Is your work working for you? As a trainer of new Financial Recovery Counselors and money coaches, I always teach trainees to help clients also assess their relationship to work. Some people don’t necessarily struggle in their financial life because of overspending. They hit their emotional and financial bottom because of their relationship with their work and earning.

Recognizing that you need, want, and deserve more than your work is giving you can mark the beginning of transforming your own relationship with work and earning.

One common scenario is that your job works for you, but the money doesn’t. This was what my client Joanna came to realize. (I’ll explore the other two common scenarios– where the money works and the job doesn’t, or when neither the job nor the money works– in my following posts.)

Joanna had worked for many years at a nonprofit organization that benefits children in her community. She loved her job and believed the work done by her agency made an important difference in her community. She lived debt-free and within her means, with a lot of creative efforts to get the most for her money. But no matter how disciplined she was in her money management, Joanna just couldn’t make her money stretch enough to live in the way she would like. She wanted to buy a home, and on her salary, this would be out of reach.

Joanna’s work, even though she loved it, just wasn’t working for her.

She recognized she was growing unhappy with the severe financial limitations that her “dream job” caused in her life.

During her time in Financial Recovery counseling and money coaching with me, she had looked at her family and work history and she had done a lot of work with her spending plan to get in touch with her needs. She realized that in order to have the life she wanted, she’d either have to get more money for the work she did or consider a career shift. The dilemma was that she was at the top salary her position would pay.

Because she had learned to get creative in using her monthly spending plan, Joanna knew how much more she would need to earn to meet her needs and achieve her goals.

She decided to apply some creativity to find a solution. She approached the director of her agency, with whom she had a great relationship, and presented her dilemma—as well as an idea. Perhaps if she could write and obtain a grant to expand the agency’s services, she could get a promotion that would justify a raise in salary.

The director had an even better idea. She didn’t want to lose Joanna.

She was planning to retire in two years and had been trying to figure out a way to cut back her hours in the meantime. She did some math and figured that if she went to four days a week instead of five and Joanna stepped into a co-director role, with the additional grant money:

Joanna could increase her salary by 30 percent for the next two years.

She’d also be well positioned to succeed the director when she retired and that would mean another bump.

Joanna’s creativity and her rapport with her director were a big part of why this solution worked. However, Joanna’s new-found awareness that she needed and deserved to make more money was what led her to address the situation and propose a plan to increase her salary.

In the next two posts I will share how other people explored the question of “Is your work working for you?” Stay tuned.

The field of “money coaching” is exploding right now, and Financial Recovery Counseling is the most effective form of money coaching around. If you would like a rewarding profession where you can earn what you deserve while you help people heal their own issues around money, spending and earning, please look at our training program. We’ll share the best kept secret— an amazing business opportunity that is also the most important profession of the 21st century.

July 19th, 2011 by Karen McCall