What About Money and Reinvention?
What about the money?
It’s a common belief that the more money we have, the happier we’ll be. But numerous studies have shown that wealth and happiness do not necessarily go hand in hand.
Once our survival needs are met—we have enough to eat and a roof over our heads—extra money doesn’t buy much more happiness.
So why do we think that money will make us happier? It’s because when we reach a certain level of earnings, money moves from being a means of survival to a signifier. A signifier is an idea or concept that stands for something else in your mind.
For example, money for you may represent security. Or more freedom, or power, or time, or status, or something else entirely. The key is to understand what you’re really seeking when you say you want to earn more money in your career.
Take a moment to fill in the blank:
Money represents______________________________ to me (security, time, power, freedom; note that it could be more than one!).
What happens when you don’t understand what money signifies to you? You accept a promotion but you’re miserable because now you’re working too many hours, when what you really wanted was more time off. Or you take a job for a big bump in salary at a competitor known for layoffs, so that the pay raise is offset by constant anxiety—and what you were really after was a sense of security.
Understanding your money signifier means you can check to ensure that your next job delivers—for real!
To effectively launch your reinvention, you must also create a ‘reinvention budget’. Included in this budget are:
- Your current cost of living
- Investments needed to pursue your reinvention (e.g. classes, membership in an industry association, subscription to trade newsletter, etc.)
- Incidental costs (e.g. travel, business cards, entertainment)
Tally everything above to come up with your “Cost of Reinvention”.
A few other important things to think about:
- Estimate the time you will need for your reinvention
- Brainstorm ideas for how you’ll meet your cost of your reinvention during that time
- List your ‘Plan B’ options in case your timing takes longer than expected or you need to raise additional funds to support your reinvention