Jobs: Passion vs. Practicality

<p>Credit: <a href="" target="">James Good</a></p>

Credit: James Good

Jobs have been an intergenerational conversation. Have you ever sat down with an older relative and asked about their career? Many times we learn that their jobs were practical and (often) brought in a higher paycheck than a job of interest, comparatively. A famous phrase often contradicts this idea, “do what you love and love what you do.”

The phrase was originally coined by Confucius, a Chinese philosopher, poet, and politician who strived to make the best of relationships through kindness and good morals. Steve Jobs himself echoed this statement, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do,” Jobs created an empire on his passion to enhance minds technologically. The younger generations are now encouraged to follow their passion in ways that aren’t solely based on salary.

Practicality is a smart thing to pick in regards to income and sometimes skill. Passion in a career is pursuing something you love and pursuing it because you’re interested and it’ll make you happy. Money is the driving force behind choosing a career and that’s why jobs are generally regarded as chores. Passion is a large factor to consider when choosing a job but does it have to be the only one?

Pursuing a career of passion may help many work smarter and harder in their field of interest. People will likely find more motivation when completing work. Another topic of importance that drives us to consider this option more, is mental health. Jobs will always get hard at times but some can affect our mental health, specifically jobs that might have been chosen only in regards to money. Only recently have we been exposed to the true importance of mental health therefore it plays a big part in many workplace scenarios.

According to an article posted by The University of Southern California, the time that we spend doing events we are passionate about contributes to our happiness and lowers stress. Moreover, people spend most of their time at work, whether that be in an office or at home and many would prefer doing something compelling to them. Nevertheless, these jobs can turn into chores and it may no longer be something that motivates people to work. There is also the issue of money, your job might not fit with your financial needs or may not fit the market.

For others, working a job of passion is simply not what they are looking for. The most notable quality of pursuing a career with a higher paycheck is money. Feeling secure is another benefit of higher income, being able to support oneself is reassuring. However, there's usually a lot of pressure to submit items in time for deadlines, and stress levels shoot through the roof. Many of these individuals don’t have much downtime and spend most of their time in the workplace.

In my school advisor's case, he pursued his passion, “I was privileged to have the opportunity to pursue my career of passion because I came from a wealthier home.” He stepped down from an elite job as a civil rights and constitutional litigator to pursue teaching. In other cases, there are people who decide to pursue more than one passion. My history teacher in freshman year informed me that his true passion was music and it came with a lot of risk. However, he loves teaching and in this way, pursued one of his passions.

Ultimately it depends on many factors, however, I believe that we are moving towards a society where it will be more common for people to pursue their passions as opposed to picking careers based on salary. Waking up every morning to have something that motivates you is valued in today’s society and incredibly important.

Happiness isn't solely based on income, it includes what you wake up to do every morning and what pushes you to continue in your field. Pursuing a dream doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be able to support yourself or be dissatisfied with the amount you’re receiving.

Of course, it’s a risk, the safest option, the most secure would be the one that offers a stable and higher income. Many experts say to keep your options open but these two concepts aren’t as categorical as one may think. You can find a middle ground, you can still take risks and have a high-paying salary at the same time.

Honestly, it comes down to one thing, what does a job truly mean to you?

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