Every Thursday, we release a weekly dose of our top links on alternative careers, entrepreneurship and adventure via the Escape School list. Sometimes the best way to start escaping is by educating yourself on the world beyond the cubicle and we use that newsletter to recommend specific books and articles that may help you in your own transition. Here are three of this week’s picks…
“Leaving aside the question of “should I take a job at all”, let’s talk about money for a second. First, the science: studies show that an increase in salary only offers marginal to zero increase in “happiness” above a certain level. Why is this? Because the basic fact: people spend what they make. If your salary increases $5,000 you spend an extra $2000 on features for your car, you have an affair, you buy a new computer, a better couch, a bigger TV, and then you ask, “where did all the money go?” Even though you needed none of the above now you need one more thing: another increase in your salary, so back to the corporate casino for one more try at the salary roulette wheel. I have never once seen anyone save the increase in their salary.
In other words, don’t stay at the job for safe salary increases over time. That will never get you where you want – freedom from financial worry. Only free time, imagination, creativity, and an ability to disappear will help you deliver value that nobody ever delivered before in the history of mankind.”
“It may seem paradoxical, but taking longer periods away from the workforce can actually help you work smarter or develop a new career direction. Sabbaticals mean that you’re not simply on vacation, but choosing not to work while gaining new experiences or refocusing your career. Recent studies attribute everything from aboost in employee retention and higher future productivity for those who take sabbaticals.
In the last five years, there’s been an increased acceptance of sabbaticals. Leaves of absence of six months or more are allowed for some employees at 29% of companies, including 6% of large companies and 11% of small companies, according to a 2012 National Study of Employers from the Families and Work Institute. Corporations like Intel, American Express, and General Mills are routinely allowing their employees to take time away from the office through partially paid sabbaticals. Recently, blogging powerhouse Gawker reportedly offered long-term employees sabbaticals of four weeks or more based on years of service.”
“Dealing with critics, as any good leader has to do from time to time, makes me tired, too. It’s true that the more impact you have, the more you will be criticized. Expect it. Unless you’re hiding out in average land, the critics will find you and tell you why you’re wrong, unimportant, irrelevant, and so on.
I realized recently that my greatest weakness as a leader is insecurity. Sometimes, I’ll admit to those of you who are following this adventure, I care more about what people think of me than I care about making the right decision. I know that’s not good, and I’m working on it.”
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