For me it would be akin to winning the lottery. Skadden, Arps, a law firm in New York, offered their associates $80,000, one-third of their pay, to take the year off. Wow. Along with that comes immunity from future layoffs. Sparkly isn’t it? Why would anyone say no? Well they’re not. According to this article in the NY Times about 125 associates have taken the firm up on their offer. Some of them will pursue higher education, others will take pro bono work to stay competitive, still others will spend time with family and some will travel around the world. Nice.
But let’s take a moment to unpack this shall we? For starters not all of us can get by on one-third of our salary. $80K ‘wouldn’t buy the farm’ in the pricey area where I rent. Then there is the immunity from having to look for a job or change careers in this economy, think about the assurance that brings in knowing that whatever you decide to do, there will be soft landing. The most complicated decision then becomes what will you do?
Who would you be if no one told you who you were supposed to be? What would you risk doing if you knew you would have a soft landing, no matter what you decided?
While I don’t have anyone offering me $80K to pursue my wildest dream for a year, I am doing just that. I am treating this job loss as a gift. I’m taking this time to change my thoughts, words and actions so that they reflect my grandest dreams about myself. Some days I run with this and other days I barely crawl. The wise ones tell me to do what I love… well you know the rest.
What would you risk? What would you do for a year?
Something spectacular is just around the bend…