Would you do this job if money didn’t matter?
If you won the lottery tomorrow – a dream many of us are having these days – would you stick with your current employer? Or, maybe a better question; if everything in the world suddenly became free, and all other things remain equal, would you still be doing what you’re doing right now?
Most of us have never had the luxury to consider such a concept; work isn’t optional, there’s no magical “other job” easily available out there that aligns with our skills and passions but pays more. We do what we do because paying bills, building a career, and imbuing purpose are necessary parts of life.
Still – this current climate has a lot of people wondering the same thing. With unemployment checks now rivaling a 50k/year salary in most states, is it really worth it to work? Do I really like my job?
Passion isn’t everything, but it’s something
We have an entire article on the merits and detriments of passion – we detail how it can be a great guide when figuring out which aspects of your work to focus on most, yet how it shouldn’t be the determining factor in your career. Passion is a fickle thing; it’s not always aligned with your skills and it’s often changing or difficult to monetize. You might be writing a book, but that doesn’t mean you should be quitting your day job.
That being said, we might be looking at a passion renaissance. With so many people forced to reevaluate their career choices – either because they’ve found themselves unemployed or because, like many, this global crisis has made them reconsider how they are spending their time and money – we’re likely to see a shift toward more passion-driven decisions. We’ve all learned to spend less money on restaurants and shopping and travel – so why not rethink the source of that money, too?
Being happy at work can mean a lot of different things
If your job is objectively awful, this article is not for you. Your answer to the question above is an aggressive “no, I would not do this job” and that’s perfectly okay. All you can do is start making plans as best you can to find something better as soon as financially and practically possible.
If, on the other hand, you’ve never minded your job – in fact you went along with it just fine until recently – but you’re now considering your options, you’ve come to the right place. Or, I should say, we’ve all come to the right place. Because most of the developed world is in that same boat with you.
You chose a university major at 18 years old, graduated with a degree at 22, and have been expected to start down a given career path from that age onwards. If you find yourself now in your 30s or 40s wondering how, exactly, you got here – you’re not alone. But the bigger question now is, do you want to stay here?
Paul Grubbs, one of our employees, made the switch from real estate agent to recruiter at the age of 45 (read his article on the experience here). He’d never done recruiting before but he knew that he wasn’t happy in his current job. A strong support system, financial stability, and faith in his sales abilities helped him to make the transition – and he doesn’t take any of that for granted. Not everyone is in such a secure position. Yet many of us are. So what are we waiting for?
No job is perfect
Every job – no matter how stimulating and exciting, no matter the quality of the company culture or the amazing stock equity options – will at times be stressful, frustrating, futile, hopeless. In every industry, in every role, there comes a time when you wish you just didn’t have to do this anymore. Still, leaving for greener pastures just because something is hard isn’t usually advisable. Sticking it out has a lot of benefits; you’ll be valued by your company, you’ll naturally earn the respect and friendship of your peers, and you’ll earn added responsibilities and clout.
The problem becomes when every day feels futile, when you’re not sure how you arrived at this destination and you can no longer see yourself growing in your role.
Asking yourself whether or not you’d stay in your job, money be damned, is an excellent exercise to reveal how you really feel about your work. But of course, money is not damned. Money is still just as important – maybe more important! – than it has ever been. So follow your passions, build a career you enjoy, but don’t feel like a sell out for doing what has to be done.
And if you’re not sure about your options, we’d be happy to talk you through what different careers might look like for you, at any age. You can send us a message and we’ll get you talking with a real human being in no time.
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