Thursday, April 10, 2008

Do What You Love and The Money Will Follow - Counterpoint

Recently, I was talking to a soon to be graduate of a Master's degree in education. She shared she no longer wanted to become a teacher. Her goal was to find a new profession that involved working with children, but she had no idea what that might be, with only a few months to graduation.

I guess my age must be showing :-) When I graduated from college, my immediate goal was to get a job, one which utilized my training as an engineer. I was expected to support myself and a job, with sufficient pay, was required to do that. While I wasn't going to take a job I hated, I knew that I didn't have to love my job. In fact, I didn't know enough about most jobs to know whether I would love or hate the work.

Since taking early retirement in my forties, I have been focusing on developing my dream job. A key insight has been "Doing what I love doesn't pay very much." Not yet and perhaps never:-) Fortunately, at this stage of life and stock market willing :-), we do not need to work to support our living expenses.

Recently, I read an article with a similar perspective about loving one's work. Do What You Love and Starve by Marty Nemko offers a good compromise of striving for "career contentment." His advice?

"Unless you're a driven superstar, pick a non-glam career that you'd be good at. Pick the one offering as many of these characteristics as possible:
  • Moderately challenging
  • Meaningful work
  • A kind, competent boss
  • Pleasant co-workers
  • Learning opportunities
  • Reasonable pay
  • Reasonable work hours
  • A short commute
  • A job with even half of those will make you more likely to love your job than if you had pursued a longshot career. "

    Still have to do something you love? Make it a hobby:-) The paycheck won't depend on it and it will still be great fun.

    For more on Crossing Generations , check back every Thursday for a new segment.

    This is not financial or career advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    2 comments:

    Chief Family Officer said...

    I've always said that there are three things that make up a great job: fabulous work, quality of life, and great money. If you can get two out of the three, you're doing okay. While all three would be ideal, you should never settle for less than two. :)

    Rachel @ Master Your Card said...

    That sums it up pretty well. I manage to do something I love but not be paid that much for it. I could do something better paid but I wouldn't be abl eto stay home with my children and to me that is more important than anything