5.19.2010

Four Years Ago


I recently celebrated four years at Econsult, and though my performance evaluation is to come in the near future, I write this glowing post not for self-serving purposes, but rather to express gratitude. If you know me, you know that to draw up the perfect job for me would entail five sets of criteria (in no particular order, although sorting these sets of criteria would make for a juicy post, but that's for another time):

* The job has to work for me in terms of work-life balance. Pays well, reasonable hours, easy commute, not too stress-inducing.

* The job has to be stimulating to my intellect. Stimulating assignments, stimulating co-workers, stimulating training and networking opportunities.

* The job has to grow my professional network and knowledge base. Lots of opportunities to be an expert, a participant, an advocate, and a learner.

* The job has to meld my personal interests. Urban, economics, analysis, the intersection of public and private and non-profit.

* The job has to yield meaningful outcomes. Making a difference, making advancements in key issues, doing substantive work.

Most people, whether their criteria are similar to mine or not, have a handful of criteria; and most people, as much as they want to find something that fits all of their criteria, find they have to settle for less than ideal in one or more of those criteria. A job is stimulating but brutally stressful, or rewarding but with low pay, or enjoyable but too narrowly scoped.

Thanks be to God, I do not feel I have had to settle in anything important to me concerning what I want in a job. The particulars work for where I am in life now. I find the work stimulating (I am constantly learning) but not overwhelming (I have to add value to my clients, so it can't just be me learning on the job, I have to contribute too). I get to run in circles that are interesting to me. I get to do work on topics that I am curious about. And our work matters in public and private circles.

I will not reiterate here what I have written before about what I have gone through and what I have learned in this and in my previous job searches. All I will repeat is that God is good and I am grateful, for what I have learned so far and what I am fortunate enough to have today, which is a job I enjoy.

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