I've reflected a lot these last few weeks about what exactly I should spend the rest of my life (or at least the next few years) doing. And here are some dimensions I feel you should explicitly consider for your current job (or any position you plan to take)
1. Does it scale? Meaning "is there a way to make more money other than simply working more hours"? For most jobs the answer here is no. For poker the answer is definitely no. Real estate development might be something that scaled. Or opening a small business. Developing iPhone apps could scale. Anything that can generate passive income can scale.
2. Can you make more money per hour as your skills progress? If so, what is the ceiling? The answer for poker here is yes, but everyone has a ceiling.
3. Is your industry safe? Will there be demand for what you're doing 10 years from now? For poker, the answer is definitely "who knows?" I believe that the games will continue to get worse, year after year, and that eventually it will be very difficult to make even $40/hour grinding out the 40/80 games.
4. Does performing the job inherently make you more desirable in the work force? Obviously the answer for poker is not only no, but that you actually become less desirable for almost every other position imaginable the longer you stay in the game.
I thought this post was going to be more interesting, but it turns out I'm super hungry and pretty tired, so I'm going to wrap up here with something that should just barely make you think. In closing, it is September 11th, and you should take a minute to be thankful today for what you have, and for those who have fought bravely to give you the opportunity to have it. Again, our country isn't perfect, but it's pretty damn good.