The right job for me

If you follow me on Facebook, you probably know that we have a bottle-baby kitten right now. This isn’t the first time one of these has shown up at our door. As a veterinarian (and crazy cat lady), my wife attracts these sorts of adventures. As a work-from-home hermit, I end up spending a lot of time playing, feeding, and cleaning up pee, as well as typing with a feisty helper climbing on my arm, chewing on my finger, or sleeping in my lap. There’s usually the sound of the wind chimes on the front porch to create ambiance, as well as the sounds of the horses downstairs in their stalls.

Not the right job for me

I used to work in an office where the phones rang all the time, people were in and out demanding this, selling that, complaining about so-and-so, and the drama of office politics was always being played out in one ridiculous way or another. Before that, I was a mechanic working for the Army. I spent my days working on vehicles in a giant concrete parking lot where it was miserably hot in the summer, and freezing cold in the winter. Office politics was a favorite game there too; played with fervor by the amateurs and professionals alike.

J. Boyd LongI’m glad I had jobs that I wasn’t cut out for, in places that I don’t perform well. Those experiences gave me a solid perspective against which I can measure my life today. Without them, I wouldn’t have any way to realize how perfect this job and lifestyle is for me. I wouldn’t know that the office politics between the cats (vicious, but only on occasion) isn’t so bad, that when I have to pause the bookkeeping to go pick up a baby donkey and bring it to the vet clinic, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind, for peace and quiet. Those things are important to me.

Know what makes a job the right job, or the wrong job

If you’ve read my previous blogs, then you know I’m a big fan of understanding myself. Did you think this was about kittens? This is about knowing yourself, knowing what sort of environment is good for you, and what is bad. I’m an introvert, a Ravenclaw, an INFJ, an anti-conflict kind of guy. I’m also smart and logical and creative, and I like to do things the way that I deem best, and I don’t handle command-and-control people being in charge of me very well, especially when they’re idiots. I certainly don’t work well under micro-managers, or people that demand that you are busy every moment of the day for the sake of appearances, or people that need to dominate you to get their self-value. Before I knew these things about myself, where did I work? In all the worst places for me to be, because I was choosing them based on money alone.

Know why you do what you do

Knowing these things about yourself, and then finding an appropriate place to work that fills your needs and minimizes your stressors, are a major cog in the wheel of happiness and quality of life. It’s scary to quit a job that pays you well, especially if the place you’ll be happiest doesn’t pay as well. That’s when it’s important to know what you can afford, how you can adjust your lifestyle expenses, and what’s most important to you. Everything has a price. Once you know what you value, you can make informed choices and take action to improve your life. Or, you can do the same thing over and over, hoping for a different result. People do it every day.

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Justin B. Long is an author, blogger, website developer, and the CFO of Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic. In his spare time (ha!) he likes to paint, read, canoe, and hike in the wilderness. You can subscribe to this blog in the blue block, and future blogs will be delivered to your email. Warning: Subscribing may increase your awesomeness quotient. Please feel free to comment, and share this blog on your favorite social media page! To learn more, please visit

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