Right Livlihood

I work with CivicActions, and one of the best things about this gig is the lifestyle that it allows me to enjoy. CivicActions is a small but growing band of technology revolutionaries writing free and open source code for progressive organizations and political campaigns. We're pulling in more work than we can handle, so I am pretty constantly overwhelmed (we could use good developers and project managers) but though I often don't get enough sleep, I love what we're doing and firmly believe that we're headed down a good path.

We're a 100% virtual company, which allows me to work from home any ten hours a day I want. This is great as I also get to spend time in close proximity to my family, especially important to me as my four-year-old son is growing and changing daily - I would hate to miss something special because I'm at "the office." Even though my colleagues and I are physically separate, we connect every weekday morning on a 20-minute "scrum" call where we also get to share some "watercooler" talk about what's up in our lives. Most importantly, everyone in the company is encouraged to put their lives - and lifestyle - first, though we're generally workaholics and do whatever it takes to move the projects we're working on forward.

I think a major reason for the dedication I see at Civic Actions is that we are doing Good Work - stuff that is making the world a better place (one vote at a time, one might say). This is particularly important for me, as I want my son to have clean air, drinkable water, quality health care, and a safe and peaceful world in which he is guaranteed the freedoms that this troubled country's forefathers fought and died for. I don't know how so many corporate workers can look at their kids in the face and believe that they are creating a better world for them, other than perhaps purely financially, while they are mortgaging the planet's future. I am heartened by the fact that I am doing work that already makes my son very proud.

There's no doubt that I could earn nearly twice what I make now in a corporate environment, but I wouldn't have near the lifestyle and peace of mind I currently enjoy. And, with my continued work - and that of my dedicated compatriots - I may be able to pull in something akin to corporate dollars in the future so that I can create for my family those things we want and deserve, such as a house with a backyard (though probably not in the Bay Area!). In fact, all of us at CivicActions agree that acheiving such personal dreams are a key part of the measure of our group's success.