Would you take a job where you earn close to 1/3 of your current hourly wage? Well, that is exactly what I am thinking about doing.
Although I love the idea of being an entrepreneur (and as you know a sexy developer nerd also), the truth is that my business sense reminds me that my creative ideas are not necessarily scalable, profitable and don’t meed a great social need. Yet I love entrepreneurship. I have devoted the past five years of my life to studying and working with entrepreneurship research. The random facts I know about enterprise development would astound you, I mean statistics, direct quotes, the works. And for what? Well, ideally to help promote entrepreneurship. I think that entrepreneurship is one of the single most marvelous tools that each person holds. Despite age, race, gender, martial status, education or class, a person can create something innovative, can make a positive difference to their life and to other people’s lives, can fill a need that others might not have even noticed they have. I view it as a key to solving economic problems that haunt less privileged individuals. I for one think entrepreneurship is incredible and is about so much more than economics. I want to do all I can to encourage it.
After my master’s thesis got put on the back burner a friend of mine gave me a referral for a job here in Chile. About a month later I got a notification about the job application process and applied. The job is with a new start-up which I believe could do awesome things. Better yet, the job I applied for, well, not to blow my own trumpet or anything, but I would seriously rock at. I got to prove this through the lengthy application process. What a fantastic way to promote entrepreneurship, I thought, working in a new venture doing hands-on work. Then three days ago, I was offered the position. Fantastic news, right? Well, then I found out that the pay is literally 1/3rd of the hourly wage I am getting for the work I am doing via the internet for my university in New Zealand. If I take the job I can survive, but I won’t be doing much more than that financially. I won’t be saving for any trips to surrounding countries on my bucket-list during weekends and holidays or be buying the new 20mm tilt shift lens or the iphone I want, none of that. The cost of living here in Chile isn’t cheap either. Apart from rent which is quite affordable, I would say for my taste in food and clothing it’s about the same price, and further, the electronic equipment (the thing I would spend all my money on if I could) is even more expensive. Despite this, I’m still considering taking the job.
This is why. It’s October right now, and I feel as though the year has just started. That is what is happening. Life is speeding up and going by so quickly. It’s easy to think of the importance of life this year as I have experienced more death than ever before. Within four months a friend, a mentor and close friend’s father passed away. This is life. It is short. We need to make the most of it. We need to be doing something that has great meaning to us. Steve Jobs who passed away yesterday gave an amazing speech about the importance of doing what you enjoy and not settling (link below), and I whole heartedly believe that if we do what we are passionate about that it will work out for the best.
So I have a decision to make today, should I take a job that I could enjoy in a company I believe has great potiental but be paid less than the minimum wage in my home country, actually less than the youth minimum wage in my home country? It’s a hard choice because if I pass it up I might be missing out on something really great that I could get a lot of fulfillment from.
I have to decide by the morning. I will let you know the outcome.
Steve Job’s speech in 2005 is incredible for those of you who haven’t seen it.