Sometimes Variety Trumps Money 

Probably sounds like heresy.

Sometimes being a variety person takes guts.

Because sometimes variety trumps money.

There have been many times when I could have made more money, but chose not to so I could have time for the kinds of variety that make life worth living and make life interesting. Things like time to workout, or sleep enough, or see a friend, or cook a good meal, or learn something new, or create something, or explore, or spend time with family, or even something that makes some money but not as much as I could have made doing something else.

When I’m making decisions like these, I’m often acutely aware that I’m choosing to make less money than I could. It’s hard too because I don’t have much money, and don’t have a lot of room for error in terms of my budget. But both my main jobs right now are pretty flexible, so I often could be earning money when I’m not. I have both these jobs because they are flexible, so they allow time for variety and for work on my own projects (like varietypeople!) which may (or may not!) earn money in the future.

I listen to different parts of me, not just my wallet. Sometimes my body is saying, “We need a run!” And my body is so happy when we go for that run. Sometimes some part of me is saying “We need more socializing!” Or “More sleep!” Or “We need something different today, not just the same old things we’ve been doing lately!” You get the idea.

If you can manage it, and perhaps tolerate it, I highly recommend work that is flexible. That way, you can listen when variety seems to be trumping money.

Perhaps we should start posts here that list jobs we know of that are flexible, and allow for the kinds of decisions in favor of variety that I’ve mentioned. Here are my two main current jobs: One is a Field Rep for the US Census Bureau, where you get cases to work, but can mostly choose when you want to work on them. The other is being a background artist, also known as an extra, on TV shows and films, which I can choose to be available for day-by-day. I’m tagging this post with the tag “flexible work ideas” so if you have ideas for other kinds of flexible work that allows for variety, please tag your post similarly. You can also add your “flexible work ideas” in comments to this post.

Come to think of it, both my jobs also have quite a bit of variety themselves. Interviewing people in Census surveys means I meet a very wide variety of people. And being an extra means I’m always going to different locations and studios, playing different roles, and dressing in different wardrobe for the parts. I guess I’ll also tag this post “jobs with variety” to capture that idea. Perhaps you know of some jobs like that too, and can post about them and tag them the same way. You can also add your “jobs with variety” ideas in comments to this post.

Even having two different jobs can be awesome. If I only did one of my jobs, I couldn’t take it. But this way, I’m often like, “OMG, I’m so glad I’m doing this and not my other job today!” This change can be so refreshing.