What idiot says no to a raise?
Chip Gaines, co-star of the hit TV show Fixer Upper, writes this about his dad in the book Capital Gaines:
“When I lived at home, he was willing to forego promotions and advancements at work just to have more time to throw a baseball with me in the evenings. He was teaching me the game, but on another level, he was showing me how to be a man and a father. He taught me the value of investing in one’s family above anything else.”
We almost always consider promotions and advancements at work to be the best thing for ourselves and our families. And they might very well be. But more impressive titles, bigger paychecks, and better offices are also good for our pride.
Sometimes a promotion serves no one but ourself.
Look, struggling to make ends meet is never fun. Growing into an opportunity that gives us some financial breathing room and provides our family more options can be a real blessing. But we should never lose sight of the fact that the important people in our lives, especially children, require more of our time than our money. And not just the short bursts of expensive, well-orchestrated “quality time” we squeeze into the thin slivers of space we have available between professional commitments.
Keep in mind, “promotions” can take many forms. I know speakers who boast about how many days they are on the road, which is a clever way to humble brag about how successful and in-demand you are. Unfortunately, many of them have been through several marriages and have broken relationships with their children.
Kim and I have always limited the number of speaking engagements that I’ll do in a year. This year, we lowered it. (A demotion, perhaps?) Of course, that puts a ceiling on how much money I can earn speaking, but that’s ok. For me, the extra income boost I’d get from “promoting” myself to sixty or seventy or ninety gigs a year is not worth the toll it would take on my most important relationships.
It’s not my job to dictate how much money should be enough, or mandate the minimum amount of time you should be spending with loved ones. But I do know this: Our relationships need our presence to thrive. Without us, they wilt and eventually die.
Sometimes the decisions we’re faced with that come with the “obvious” answers are the ones most in need of our scrutiny.
Anything that pays more money to take more of our time might not be the no-brainer we think it is.