Money or Passion?

Posted by Dr. Patrice Smith

This is a spin-off from the previous post entitled "Does Introspection Satisfy Ambivalence?"

I had the privilege of critiquing a friend's term paper the other day, and she made some surprising yet concrete points. Her paper was entitled " In Choosing a career, what prevails?"

In the paper, she sought to answer the question of whether it is important to consider the relative worth of ones chosen profession in terms of salary or job opportunities, or whether it is wiser to look at ones own desires and passion to excel in that profession. In answering this question, my friend went on to say that, in keeping with today's realities, such as the current recession et al, pursuing a job which you love (sometimes with little reward) is "trying to sound morally correct and proves one is out of touch with today's happenings. Hmmmmmm......

I respect my friends' point of view and I have to agree she has some sound points. However, my personal opinion on the matter is quite the opposite. I believe that one should position them self in a profession that will compound ones area of interest. The psychologist will argue that it has been seen that it is better to follow one's passion to take up the line of work that really and instinctively appeals to them. The reason for this is simple. The passion for doing the kind of work you like would come easily to you and you would not mind devoting the time and energy required to excel in the profession. When this happens, your work becomes labor of love and you look forward positively to work everyday. You will arrive at work energized and leave work feeling refreshed and accomplished. The quality of work you put forth will show and be recognized by your superiors and hence, you will be rewarded.

It has been proven over and over that passion and interest for ones chosen profession is one of the most important factors dictating one's success or failure . If you have passion, the money will follow. That's my belief. What's yours?


  1. Matty said...

    I agree with you. However, it is easier said than done. The person in their 20's or 30's have less time, effort and pension money invested into their current occupation. They may find it easier to leave a job they don't like, and pursue another avenue where their interests and talents will serve them better.

    The older person who has spent most of their adult working life at one job that they might not have a zeal for will find it harder to leave. It's all they know how to do. Their skills and knowledge are only suited for that one occupation. They might not have any zest for that job, but what else are they going to do? The time and pension they've invested might be lost, and their skill sets won't be attractive to another employer in a different line of work.

    The salary of your current job has allowed you to achieve a certain standard of living. Your cars, house and other incidentals take a chunk out of your paycheck. If you leave your job because you don't like it anymore, and pursue another occupation where your real interests lie but that doesn't pay anywhere near what you make now, then what? Do you move to a smaller, less expensive house? Uproot the family? Move the kids into a different school district? Just to take the job you really want?

    I agree 100% with your thinking. But in reality, it's easier said than done.

  2. Melissa B. said...

    I've been extremely lucky to have had two careers that were satisfying to both my soul and my wallet. I worked as a professional journalist until having kids, and then, after a stint as a SAHM (also a wonderful career-too bad it doesn't pay!), took a job as a high school teacher. I've absolutely loved my second career as well. I don't know if I could do the "cubicle life" just for money...something has to interest me, or I go nuts!

  3. annie said...

    I agree with you, absolutely passion and interest. That's how I am moving from my money oriented job to my current job right now. I gain much less but I am happy with my client and being work for them, I believe the reward no matter in terms of relationship, achievement of professionalism or even money can be reach in the future. No regret even only got the first two.

  4. Dr. Patrice Smith said...

    Thank you for your feedback.
    I appreciate the comments. Like Matty said, it is sometimes easier said than done. If only life could be so straight forward.
    I guess, in some ways, it all comes down to what works for YOU.

    If you end up in a situation where you have to secure the money or compensation versus your passion for the work, at least, in the process try to make the best of it and be happy.

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