angles. Things are currently unstable economically; you must make sure that you protect yourself first.