Passion vs. money—this is an internal debate that everyone has at some point in their life. On one side, you probably hear parents, relatives, or even strangers telling you to be realistic and find a job that pays well. But on the other side, there are friends or even TED talks of successful people telling you that “following your passion is the secret of success.” And, only naturally, you feel confused and anxiously question whether you should follow your passion blindly with little chance to get money from it or choose a career that you don’t even like just because the job itself seems promising for your future.
But, even so, following your desires can leave a sense of well-being and happiness in everything you do. While there is no doubt that this is a question of opportunity and the hand you’ve been dealt with, following one’s passion seems more appealing to most. However, how to know the line between when it’s unproductive to pursue a career you’re passionate about and a different (financially better) route?
Benefits of Choosing a Career You Love
In the world we live in today, money is definitely a powerful tool, but choosing to chase it often comes at the price of not being able to do something you love and look forward to every day.
This ancient dilemma is by no means black and white; there are many benefits to a dream job in the grey area. It is worth noting that should you choose to pursue your passion, workdays will seem less monotonous, and there won’t be a dull feeling washing over you when the alarm clock rings. The phrase, “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life,” may seem like a washed-out cliche, but it does hold some truth in it.
In terms of higher motivation, doing the job more effortlessly and passionately, you can see how that sentence got so famous. It’s true that a day of work still remains a day of work, whether you like the job or not. However, the small factors in and around it do change and ultimately have an impact on our overall sense of self.
Growth in a career is more probable when the job consists of things that motivate you. You won’t simply be finishing tasks and not thinking about them, nor waiting for the clock to strike five (if you’re doing a 9 to 5 job), so you can leave your workplace. It seems like a minor thing, but it plays a vital role in how far you go in your career. Hence you will be looking for more creative ways to do your job and spot details that you wouldn’t have if you didn’t put your heart into it.
Being passionate about work
Being passionate is directly linked to being productive. If it really is something you’re passionate about, there is a sense of being content with what you have accomplished during the work hours and beyond. The by-product of your work will be something you take pride in, and that will serve in giving you a reason to keep doing it.
Obviously, loving what you do brings in motivation because it is activated by your own desires rather than material gains. Oftentimes in life, we can find ourselves lacking the motivation to do anything, but if someone presents us with something we enjoy, it will possibly make us get out of bed and get working. HuffPost tells the tale of Richard Weinberg, a man who found that salsa was his passion at 49 years old. This discovery led to him participating in multiple dance categories, and it gave him a sense of purpose in his life.
How much you enjoy your job primarily affects your mental health, as doing something you don’t like on a daily will eventually start to consume you. On the other hand, doing something you enjoy waking up for in the morning can help you not only feel better but even get lost in the work if you’re having problems in other areas of your life. According to a study, the time spent engaging in our passions contributes to lower stress and our happiness. Your work can be some sort of an escape. And when it plays out like this, your productivity may increase due to the focus you shift on your job.
Pleasure in the work environment
It’s no secret that a career you’re passionate about will, in most cases, provide you with a more pleasurable work environment. Chances are that your coworkers will be like-minded, and besides the working part, you’ll have fun during the hours spent interacting with them. Even without that, there is comfort in spending time in a place that has intentions that coincide with yours.
It goes without saying that you feel fulfilled when you work on something meaningful to you. And especially after achieving the end goal of it. Obstacles you find on your way won’t be as relevant because you will always find a creative way around them. We spend most of our days working, and that alone should be a reason to follow something that leaves us with a feeling of satisfaction during the hours we put in.
Disadvantages of Doing What You Love
As with anything in life, choosing to follow your dream has another side to the coin. While it can turn into something beautiful and life-changing, there’s also the possibility of not being in tune with the current market. Thus, either not allowing you to make a living out of it or make as much as you would ideally want.
According to Forbes, when we tell people to follow their passion, we assume they have one, which is not always the case. There are people whose passions change over time, and that is entirely normal. Plus, you can have interests that aren’t necessarily something you love but merely something you find appealing and intriguing that can also serve as a money-making career.
Now, although it is mostly a personal issue whether you choose to chase your dreams or focus on a career relevant to today’s market, here are some disadvantages of doing what you love.
Your passion might turn into a job
This is a big risk when you start pursuing your dream. We know that work can sometimes be stressful, and it may seem as if deadlines are hovering over our heads, and that treads dangerously close to turning us against our passion. At some point, your passion may not be something you do for yourself, but something that brings in the paycheck at the end of the month, and it can lose the shine it once had.
Another risk you will be taking is that your dream job may not be compatible with the market. Sure, if your passion lies in IT or business, it is likely that you will be getting a steady salary out of something you enjoy doing. However, more times than not, people have passions that either don’t pay well or the industry is too big to penetrate, which can be problematic and discourage them from pursuing it.
Passions can change
Although this is not always the case, for many people, passions change over time, especially if they have roots in their early years. It’s by no means a bad thing, but it can intervene in your life if you have chosen to pursue your passion as a career. Because we are continually developing and learning new things, it can be hard to say if your fascination with a certain field may fade over time, but to some, that’s just a risk worth taking.
Benefits of Choosing a Career with a High Salary
For some people, doing what they love and earning enough money for a normal life don’t go hand in hand. For others, it’s a matter of either not having a passion or growing out of a dream they once had. Consequently, these reasons make a high-paying career a valuable option. It is understood that without a steady income, it’s unlikely that passion will be the thing you want to follow.
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Of course, following one’s dreams has the emotional rewards that a job that pays your bills is unlikely to offer, but if you aren’t able to afford rent or pay off your student debt, maybe it’s time to postpone your passion and focus on solutions. We’ve all heard that money can’t buy happiness, but is that phrase completely true?
