Whatever floats your boat...
So, I've been doing a lot of soul searching lately. Many things are happening and coming together, the stars are aligning, the clouds are parting, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. I like to mull things over for a decade or so before speaking about them but the time has coms...Mr. Scribbler and I chatted about it today...
So here's the dealio; I work for a growing ~ and wonderful ~ company that gives me the tools and the freedom to grow and prosper in any way I see fit. Mostly. The wee bits that irritate me like a tortilla chip stuck in your gums or that hangy downy stuff on the roof of your mouth when you eat pizza that's too hot for human consumption are few and far between and for the most part, negotiable.
So, I am coming up on my 5th anniversary with my company and in a very short time I shot to the top of the heap. I am a member of the National Design Team which allows me to travel; affords me educational opportunities that I would otherwise forego because of my coughsotightIsqueakcough frugal tendencies; opens new doors of opportunity and affords me the teeny tiniest bit of distinction and prestige. It also gives me a reason to get really dressed up and spend the night in a swanky hotel once a year so they can thank me for my fabulousness while still wallowing very low on the food chain. I'm cool with that. I've been doing what I do in some form or fashion for what will be 29 years in June and still love going to work every day. In short (ok, I know it's much too late for that) I'm at the top of my game at present.
I will be 50 on my upcoming birthday. Now, if you know me even a bit, you know I LOVE birthdays. Yours, mine, everybody's. Even my 50th. I can hardly wait. It has, however, brought home a realization. The choices I make now are more crucial than ever. If I take a few risks, I could substantially improve my quality of life in the next 5 to 15 years, and retirement will just be a continuation of the celebration.
And therein lies the problem. I suddenly feel a tremendous amount of pressure concerning some career choices that I'm facing. I have several opportunities and fully expect to retire from my company. It's good. It's designed that way. Many doors opened when I hit the ranking of 7th in the company (out of 850ish), when I made it through the auditions for the design team (they pay me to travel and talk shop), and most recently was awarded Trainer of the Year (I just wanted to brag about that one:c ) Other opportunities though are surfacing and mostly due to my success with my company. For example, I am being encouraged by several Redken Artists to submit the paperwork and a demo vid to become an Artist for Redken. I would still be able to do all the things I'm doing with my company; working behind the chair, training, traveling, etc. It would require a fairly large financial investment on my part because none of the preparatory training is in my area. It all calls for travel and missing several weeks of work, plus, it's training I will have to pay for because it's necessary prior to sending in my application. I haven't missed several weeks of work even cumulatively in 29 years! I have until the end of December to get it all together if I want to be part of the 2012 Redken Recruitment.
The icing on the cake? There's no guarantees. I could spend thousands of dollars, miss roughly a month of work, and not make the team. And, even if I do make the team, the rewards are more in terms of intangibles than tangibles because it takes several years and several bits of good luck for it to become particularly lucrative. My business in the salon will certainly be enhanced. I'll rise above the mere mortal designers in education and perks, and my skill level will expand so my clients will benefit quickly. But the pay off will be slow and steady and most likely match what I would do anyway without doing the audition at all.
So, I dunno. My practical side says it's too much for too little. My innards tell me - hell yeah! Education is everything, always "worth it" and is a monumentally integral part of who I am. My emotional and karmic reaction is that I have a responsibility to magnify that in which I excel and share my gifts.