Some people would rather make less money or have less job security while doing something that ignites their passion. Others value working in a job that pays well and allows them to have the money to support themselves while enjoying their free time to do whatever way they wish. Which is the right choice, passion or money? The answer depends on your life goals, personality type, and what's important in life to you.
It can be challenging to decide between those two choices because both options have their pros and cons. "Follow your passion" is a phrase often repeated to youth and those just starting out in the working world. But what if your passion is less about what you're doing and more about the life that what you're doing affords you? Is it wrong to choose money over an intrinsically satisfying job?
People who work at something they love may be more excited about their workday and experience higher job satisfaction. Those who turn a hobby into a career often find they feel more pride in their work. If you love what you are doing daily, you might have fewer regrets in the future.
There's a famous saying: "If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life." While this holds true for some people, following your passion and not being able to pay your bills might not be very fun in the end!
How do you find out what motivates you and drives your passion? You can start by asking yourself what you like to do. It might be a hobby, or it could also be something from your past that made you feel fulfilled. If there's more than one answer, make a list and figure out which of the two has fewer obstacles in pursuing it for work.
The second option is to work at something that pays well. Many people are concerned that if they focus on finding a job that pays well, they will be unhappy or unfulfilled. However, if you have a lower income and see it as a struggle to provide for yourself and your loved ones, stress and dissatisfaction arise.
According to a study by Princeton, happiness levels plateau after you reach a certain salary point. In 2010, this was at $75,000 per year. Your work environment also contributes to job satisfaction and whether you feel appreciated at work. Other aspects of your career that affect happiness are flexibility, perceived fairness, and transparency in pay.
If you find yourself stuck in a job that pays well but you feel unhappy, there are some ways to turn the situation around. While it can be challenging to switch gears after many years invested in a specific industry or company, there are options available that will allow you to continue your work while making some changes.
You might consider switching employers while maintaining the same career; sometimes, a change of pace and perspective can increase your job satisfaction. Learning new skills that could lead back into the same line of work but with more satisfaction due to flexibility, such as freelance and consulting jobs, can offer greater freedom over schedules and hours worked per week.
Embracing change can transform your career and increase satisfaction. The difficulty many people have in choosing between a job they love or one that pays is that sometimes you might not feel particularly passionate about anything—at least not in the beginning. The most significant job satisfaction scores come from people who pursue a career they are passionate about. Still, arguably you can develop passion as your career grows and as you gain experience.
Why not find a job you are passionate about that also pays well? Careers with a creative flair are often sought after. The opportunity to engage creatively with your career increases well-being for many, although numerous high-paying careers are not very glamorous or innovative in the typical sense.
When current youth are polled about what career they would like to follow, many dreams about pursuing careers in acting, music, law, or sports. However, as a teenager, it can be challenging to understand how much work and dedication it takes to succeed in these disciplines. Sometimes jobs that center around your passions are not as easy and relaxing as one would like to imagine.
For example, being a doctor is high-paying and often cited as a career goal by youth, yet it is a problematic and expensive career path to follow. There are many high-paying careers related to finance, and not often would a child be passionate about actuarial sciences or careers in finance. While jobs in finance are not always the most glamorous, they often can be high-paying. Developing skills and knowledge in this area can also contribute to other careers because all businesses involve finances.
While you might not start off being passionate about your career, with success and experience, passion can be developed. Often, passion can be born when you build skills and knowledge for a chosen field. Jobs in finance, for example, can be very lucrative and rewarding if you develop interest and hone your skills and learn from others who have experience in financial analysis and management. Many online courses can be taken to gain knowledge and experience in these fields. You can also find schools that offer degrees or courses in financial analysis and management.
There are many options for acquiring skills needed for careers in business and finance. Research different avenues available by talking to friends and family who work within the field or look into online resources like LinkedIn, where professionals talk about their experiences and provide tips. You can utilize cloud calling to meet with professionals worldwide and get inspired by their experiences or join group presentations. You can also communicate with other professionals within your organization. Having a mentor can help propel you into your chosen career.
IBM's Thomas Watson, Sr. once famously said, "The fastest way to succeed is to double your failure rate." By trying to engage in your chosen field and refusing to give up even when faced with failure, you can grow in your career—whether it's a career you chose due to your passion or the promise of higher pay.