There are many things money can’t buy, but sometimes having it can make many of our problems go away, which is why there’s a list of benefits to choosing a job that provides us with a high salary.
The obvious one: money
As stated above, this is a prominent perk of choosing to seek a job that will pay you well. A study shows that money can be associated with happiness, but not in the way you’d think. The study shows that people making under $75,000 a year tend to have lower happiness levels. However, past that point, money doesn’t seem to have an effect on the human brain., Furthermore, having a steady income influences our mental and physical health. It is undoubtedly more comfortable knowing that you don’t have to worry about the price of something you like and how you will make ends meet from month to month.
People tend to respect those who are well off. Although it’s considered as an artificial way of gaining respect by some, most of the time, it works. Generally, a high income is associated with success, and we tend to respect successful people. In addition, there is a correlation between “important work” and high salaries, which leads us to think that only a high-paid job is respectable.
There is safety with high income, no doubt. You won’t have to worry about many things that take money to acquire. Plus, a high-earning career is oftentimes placed in a big industry that isn’t going anywhere, so you can find employment opportunities just about anywhere. Keeping your work away from monetary vulnerability is vital, especially when you have a family to take into consideration or other matters of importance to you.
Disadvantages of Doing Work That Pays Well, But You Don’t Like
As good as money and safety sound, there is a downside to pursuing a career in a field you simply have no connection with. For starters, it will never feel as if you are close to living your dream unless, of course, that dream consists of a high-paying job that you don’t exactly like.
It’s hard to enjoy working in a place that doesn’t seem to motivate you to do the job well, and even when the working hours aren’t long, they are likely to seem so. When you’re stuck performing tasks you see no point in, you may lose focus on working on your skills and may feel lost in the job.
Most well-paying jobs can cast a lot of pressure, especially when it isn’t something you feel excited about, and that can have an impact on your view of life.
Long working hours
Jobs that offer a high payday often tend to go hand-in-hand with long working hours. Even when they don’t, to see that large number at the end of the month, you will probably have to put in a few extra hours, and that can be tiring. This is not always the case, but when it is, it can leave you little to no time to do anything else apart from work. A survey has found that executives and managers with smartphones—who are all well compensated—tend to spend 13.5 hours a workday interacting with work.
Usually, in the world of big money, there is a lot of competition and a lot of things changing rapidly. You have to constantly chase the next big thing and keep fighting for your position within the organization. However, this is not the case with every job, and maybe yours doesn’t really come with this downside. But for those it does, the pressure can oftentimes be overwhelming.
Not focusing on skills
Money-focused jobs are mostly concentrated on making the best out of the skills you already possess. Meanwhile, with a job you start out with because of your love for it, you will probably take time in developing and nurturing skills that can guarantee long-term success. Nevertheless, there are jobs out there that guarantee a good salary as well as skill training programs.
How to Decide Between a Job for Money vs. Passion
Choosing between money vs. passion is an ancient dilemma that troubles the minds of many people all over the world to this day. The stakes are pretty high as only a handful of people are fortunate enough to find a job that pays well and fulfills them. This is backed by research, too; According to a survey by Harris Interactive, only 20 percent of people across America feel passionate about their jobs. On the other hand, Pew Research Center found that about half (49%) of American employees are very satisfied with their job.
So, should you try and settle for a promising career without much passion, or should you risk it for a job that you love and fulfills you? Well, there is no simple yes or no answer to this question, and there are many important factors to consider before deciding between a job for money vs. passion. We will try to help you with this critical decision, so keep reading to learn how to choose between a job you love and career growth.
Making money vs. doing what you love: things to consider when choosing
Both of the options have a yin and yang, and sometimes deciding between the two can seem like mission impossible. But, that shouldn’t be the case, and it won’t be if you study your options closely and decide based on facts and feelings equally.
At the end of the day, isn’t your fulfillment and ability to say that you’re happy with your choices the most important thing?
However, it’s not that simple; there are many things to take into consideration when making such a big decision for the path in which you want your life to follow. You have to look at all sides carefully and then decide how and what you should be doing and do it.
Before diving into a field of interest, you should consider the earning potential it offers. There is a chance that your passion has great pay on the menu as well. Yet, the time when you should consider putting your passion aside—not forgetting it—is when you know you won’t be able to afford it. If it keeps you from life’s necessities, then you can always opt for treating it as a hobby, giving it your free time of the day, and making money in another field.
What you want from life
This is honestly the most crucial element in your decision-making process. Maybe you want to turn your passion into a job you love, but there is a chance that you want to keep far away from responsibilities and only enjoy it in your leisure time. Neither of these is incorrect; it’s merely a point of view. Clearly, none of us are absolutely sure in what we want from our lives in every aspect of it, but having a slight idea might help you come to a conclusion with this dilemma.
Sometimes, you can do both
Doing both does not have one final meaning. It could be that your dream job just so happens to be a career that makes you more than enough money, or you follow passion at the same time as following a different work pathway. Maybe you get lucky and make money off of a passion that you thought would take you nowhere, or you happen to fall in love with a job that you didn’t feel strongly towards at first; the possibilities are endless.
Choosing between a beloved field or the one that will pay your bills can sometimes send you into a spiral of thoughts that is hard to get out of. However, it is a significant decision that will follow you for the most part of your life. When making this judgment, you should look into all the advantages and disadvantages that come with either one of the possibilities. From money and stability to happiness and fulfillment, these all play a role in this puzzle. But, most importantly, remember to listen to the logic and your heart simultaneously because they generally come up with the best verdict together.