Long and Short Term Goals
January 19, 2012 8 Comments
The past few days I’ve been struggling with the boundaries between work goals and personal goals.
See, I taught adjunct at a local community college this past summer and was asked to do it again this summer. And naively I agreed.
The more I’ve been thinking about this decision, the more I believe it was the wrong one for my professional goals. However, teaching is absolutely the best thing for my personal finance goals.
Here’s the scoop: Teaching at the community college nets me a very sexy $5,000. I work 2.5 hours a day for 8 weeks. Not a bad deal. However, the class is right in the middle of the day (noon to 2:30pm). So because of its timing it is difficult to do anything before and I’m always so exhausted it is hard to do anything after either. With the rate I’m paying debt down and the addition of another $5,000 in the summer – I could be credit card debt free by August (not a promise, though, just an “if everything goes as planned”).
However, what I think I should do professionally is do research in someone’s lab over the summer. It advances the goals of my department (that I set), it keeps my research skills fresh, and will help make me money in the future as I’ll be publishing, be able to write grants, and there is a POSSIBILITY that whoever I work with will be able to pay me a small stipend. But if I’m teaching this class, I won’t be able to do this.
So I’m stuck between two things I want: Debt Free vs. Thriving Department
Both have negative consequences if I wait. The longer I’m out of research the harder it is for me to get back in. The longer I’m in debt the harder for me to get to my big long term financial goals.
The only half way in between I can figure out is switching to teaching a night class or finding someone who doesn’t mind me coming in just 2-3 hours a day during the week. Neither are ideal situations, but neither are perfect.
Since I’m the one who wants both of these things to happen I’m having a hard time deciding which is the MOST important at this point in time. And if I don’t get my debt paid down, I’ll be wondering the same thing next year and the year after.
So maybe I just answered my own question there…