Compensation! Compensation!

1 27 15

Of these 3 options, which one is most important in your work right now?:

  • Quality of life
  • Quality of work
  • Quality of compensation 

Compensation! Compensation! Compensation!

But it’s not what you think.

(First, I’m confused because this question asks within the framework “in your work,” but the life / work / compensation triad throws me off. Because those things contribute to my whole life, not just my work life. So, just a note that I am applying this question to my whole life, not just my work life. Because, well, I tend to take a holistic approach – and they are all invariable connected.)

(Second, I really wish I had some sort of witty story or metaphor from real life that I could incorporate here. Sort of like Brenna Layne’s response that includes construction workers, gourmet recipes and piano recitals. But I don’t. And I’m feeling quite linear – so we’ll just go for it.)

I pick compensation. Here’s why.

If my work is my making and writing – and, by this I mean my chosen work, then I’m in it for the compensation. Because the compensation is rich and deep and sustaining. It’s what keeps me going.

You see, the compensation I receive is connection and a deep sense of community. An amazing network of support as I develop my voice and a body of work that grows from daily practice – along with a way to share it all. I am rewarded with rich feedback and response from mentors and human beans I admire. Whose opinion and response and conversation means so much to me – because I respect these people and what they make, are, and do in this world. And being connected to this sense of community, and a growing connection to my own voice, connects me to my own sense of self. And connecting to my own sense of self helps me connect most deeply to the golden thread that leads me forward in an authentic way.

So, if I had to pick just one – it would be compensation. Because the ‘payment’ I receive in exchange for the ‘work’ I enjoy doing so much is valuable beyond words. Meaningful beyond cash value. As precious as anything in the curio cabinet or bank box.

As a person who just wants to connect, and deeply, the halo of relationship that floats around my work is the most valuable resource I have.

(Oh, and let’s be honest. I love the totally scattered, hodge-podge, run-around quality of my life. And, well, we all know that this year is absolutely not about quality of work, it’s about just going for it – and accepting imperfection.)

Other thoughts that came to mind in response to this prompt included a response in line with the following two definitions for compensation.

1. Biology. the improvement of any defect by the excessive development or action of another structure or organ of the same structure.
2. Psychology. a mechanism by which an individual attempts to make up for some real or imagined deficiency of personality or behavior by developing or stressing another aspect of the personality or by substituting a different form of behavior.

Today’s Quest2016 prompt (well, last Thursday’s)  comes from SALLY HOGSHEAD,  who is well-versed in understanding and leveraging your value by the way you captivate and influence those around you. Her recent book How the World Sees You applies her research in the science of fascination to leaders and change-makers who want to be more of their best. Thanks to Jeffrey Davis and the Tracking Wonder team for making the Quest2016 happen!




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