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Loving Your Job vs. Paying The Bills
The Importance of Striking A Balance
 
You have probably heard someone say that if you do what you love the money will follow. You have probably also heard that you can do whatever you set your mind to do. Huh? Which is it, do something you like or suck it up and do what makes you money?

The answer is: do a little of both!

Which is More Important?
Holding a job that you enjoy and making enough money to pay the bills and save for retirement are both important parts of career planning. Overall, most experts will tell you they are of equal importance, but just as life varies over time, so too will the balance between enjoyment and financial gain. There will be times in your life where the money side seems to carry more weight, such as when you are saving for a house or raising a family. Remember, though, that motivation, enjoyment and fulfillment are not just intangible, bonus attributes that only the lucky few get. You have the ability to make a conscious choice to pursue a career that suits your skills, motivations and personality.

The Importance of Loving Your Job
For generations (probably including your parents' generation) people entering the workforce had no expectation that they would enjoy their job. It just wasn't deemed important or practical, so most people trudged to work each day for the rest of their lives. As times changed, though, more and more experts began to understand the negative impact of spending a career doing something you hate, and the idea that you should enjoy your job became more accepted.

We now know that one of the most powerful indicators of career success and personal fulfillment is enjoying your career. This does not mean that every day at work will be a barrel of fun and full of laughter. On the contrary, it means that if you do what you love you will be more motivated to do it well, even during hard and challenging times.

The Importance of Paying The Bills
Financial stability forms the foundation for nearly everything you want to do in your life. You need it to buy a car, to buy a house, to support a family, to save for retirement, to take a vacation, and a million other things. If you pursue a career that does not generate enough income for you to pay your basic bills then you will always face a struggle to live. Take note, though, that you are responsible for making good financial choices and living within your means. No matter how much money you make, you cannot overspend or overextend yourself and expect to have financial stability.

One of the best ways to remain financially stable is to follow the rule that if you can't pay cash for something then you can't afford to buy it. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, like buying a car or a house, but the explosion in availability of credit cards means that it is more and more tempting to spend money you do not have on clothes, eating out, entertainment, and other activities or possessions. There is nothing wrong with having a credit card in case of an emergency, but be sure you define "emergency" appropriately and do everything in your power to pay off your credit card balance each and every month.

How to Strike a Balance
So now you understand and agree that it is equally important to find a career that you enjoy and that will be financially rewarding. How do you turn that theoretical knowledge into real-world practice? One of the easiest ways is to ask yourself the following questions when considering a potential career:

  • Does my personality type match the job type?
  • Do I have the skills to do this job?
  • If I don't have the skills needed, can I acquire them in a reasonable amount of time?
  • Am I motivated and passionate about doing this job?
  • What is the financial potential of this job?

These are just some basic questions for you to consider but they will get you started with your evaluation of potential careers. Add other questions as you see fit, until you are able to focus in on a career that strikes a balance between doing what you enjoy and appropriate financial rewards.


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