Recently a friend of mine whose world is and always has been non-profit (healthcare, research) has been dabbling in consulting. He is lured by the Siren's call of a more tangible recognition and compensation for his efforts, namely - a fattening bank account. In the recent weeks, I have walked the wide, freshly painted halls of a healthcare software company, sat in their comfy chairs in the graciously decorated collaborative spaces and partook of their abundant wireless bandwidth, and hear the faint call of that Siren myself.
It took me a few weeks to return to my previous mental place - that at the end of the day, I need to feel that what I'm doing fits in the bigger picture in a way that moves society forward, that helps the community in some way.
Of course, a network contact of mine once heard this mission of mine, and told me to make money first, and get that moral conscience later....
But whatever work we do - at some point that work becomes drudgery, and it is at that point that I call on my place in the 'greater good' to get me through. So, it works for me - but I wouldn't complain if it came with a competitive salary.