In this week’s episode, Matt Robison and I dive into an often-overlooked aspect of job selection: logistics. While most people prioritize salary and job responsibilities, we emphasize the significance of considering the logistical details that contribute to job satisfaction and work-life balance.
What are Job Logistics?
The term “logistics” here encompasses various aspects of a job beyond the actual tasks performed, including the daily routines, commuting, office setup, and the energy derived from the work itself. How enjoyable are the tasks you have to complete on a day-to-day basis? Do you use the time spent sitting in traffic to listen to audiobooks or tap your fingers on the wheel, becoming more impatient with each passing minute? Do you work next to someone who reheats fish every day for lunch or in the corner of your dark basement with kids running overhead? These logistics can significantly impact your job satisfaction and overall well-being.
Become your own country, so to speak
Job logistics intertwine with family life in a number of ways and it is important to navigate these dynamics as a team. One way to address job logistics in terms of quality of life is to think of your household as its own country. Together, you produce a household GDP (gross domestic product) in the form of daily life. These products include money earned (to sustain the household), time spent (on shuffling kids, homework, etc), tasks completed (housework, yard work, etc.) and social interactions (managing the familys’ social obligations and desires). Each partner contributes different strengths and responsibilities and not all contributions are financially quantifiable.
Have an honest conversation with your partner about your strengths and preferences in tasks. If you spend all day eyeballs deep in spreadsheets, perhaps you prefer to spend your weekends in the yard or driving kids to various activities. If you work in a hospital, perhaps you prefer the solitude and relative quiet of housework at home. Use the logistics of your job to create a balanced life at home.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought the concept of job logistics into sharp focus. The shift to remote work has made people more attuned to the details of their work arrangements, including the frequency of office visits and the value of in-person interaction. Job seekers and employees alike are now paying closer attention to how these logistical factors align with their personal and family needs.
While salary and job responsibilities are undeniably important, consider the broader context of job logistics when evaluating your career options. Crafting a work life that aligns with your personal preferences, or a home life that balances work obligations can lead to greater overall satisfaction on and off the job.
The logistics of your job matter and this is going to be a fascinating episode. I’m Matt Robison with my co host, Mike Morton of Morton financial advice and the sole host, co-host of financial life planning. We're also in the beyond politics podcast, Mike, despite the use of the word logistics, great word, fantastic work, what do you mean, the logistics of your job matter?Mike:
First, I'm so excited that I continue to get to be the co-host of my own show. I didn't screw up too badly last time.Matt:
Well, you're this is a trial period. Okay.Mike:
Let's get into it a little and see how it goes, put a little asterisks next to it.Matt:
You might get demoted in your own show as the interim, the interim co host. We'll see what the legal permanent position is. You're you come out of a business background don't sometimes CEOs, like get fired from the company that they themselves started.Mike:
They try to keep them on is like in the board. Oh, you can have a board seat. But you can't run this company anymore.Matt:
Yeah, look, I've been talking to the board. By the way, I have a degree in economics and I hosted a business show with Chris Hill of the Motley Fool and so I fully understand the functioning of a board. But anyway, yeah, we've been talking to the board at Morton financial advice and oh man.Mike:
It's trouble with your boss and your boss is not happy.Matt:
Your imaginary board made up of your wife and children. Okay. All right. Let's see, let's just give me the logistics of my job better.Mike:
All right, here's the thing, man. So there's a lot of logistics, I don't know what other word to use of your job, right? Like you have a, you have to go to the office, your office is here. So you have to commute to the office, you have to work this amount of weeks during the year you only get a couple of weeks off, maybe your job is flying, you got to fly around to see people or you're on phone, you're in sales, you're on the phone all the time. There's logistics of your job, not just the actual job, what you do, but just all those commutes and phone calls and whatever it is that are part of the job. Okay. And that stuff really matters. So when you are contemplating your current job, a future job transition, make sure you're pay attention to what the logistics of the job, how far do I have to commute? How many days do I need to go in there? And this of course, Matt, we'll get into it's all brought about by cutting actually not all brought about by COVID. But now people are well more aware of it. Because there is a lot more.Matt:
