Suzy cried into her soggy bed sheets. She had invested her time in an university course that she wasn’t interested in and she couldn’t stand the boredom, but what could she do? It paid her and that was all she needed… right?
Although mid-schoolers and elementary students need not worry about a potential job or career path, high school students nearing completion have a lot to decide. What courses can maximize efficiency for future plans? Is AP or IB really worth the commitment? How will I know what major to choose when I get to college or university? Such questions are from those of teens who haven’t a clue of what career they aspire to pursue. One common and urgent question for many high schoolers is: should I choose a career path that coincides with my passion or one that pays me?
For those who have a passion for medicine or law, it might be an effortless choice, but many students also have a desire for humanities based careers–writing, art and other low paying positions, jobs which society does not value as important as health and justice. So how do you decide? From the perspective of someone who has chosen pay over passion, Trent, a writer for The Simple Dollar, expresses his thoughts on the long term effects of not choosing a career that he was interested in:
“The long term effects of this showed up in my career and in my finances. I began to feel very burnt out on my actual career. At the same time, I would try to cure this feeling of failure and burning out by buying stuff that I didn’t really need or didn’t have time to really enjoy. This brought me deeper and deeper into credit card debt and deeper and deeper into a sense that I couldn’t escape.“
Others, such as Yan Jiang, beg to differ; Jiang thinks that students should choose careers based on pay: “When you choose a job that involves your interest or hobby, you will come to hate it since your interest no longer becomes a fun pastime but rather a solid and pressing deadline for you to achieve over and over again. When you come home from work, you will no longer think, ‘ I should draw, sing, write, etc. for past time’ in that it will have become something that you no longer love as an interest, but instead as something you dread because you are continuously repeating your hobby over and over again at work.”
“Family is also a key factor,” Ms. Jiang reasons. “Yes, you may be working at a place you love and your job showcases your passion, but when it comes down to finance and supporting a family, what will you do if your job is minimum wage?”
Both sides provide reasonable answers and evidence, however, how do you decide? Listening to both arguments, you can decide on an agreeable option. Hopefully, students faced with this dire dilemma can assess and determine a path that is reasonable in their own eyes. Passion versus pay: It is a life changing decision but after seeing the two ends of the spectrum, which one will you value as more important?
- “Ten Big Mistakes #2: Career Choices Based Solely on Earnings – The Simple Dollar.” The Simple Dollar Ten Big Mistakes 2 Career Choices Based Solely on Earnings Comments. The Simple Dollar, 8 Sept. 2014. Web. 24 Sept. 2014. <http://www.thesimpledollar.com/ten-big-mistakes-2-career-choices-based-solely-on-earnings/>.