In 1995, I had a life-changing conversation with one of the wisest men I know. I was considering a job in the non-profit sector during the toughest part of my work life at a big Washington, DC law firm. My drop in pay would have been from somewhere in the low 100s to a bit less than 40,000. My worries about providing for my future family – I was married with no kids – plagued me. My mentor noted: “you’ll be a better husband and father if you are happy with your work.” He went on to explain what seems obvious: “if you come home from a miserable day at work, you won’t be fully present for your family. It will take a while to wash off the negative energy and stress of the day. Over time, you will turn into a grumpy father and husband. Conversely, if you come home happy from work, you’ll be a better father and husband because you’ll be bursting with positive energy.” While I didn’t take that job because we decided to move to Connecticut, that conversation has played in my head many days during my career counseling work with similarly situated parents.
This has proved to be true. And when I want to my 25th law school reunion, I sat at a table with 7 other men. I was the only one with a happy family life.
You will be great example of choosing happiness to your children if you find work that fulfills you. This decision has made all the difference in my life. I hope I can help you find similar joy.