Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Before Picture

I want to do more.  But before I can tell you what that means, it's good know where I'm at right now.

We moved into our new home a little over a year ago.  It's been a good home so far.  Coming from the townhouse we had before, it seemed huge when we moved in.  Now our young kids are starting to grow, I wish the size of the house could grow, too!  Nevertheless, it's a decent house, it meets our needs, and it's our home.

I'd like to think that our family is the typical middle class family.  My wife and I both work.  We have two kids, two cars, and a small dog.  Financially speaking, we're doing okay.  The bills are getting paid.  There's a little debt I wish we didn't have.  We're probably living a little more "paycheck to paycheck" than I prefer.  For the most part, things are okay.  But that's just it, we're doing okay and I want to more than that.

I'm a licensed social worker.  Stereotypically, social workers aren't known for making a lot of money, and that's more true than I care to admit.  For me, my base salary is actually pretty decent for being a hospital social worker, so I really can't complain.  I also have the ability to bring home more money by volunteering to be the hospital's on call social worker.  The on call rotation is a part of our job, but many of my colleagues are happy to give their hours away if there's someone else who needs the extra cash.  It can be rough, especially if paged in at 2am, but it's a good way to get an extra day or two's pay added to the paycheck.

Several times I'd thought about getting into the financial services industry from social work (the two fields can be very similar).  On at least three occasions, I met with people from different companies.  I became very interested each time, but ultimately turned each offer down.  They wanted someone who was willing to drop everything, not bring home a paycheck for two months, and pound the pavement to find leads.  I also felt very poached- they wanted me to turn over the names of my family, friends, and anyone else I knew for more leads.  I didn't like that feeling at all.  I didn't want to look at everybody as if they were a walking dollar sign and a way for me to get more money.  These were sales jobs, dressed in a financial services disguise.

I wanted to bring home more money, but not like that.

I'm a firm believer that the ends do not justify the means.  I believe that how I make money is just as important as having it, and how I spend it.  Maybe I won't make as much money as the other guy with values like this, but I like my faith and my values and intend to keep them.

So this is me, and at the end of last month I signed an independent business agreement with Primerica, in addition to my full-time job.  I intend to find out if I can still be a social worker, still hold my faith and values, while making some additional money in the financial services industry.  There's still a lot of sales, but Primerica's character is completely different.  I find the company's sense of service and desire to get families what they need very attractive.   Plus, it's the only company I know that will let me do this on my own time while working and having a family.

My future entries on this blog entries will track my progress and ultimately tell the story. I hope it's one with a good ending!

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