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Subject: A serious career question rss

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Paul DeStefano
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Given a choice to continue in an OK job you don't truly like and making an above average amount of money and jumping tracks to another career in which you would make significantly less but absolutely love, what would you really do?

Think hard. And explain.
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Hiding Tiger
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I've never jumped ships in that fashion, but I have on a number of occasions turned down a promotion (with a pay rise) because the job I was in was far more appealing than the one they wanted me to do.
I am, however, on a pretty good salary doing something I enjoy. If it was the difference between living comfortably and struggling to pay the rent, I would probably see it differently. So take into consideration how much your not-work life would suffer from the pay drop.
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Rob Cramer
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Right now I would say the OK job with a good amount of money, but that's as a person who has an OK job that doesn't make a lot of money. I could have this same job and make more money at it? Sign me up!
 
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Easy question to answer: I already work in a job that doesn't pay great, but it doesn't feel like work when I'm doing it. I don't miss for a minute the drudgery of a 9-5 job that I'm bored half to death in, even while I'm constantly busy doing stuff for it.

That said, I don't have any dependents to support, so it's easy for me to be selfish in my choices like that.
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Jeff
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George Burns is reported to have said that the secret to a happy life is to find out what you really love to do, and then find someone stupid enough to pay you to do it.

---

I (and the folks I work with) kind of deal with this issue. We're all pilots, and all of us have 20+ years in the field (mostly prior military, air force/navy/marine all represented). Where we are now, we love it - the flying is great, the hours are great, the home life is great, and we're doing what we love. The pay, however, isn't as good as what it could be.

We could go airlines - the pay would be astronomically better, but everything else would be worse.

Some have gone, to be honest - we've lost a few in the past. We had a rough year when we didn't have quite as many perks and it wasn't as much fun - and as a result we lost something like 40% of us in that year. (Hey, if you're staying because it's fun and it stops being fun, it's hard to justify not leaving for greener pastures...)

But those of us who have stayed have seen the fun return. Just about all of us love it here, and are willing to put up with less money for more lifestyle benefits and job satisfaction.

Now, to be fair, we're all retired types - meaning we're sort of on our second careers, and have retirement income supplementing us. So it may be true that it's easier for us to make that sort of a decision than it would be someone still on their first career...

But, the short version is - I believe there's more to a job than money. If money really is the only thing you're getting out of your job, I believe sooner or later it'll eat you up. (Unless it's a LOT of money, of course - and that's the catch is each of us has different amounts in mind for how much money is worth making an exception for!)

No really helpful, I know. My wife says I'm generally not helpful, so it's a trend item for me.

(edited because I didn't give a clear answer to the OP question: I'd take less money and more enjoyment of my work. It's what I did, and am still doing... )
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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Geosphere wrote:
Given a choice to continue in an OK job you don't truly like and making an above average amount of money and jumping tracks to another career in which you would make significantly less but absolutely love

Wait a minute--you didn't say which career was the serious one.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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kuhrusty wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
Given a choice to continue in an OK job you don't truly like and making an above average amount of money and jumping tracks to another career in which you would make significantly less but absolutely love

Wait a minute--you didn't say which career was the serious one.


The better paying one.
 
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J J
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Well, it all depends on how significantly less.

I've already done something a little similar - jumped from one job that I loved, but which was in a business that was teetering on the edge, with no way back and an idiot for an owner, for another with less pay but a lot more certainty to it (the downside is a culture I despise).

I had little trouble, once I decided that it had to be done, in actually making the change.

If significantly less money could still pay my bills and mortgage, still feed and clothe me, and still allow saving (I don't have any need to be rich the way I see other people have), then yeah, I would do it.

Less than that, though, no - loving your work is not enough by itself.
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Chris Tannhauser
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I'm in the middle of this right now. Scary as hell, but fuck it—I'd rather be poor and happy than flush and hating what I'm doing with this all-too-brief life.
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John Breckenridge
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If you're in debt, stick with the job that pays better until you're not.
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Richie Freeman
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Personally, I think I would move to the job I prefer but would pay less. But it's much easier to say that you absolutely would, no question, than to actually do it - it's difficult stepping into the unknown anyway, but even more so when the only thing that's certain is that you'll be worse-off financially. There's also other stuff to consider if you have financially dependent family members; not just kids who need feeding and clothing etc., but family members who need care - even in the UK where our healthcare is free there's a huge financial burden placed on many families who are living with illness and disability. Stuff like that would have to play a particularly large part of my own decision process, for example.

