Interpersonal Edge: Work for love, money or both?
Monday, October 31, 2016

By Dr. Daneen Skube

Tribune Content Agency
Q. I am just entering the work world and am thinking about money and jobs. People older than I am seem to always think they don't make enough money. A lot of people also seem very bitter about people who do make a lot of money. I'd like my job to balance making a good living with having a good life. Can you have both?
  A. Yes, you can have both and, yes, most people have complicated intense emotions about money. Money represents multiple things to different people: freedom, power, self-esteem. Of course, money in itself is none of these things. Start by asking yourself what money means to you.
  There are people in the world who make a lot of money doing bad things. Some people get very upset about these people making money. Sometimes it is hard to tell if they are upset these people are making money or that these people or doing bad things.
  There have always been bad people getting good things by doing bad things. Such is the way of the world. Believe it or not, if you study history you'll see we have less of this sort of problem today than in most of human history. Whether it is fair or not, the rules of this planet have always allowed for human beings to get what they want by hurting others. Ranting about this problem takes energy away from problem solving to make it harder for people to get good things by doing bad things.
  There are also people who get upset at anyone who makes a lot of money. Ironically, many people who make a lot of money give a lot of money to good causes. I wonder sometimes if part of philanthropy serves to deflect the jealousy and criticism received when you are wealthy.
  Most people train, study and work to both enjoy their jobs and make a comfortable living. As our middle class is disappearing the amount of money it takes to comfortably support yourself keeps increasing. Thus most people attempt to make the most money they can for each hour they work.
  If you approach the work world thinking only bad people make money or thinking that all people who make a lot of money are bad, you limit your options. You, obviously, wouldn't want to one of these bad people ... would you?
  I always coach my clients to make a living out of the activity that brings them the most joy. We all have something we'd do even if we didn't receive a paycheck. If you turn your favorite hobby into what you study and what you do for work, you can combine a good life with a good living.
  Try not to believe that no one can make money at what you love. If you look around you'll see people with every sort of hobby that have managed to make it lucrative. If they can do it, so can you!
  Make it a priority to understand what money will do for you. Some of my clients are trying to figure out financially when to retire. I tell them it is more important to figure out the lifestyle they want after retirement because that will tell them how much money they need.
  If we go out in search of money, we will fail to see the bigger opportunity work presents. Work gives us a way to be relevant, to learn and to make a contribution. The amount you need is equal to the lifestyle you value. Your answer doesn't need to be the same as anyone else's, but it does need to work for you. 
  The last word(s)
  Q. My coworker is making numerous mistakes on projects. Is there a best way to alert my boss?
  A. Yes, put your boss in a position to see your coworker's mistakes rather than being the messenger that may get shot.
Daneen Skube, Ph.D., executive coach, trainer, therapist and speaker, also appears as the FOX Channel's "Workplace Guru" each Monday morning. She's the author of "Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, About Anything" (Hay House, 2006). You can contact Dr. Skube at or 1420 NW Gilman Blvd., #2845, Issaquah, WA 98027. Sorry, no personal replies.
This was printed in the October 30, 2016 - November 12, 2016 edition

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