It was the kerosene on the fire.Mike:
Yep. But I brought this up, I was gonna say, I brought this up, because this is something I did for my current job. So we can talk about that. But the designing the logistics of what kind of job I want to have was really important to me. And as I talked to my clients and other friends, you know, and because of COVID, and people are now more aware, and thinking about what is this job? How much am I going to have to go to the office and commute in and that was never really a topic before. But I think people were missing it. And now it's people are keeping it front and center.Matt:
Have you seen a change during the course of the pandemic? And how your clients talk to you about how they think about job decisions based on logistics? Are you seeing this effect in real time?Mike:
Absolutely. It's the whole like in the office or not? How many days am I going to have to go in? Jobs are now like making me go in more, another extra day or this new job I'm considering. Here's where the office is and their current policies three days a week and the office and then who's in the office? Like I have some friends that are younger and single and they're like, oh, I like going to the office. Like it's a new job. I'm trying to, you know, meet people get experience. But yet, they're only requiring people to be in there like one or two days a week and it's totally empty all the time. So there's the flip side. But yeah, this is definitely a topic, especially around the commute, and the office that is now very prevalent.Matt:
So you're not implying that the joke about the millennial generation that they're all a bunch of delicate doilies, who don't want to actually do any work and they need like a mental health day every other day.Mike:
Yeah, that's a different podcast, but I'm happy to record that one as well because it's insane.Matt:
Well, they did a whole South Park about it where like the kid gets like, Cartman gets a job in the ice cream store and then like immediately, yeah, I need a mental health day. I'm gonna work from home and it's an ice cream shop, you can't work from home anyway. So how do you then go about, is this something that people come to you for advice about? Or is it you just find yourself working with people who this is just much more front and center in their lives?Mike:
Yeah, no, it's more just if you're in that point of thinking about, especially job transition, or your current job situation. I'm just highlighting that logistics really make a big difference. So let me tell you a story about how I landed in my current job as a financial planner, financial advisor. I was, this is 7,8, 9 years ago I contemplated what am I going to do next? I've had four or five different careers so far in my life and I was like, what am I going to do next? Should I start another business should I do this kind of business or service business or product? I don't know, I was exploring opportunities, right? So I was talking with a bunch of people getting information, thinking about different ideas, writing it all down. One of the things I was that I wrote down, I thought about is the logistics, will I be working from home? Will I have to have an office? Will I have to have employees? What's my time going to be? Is this going to be an 80 hour a week, you know, kind of thing? Or is it going to be five hours a week and to kind of build it up. So there's different elements of the logistics that I had a whole separate word document about how I wanted to live, because let's bring in my picture, right? Stay at home dad for a while my kids were very young, but they're getting older. So it was like, oh, I'm going to get to go back to work. So what kind of work is it going to be, but I still need to be available during the school day, right? In case something comes up kids home sick, or I get a call. So that was a big logistic for me, like I have to be home and available for that. I didn't want to do a startup company and work 80 hours a week, because my wife also has her career. And we both were both going to be working and so I didn't want to have a massive kind of startup thing. So I wanted it to be less hours, I also wanted to be flexible hours, I wanted to start like, I love to work, I love to do stuff, but I'd like to do in the evenings or on the weekends, or whatever it is, that was a big, that was a big piece for me as well. And finally Matt, I didn't want to work for anybody else. So it wasn't going to be me taking a job for somebody else.Matt:
That's right. One of the interesting threads in what you just said, is your recognition of the fact that you are making these decisions in the context of not just your family, but your spouse. And I think that I would suspect that for a lot of our listeners, and for a lot of your clients that's a really important aspect of this and it reminds me of, I don't know, you could call it a life hack like the kids do these days. But one of the best life hacks that I learned from a mutual friend of ours, and his very intelligent wife was they think about their household as like a little country. Yeah, I love it, I called it the GDP model of your life. Think about the gross domestic product of your household. And his point was, he has a corporate job, and he earns a pretty good salary and that's a very important part of their household GDP, you need to earn enough for your financial goals, your life goals, etc. But they also have goals as a couple of taking care of their children. They also have goals as a couple of doing some good in the world and doing some work that has a social conscience to it. And the insight that they had that I found so fascinating is, when you're in a partnership, when you're in a marriage, you can think of your household output not as your single output, but as your joint household GDP. And so she has a job that was a little bit more flexible in terms of where she worked, and also had a strong degree of social conscience that was a little less present in his. And I found that perspective really informed me in my own kind of job and career design was thinking about I have and have in recent years had young children and my wife and I realized, look, nowadays, you need at least one parent with a certain amount of flexibility. I love working from home. But I especially love it because just a certain percentage of days, there's going to be a call from school today, your kid needs to be picked up, or hey, your kids got a thing today, and someone's got to drive at an unusual time, or any number of things can come up. One of the things that I've realized, like this comes up in a budgeting context all the time. Oh, we had an extraordinary expense last month, but we won't have that expense next month, you're going to have some other frickin expense and you have to plan for that in your lives as well. Last month, we had a band concert so that threw off our whole schedule. Yeah, there's gonna be another frickin thing next month. So you might as well, you got to incorporate that into your whole job design. So anyway, there were two big thoughts in there. One is this GDP model I found incredibly helpful. And it really, it made me feel better. I think it made my wife feel better. It's here's the total amount that we have to get done let's do it as a team. And we're both providing different parts of it. And then the other part is just like planning for the fact that like the unexpected is actually quite expected.Mike:
Very expected. Oh my gosh, it's making me laugh because I get this all the time from my clients. Oh, yeah, we had this one big time expense, one time expense last year, and that won't happen again. I'm just like rolling my eyes like okay, sure it well, yeah. But meanwhile, maybe I should plan for that. Right. So let me ask you a question, Matt because I love the GDP and I got some answers too but I first want to hear from you. So with you and your family unit, what is what are some examples or an example where you have split some tasks, not the the financial we got, and I love that one of them was working in that corporate job. So bringing in kind of the money side to the other person who could do more other stuff. So what are some of the examples that you have, where you split some of those for your economic unit,Matt:
It's a lot of day to day stuff, I tend to do more of the cooking, my wife tends to do more of the dishes, I tend to be the outreach and coordination member of the couple if we have to make plans and we have to arrange things for our kids. If I have to text like my kids, mom like when are they getting together? That's my job. Putting it on the calendar is my wife's job. And over time, we've had the GDP model also forming our finances, because we have an overall kind of financial need and budget. And we've seesawed it from time to time, each of us has earned more of the money in the household. And that's been for various reasons. My wife's a doctor and so you know, when you're a doctor, you go through residency, and that's a period where you're not making as much money, there are times where there may be a job shift going on. And so there was a period where I was earning a lot more, and that was intentional. We'd split things both financially and responsibility wise, I'd say we take kind of equal share in a lot of the like, parenting tasks with different flavors on it. But now because I work from home, and I have a much more flexible schedule, I tend to be the on call parent for, hey, your kids got a fever, you got to come pick them up from school, hey, your kid's got a thing, who's gonna drive the kid to the thing, but it just, it kind of works out that way. But, you know, look, it makes me feel better. Honestly, it makes me feel better. Because I've had to let go of that. I appreciate the fact that at times, I earn less, between the two of us when that can feel weird in a partnership, but realizing that that's not the only thing that our little nation state has to accomplish, there's a lot we have to accomplish, and if you're earning less, but you're accomplishing other things that need to get done it's it's an equal partnership. And so anyway, that's how we do it. What about you?Mike:
