Love Versus Money: The Overrated Battle for Your Career Goals
Love and money- the two main career goals dominate our popular culture and our workplaces. But do you have to choose one over the other? Let’s see. Love and money. Have you ever noticed that when it comes to building career goals, love and money seem to be increasingly at odds?
Why not have both?
Here’s why enjoying your career and being recognised for the work you do doesn’t has to be at the detriment of your finances and vice versa.
Justifying underpaying you. Look at internships and cast an eye over jobs in the creative arts. Amble across nursing, support work, social work and counselling. Consider the start-ups that are placing advertisements that are brimming with opportunity. Check out the small business ads while you are there.
A lot of sectors are now using your desire to create, help people, try something new and be a part of smaller enterprises to justify paying low and even no wages. This shouldn’t be the way of the future. Your creative, nurturing and curious side deserves to be paid just as much. Your desire to work in these fields doesn’t mean you should settle for exposure dollar as your remuneration.
In fact, it’s illegal to offer you no or low payment in an internship without proper classification. This means they either need to be a registered arts body or charity. Or that you are a student at a vocationally approved university.
It’s a careful balance between understanding the opportunity, who is offering the opportunity and the legal obligations within. It’s one thing to have ambitious career goals. It’s another thing entirely to try for them without the proper knowledge required.
Even without considering the sectors where systemic issues of underpaying reign, how we value ourselves at work and the contribution we make can skew our view.
Love for your work is usually tied to how many hours you are willing to put in. It also indicates the level of study and extracurricular activities you’re willing to undertake to bloom in the role. If anything, people who love their work are those who are driven to seek quality and to build a solid set of skills. They solve the problems the others shy away from.
If anything, your love for your work should make you more, not less valuable. Money doesn’t make it any less painful. You may be sitting on a large level of cash like a Princess upon a Pea, but that doesn’t mean all of you is satiated. Not all career goals are money-orientated.
Money replace working in the flow, that peak performance arena we enter when there is just the right amount of autonomy and challenge. And what of challenge and autonomy when it replaces money? Being able to choose what you need to do and having trust in your work can often make you a much happier and more valuable worker. Having the right level of challenge means greater connection to work.
What price your values? What price your legacy?
Sometimes, money is all the responsibility and none of the things you really want to build to stand the test of time. Besides, many a study has shown that spending increases with remuneration levels. And that people that are unhappier at work outspend their content counterparts. If you find yourself in a world surrounded by trinkets and things you don’t care about, walking into a room where you spend your hours feeling utterly miserable, just how much of a career are you creating?
Where’s the passion?
We live in the social media age, where success is measured on your Instagram feed in wondrous travel pictures from exotic places mixed in with foamy lattes and pads next to pens. We’re being driven by this idea that passion is the only way forward. Yet what is this situation truly indicative of?
There are a lot of people that are seeking a passionate working life. They are doing so at great personal health and financial risk. It seems uncool somehow to toss up the notion of satisfaction from labour. That work doesn’t have to be a passionate love affair. How shocking would it be to find that contentment, not some dreamy love affair, is what we need with our working life?
It’s not to say we should hate our working lives or put up with goals and salaries and workplaces that are less than ideal. But it is to say that perhaps work doesn’t have to be the answer to solve all things. If you like your job and enjoy doing it, where’s the harm in this kind of relationship? You can have lofty ambitions and worthy career goals without adoring every minute.
Your career may be a means to an end. It might be currently paying the bills, so you can realise a dream later. It might be keeping your family in a reasonable style. It may be paying mounting medical bills or give you the freedom to manage a mental health condition. Perhaps, you like your career progression because you gain financial support and to exercise the right amount of challenge. We’re not failing because we don’t want to create a winsome Instagram of our working day.
Contentment, challenge and having satisfaction in work are all powerful things. They are not to be sneezed at. It doesn’t mean you need to quit. The idea that if things are not fit to purpose means we should make the big sea change, open the wheatgrass bar and travel the world with wanton abandon is foolish.
Sometimes, the situation you find yourself in is less about throwing everything away. It’s more about looking at what you have available to you and finding a smarter way. If you are working too hard to feel loveless, directionless and/or have no real money or satisfaction to show for it, you don’t have to burn things down. Sometimes, it’s a case of asking yourself tough questions and building a contingency.
Create the career goals that will see you move to where you need to be.
If saving is your saving grace, how can you motivate yourself to continue to do it at a level that supports both your working lifestyle and your future dreams? If study is what you need, how can you manage the time to make that happen?
If there is a dream or idea waiting in the wings, how can you split the emotional labour and carry out the physical work?
If what you really need is a slew of job interviews or a series of tough conversations with your existing workplace, what does the first one look like? Define where you need to be just as much as where you don’t want to be. Write the anti-goals that define your career and look at the way to avoid ending up the place you least want to be.
No matter the challenge, I am here. Whether you believe the career mountain is too tall to climb or you believe a small amount of tweaking will see you through, I can help. Why should you allow money or love to be your only career options? Why not look for a much smarter basecamp experience in choosing sustainable situations and career contentment?
It might not sound as sexy as Suits or Billions have lead us to believe. And it may not be what the DWYL set of Instagram want you to buy into. Yet having a strong, satisfying career that allows you to grow your lifestyle along with your finances is quite lovely indeed.