I was never in it for the money.
I went to school to be a teacher, and then I worked in publishing for 5 years. Clearly, if I were all about money, I would have chosen another profession. However, the thing that always bothered me about not being in it for the money was that I wasn’t sure what I was in it for. If I had to, I could try to convince myself that academic publishing helped students learn, and I do think the possibility for that is there–if students would actually buy the books. But for all intents and purposes, I was working at companies that only cared about the dollar signs. Individually, the people working there were great and some really did care about providing students with the best learning materials, but at the end of the day, it was about the profit. And at the end of the day, if I didn’t care about that, why was I spending my days working toward it?
Now, at the end of my–long–workdays, I can say that I’m working for something bigger than a profit. Nonprofits need to get money, too, of course, but that money doesn’t go toward making more products; it goes toward helping more people. Directly, a lot of the time, and the rest of the time, indirectly.
So in a week or a month when I’ve become the person I never thought I would, the one who has to cancel plans or show up late because she’s working too much, well, first of all, I won’t even recognize myself. Second of all, I’ll recognize that that’s a good thing, since I’m doing something meaningful with my time, and that’s worth becoming someone who doesn’t have much time for herself. I think. I hope.
No, I know for sure. Because I was never in it for the money.