Yeah, you know, it's funny, because very similar in terms of like the social coordination Matt, that's, that's on my plate. You know, although I have to put it into the calendar as well. So I don't know how you manage to offload.Matt:
Oh, you got the calendar job.Mike:
Yeah, we got the calendar job also. Wow. You know, what it reminds me of, is that everything is not equal between two different humans. And not the obvious, like, maybe one person is making more salary than the other. But the thing that you don't understand is some things some people really hate doing. There are certain tasks that some people really hate doing, and you might not mind doing it. Alright. So I think for instance, social coordinating is one. But another one is Oh, taking my kids to events, or taking my kids shopping. So sitting at like sporting events when my son plays baseball, and let me tell you, when you got like a bunch of eight year olds, playing baseball, not that he’s eight anymore,Matt:
Exactly get it somebody pays some other parents to sit there for 10 bucks an hour. Seriously it's like. Hey, kid, listen, this is this is my stand in. Can’t ChatGPT that, it's baseball. Yeah, baseball, do you realize that it's not even a sport? They don't even they have the honesty to not even call it a sport. It's a past time, and not a particularly good way to pass the time.Mike:
Are you ready to create your ideal lifestyle? Let's discover what's most important to you and design a plan to have more of that in your life. Go to meet Mike morton.com. All one word, meet Mike morton.com. I tell you what, it's way better now that my son's 14, almost 15. And it's real baseball. Now they actually make double plays they get home runs it's like you get strikeouts it's like a real thing. When you're 8 or 10 and watching baseball, it's Walk, walk, walk, walk, did you score four runs yet this ending so we can mercy the inning and get to the other team. And that's your whole three hours. So these are tasks it's like you split up and I would go to these I still go to all these things. I take the kids a lot to all their sporting events and do the driving and the logistics and partnering with other families to drive and who's doing drop off and pickup and those kinds of things and it drives my wife crazy, and I don't mind doing it. So those are the kinds of things and dishes would be a classic example cooking or shopping or dishes, some people like just hate doing dishes other people like no big deal. So when you split things up, it's not always Oh, I spent 15 minutes doing this, did you spend 15 minutes doing something else also split along the lines of, hey, this is really easy for me. It doesn't bother me I'm happy to do that. But I hate to in this other thing. And your partner might be like, oh, yeah, no big deal.Matt:
Can I give a little piece of advice here to newlyweds? There's an instinct, especially for strivers out there to want to always put your best foot forward and to always do great at every task, especially when you're new in a marriage and you want your spouse to feel really good about the investment in my case she has just made in a life partner, and you want them to not be thinking to themselves, wow, this person is a real dud and so you're nervous about that and you really overachieve. Can I tell you don't overachieve at the tasks that you don't want to own for the rest of your life. Because I there's a reason that I'm not the calendar parent, it's because I'm bad at it. I have just Stone Cold crappy at that and so my wife goes no, please don't touch the calendar, I'm just gonna screw it up, I will do the calendar. This is great, when when and I'm not saying that I intentionally sandbagged any tasks I didn't, because I wasn't smart enough to know to do that, if that's what if you're the kind of person there are two routes, you can take care, you can have open communication in your marriage and say, Dear, I hate laundry if that could be your task, I would happily do X in such an exchange. That's of course what you should do. But there's also the sneakier version of this, which is just be crappy, like just be bad at the laundry and your wife will say, Yeah, I'm gonna do this one for now.Mike:
Yeah shrink a few clothes, or just leave the pile growing for a while.Matt:
I feel like we just had an NBC PSA, the more you know, and like the golden star is going across the sky. Okay. So you're talking about logistics, though. Any other considerations that you throw in as you talk to your clients as you think about your own setup, you know about how you kind of construct the the day to day of your work life to make it work for you.Mike:
