Looks Good on Your Resume? Does it Look Good on Your Life?

May 21, 2015 by

          While brushing my teeth this morning, I was randomly thinking about work. FYI: That never happens. I’m not usually thinking about work until I get to work, especially not while still half asleep, still unsure what day it is, and still mentally preparing myself for the gym. That mental preparation usually sounds something like: “Yes, you are for real about to go to the gym, just like every other weekday morning for over two years. I know it doesn’t seem like it, because you’re still in your pajamas, but in less than one hour, you will be lifting things.” Whether I say that aloud or my thoughts just sound that loud against the silence of the still-sleeping world, I don’t know. At 5- or 6-something in the morning, I can’t differentiate between my voice and my subconscious. Add the extreme likelihood that it was technically morning by the time I went to bed the night before, and my start of day is a blur. I’m writing this on my lunch right now, but I swear to God that I’m still brushing my teeth, because how did noon happen? The girl that asks how noon happened does not have mental capacity to think about work before work. She’s simultaneously trying to hold on to any blog ideas that pop into her head and remind herself not to hold her breath while working out.

          Regardless, I was brushing my teeth and thinking about work. (Am I seriously not still spitting toothpaste out of my mouth? How did noon happen?) Not my work, but work in general. Somehow – I have no idea how, but somehow – I began thinking about how it’s been years since I did something on the grounds that it would look good on my resume. The concept seemed almost foreign to me. I forgot that how something would look on my resume used to factor into my decisions. For example, I justified working for Corporate Hell on Earth for four years because it looked good on my resume.

          As I rinsed my mouth, I went on to contemplate hypotheticals, like what I’d do if I were unexpectedly offered a higher position today. I was quick to answer myself: It would depend on the expectations of that position. What would be the demand on my time? How would it impact my work-life balance? But how it would look on my resume would be the least of my concerns. My life is more important to me that a two-page document that sums up my job experience. My life is also more important to me than the salary that a higher position might come with. Regardless of figures, my concerns remain the same: What would be the demand on my time? How would it impact my work-life balance? You might be thinking that it’s easy for me to say that without the temptation of a higher salary before me, so let me illustrate how much less important job titles and money are to me than my quality of life.

          In March, a recruiter who interviewed me back in 2012, after I quit Corporate Hell on Earth, called me. My current employer, one dedicated to team-oriented culture and work-life balance, had already offered me my current job. I was scheduled to start the following week. Nonetheless, this recruiter was interested in interviewing me. Based on my work experience and my interview with her years prior, she thought I’d be a good candidate for a position with a salary $32,000 above the one I had just been offered by my present employer. It was a good thing we were speaking over the phone, because I couldn’t stop my mouth from dropping. That’s a big salary jump. That’s some people’s entire salary. That’s like a second salary on top of my salary. It was very tempting, but only for about two minutes, the amount of time it took for me to review the job description, which sounded exactly like my role at Corporate Hell on Earth. I responded with a “thank you for thinking of me” and a polite decline to her interview invite. When I quit Corporate Hell on Earth, I quit with intent to never work that job again. No amount of money changes that.

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