Yeah, so we did we talked about the literal logistics, commuting office, does this job require being away from the family, those kinds of things, but also think about the the things that you will be doing the logistics of the job that you will do and how enjoyable those are? Will you be working on like cranking away on spreadsheets all day, and you'd love dealing with spreadsheets, and you hate meetings and talking to people will you get to do a whole bunch of that? Or do you love working with people unlike you love going around and communicating and doing that. So think about those kinds of logistics, how they fit in with your family life, the time management logistics, but also the energy, the the work that you'll be doing and the energy that you'll be getting from it. Again, another example I was doing, I was a professional woodworker for a while building furniture. And this was a really cool design task and also physical task and creative task. But it was always by myself inn my workshop. I didn’t have employees or anybody it was just me making furniture and I really missed being with people. So that was a big piece of the logistics for my next job is I want to work with more people and have that because it brings me a lot of energy, communicate with people, helping people being with people. So there's one example of your job or how you want to set up the you know, whatever it is you're working on, to bring in everything to have an environment that you're going to super enjoy.Matt:
It just reminds me so much of the greatest skit in the history of Saturday Night Live when Kenan Thompson does his Big Papi impression and the whole conceit of it is he goes on Weekend Update, and he pretends to be talking about his retirement. By the way for our listeners who don't know Big Papi, as I know this is ironic because I just dunked on baseball, right to make sports metaphors for a second. I just called baseball essentially like Satan's favorite pastime. And it is, but I love David Ortiz, David Ortiz is amazing. I got to meet him, he is every bit the like jolly awesome human being in person that you see on TV anyway. So the whole joke on SNL is that Kenan Thompson does a Big Papi impression, where he talks about what he's doing post retirement. And the best one is he's come up with a website to meet people and he basically says, do you want to meet some people, go outside there's a lot of people and it sounds like that's what you really need it at your last job is God the lack of going outside is a real bummer.Mike:
Well, that's the thing when you're working in a workshop, there's no going outside plus I live in the middle of the woods so I could walk around outside and barely see anybody.Matt:
Do you want to meet some deer? When insight for me was that I don't mind commuting. But to be clear, I do not want to be on a bus. I do not want to be on a train. I grew up in Manhattan I rode the frickin subway every day to school and I did not like it. Once there was a conductor that came over the intercom in the New York City subway asking which track are we supposed to go on and the other conductor comes on. They didn't mean I think for this to be on the PA, they meant for this to be on their internal comms. And he said, try, Eenie, meenie, miney, moe, and all of us are looking at each other do not do that. That sounds terrible. Do not do that. Anyway, I don't want to be in a subway, I don't want to be in a bus, they smell, you're crowded, you're with lots of other people. I want to be in my bubble. I know, it's bad for the planet. I want to be in my car. I want to be in my car for 30 to 40 minutes each way. And I want to listen to a podcast, I want to listen to a recorded book I like that time. So there you go. That's a nice way.Mike:
Of course, you know why you like that time, because you have three young kids, and they're not with you if you're commuting to work.Matt:
You know, I've even made it work though, with like my daughter, who's 12. And now we listen to books together. We like that time together in the car. And it's like we're kind of spending time together. We're listening to a book. It's very, very nice. But I don't get that in my work life because I work from home right now you work from home.Mike:
And you do silly podcasts with a co-host.Matt:
Well, you know for now for now, let's let's see what the board thinks about a product. Anything else we need to talk about.Mike:
That's it. I just think it's good to you know, think about that. If you're in one of these transitions, or you're trying to design some stuff really think about not just job opportunity people always focus on like, what's the salary, what's the salary, what am I going to be doing? But it's all the other factors that to your point about the kitchen renovations, like everyday grinding? What's the setup of environment of your job? That's going to be right for you.Matt:
Awesome. All right for Mike Morton and my board sanctioned and approved co-host I’m Matt Robison we will see you next time.Mike:
Thanks Matt. Thanks for joining us on financial planning for entrepreneurs. If you liked what you heard, please subscribe to and rate the podcast on Apple, iTunes, Google Play Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can connect with me at LinkedIn for Morton financial advice.com. I'd love to get your feedback. If you have a comment or question, please email me at financial planning . Until next time, thanks for tuning in. This recording is for informational purposes only and should not be considered for investment advice or opinions expressed as are of the date of recording. Such opinions are subject to change. We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the data presented here.