I have a similar experience, as I recently returned to university, so mine and my partner's income has been drastically, drastically reduced for the past 2 and a half years but we've always been able to look after our important and primary responsibilities too - including the rent and bills etc. The only serious impact it's had on us, really, is on the size of the flat we live in (which is tiny) but we decided that on this new budget we'd prefer the luxury of being able to buy games and go on holidays etc than have the extra space of a bigger flat. However, you sometimes forget the drudgery of the old job and miss the ability to say: "wow, that looks awesome - I'm going to buy it" or, "I can't be bothered to cook tonight, let's eat out" - because some of that absolutely will be sacrificed, regardless. And that's not to say spending money brings you happiness, but sometimes it is fun to splash out on new games or clothes, or it just makes life easier - because there's a degree of sacrifice that will come with a smaller pay check. And I know that's a completely first world problem, but it's relevant to manage people's expectations.

So, whilst the idyllic choice always seems really easy for other people to say "YES, ABSOLUTELY", I do think it takes more thought on their parts when actually faced with the decision. Because the reward of happiness and enjoyment of one thing, does come at a loss of certain conveniences and/or luxuries - even if it doesn't impact your responsibilities. However, as I said at the beginning of my post, it's hard not say yes to doing what you love and getting paid for it - and I've never met someone that's regretted it either (myself included).
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Michael
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runtsta wrote:
Easy question to answer: I already work in a job that doesn't pay great, but it doesn't feel like work when I'm doing it. I don't miss for a minute the drudgery of a 9-5 job that I'm bored half to death in, even while I'm constantly busy doing stuff for it.

That said, I don't have any dependents to support, so it's easy for me to be selfish in my choices like that.


Yeah, this is me as well. Love what I do and I have tons of spare time but don't make all that much money (pay per time isn't that bad but I have lots of downtime so to speak). I don't regret it at all but not having responsibilities like mortgages or a family make that easy. I might be forever ruined for an office 9 to 5 though.
 
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Ask yourself two questions:

1: Is the dream job actually as good as you think? Make sure you have assessed it properly.

2: Can you get by on the lower income? Really? How about your family?

If yes to both, go for it and don't look back.
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James Newton
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Ozludo wrote:
2: Can you get by on the lower income? Really? How about your family?

I think this is the key question.

I am in the lucky position of now having a job that I mostly enjoy and that pays well enough for me to live comfortably.

I have twice passed up opportunities for promotion because I felt the additional duties would make the job less enjoyable. And I may be trying to avoid promotion again soon (yet another company reorganisation).

However many years ago, I was in a different financial position (too much month left at the end of the money). Having recently completed a successful project particularly well, I asked for more money - and was told that I had to take on more duties to get it. I had no hesitation in accepting because I needed the money.

So yeah - if you (and your family) can live on the lower income, go lifestyle; but if you need the money, keep it coming in.
 
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Others have already adressed the income issue, so I'll relate a story about doing what you love.
A friend of mine loved fishing. I mean really loved fishing to the point where he would miss work (construction) when the fishing conditions were "perfect". He bought a boat and became a Fishing Guide.(South Florida, from Biscayne Bay to the Upper Keys, his boat is too small to head out to the gulfstream for big gamefish) He hates his job. The clients are almost always non-fishermen who show up late and drunk (8 A.M.!!). He ends up babysitting them while they complain about everything from the lack of more beer to their own incompetence. So he rigs their lines, talks them through how to land the fish that has hit their line (and takes the abuse after they ignore his advice and lose the fish), and then spends hours cleaning up after they vomit in his boat (can't you do that over the side?), and don't tip.

The one saving grace is the rare instance where he gets a small group of "true" fishermen. He can tell when they arrive sober and on time, bring their own, mostly well used, gear, and spend their time actually fishing rather than drinking. These people would make it all worthwhile if they weren't so rare.
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David Fair
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I jumped to the job I love for less money 18 years ago.

Happiness is more important than money.
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CHAPEL
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More money is aways the right answer. I have hobbies to make me happy.
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TonyKR
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Interesting to see other people's thoughts, opinions, and advice on this one. Looking back at my own decisions and where I've ended up, well, I don't think I should be giving any advice to anyone as I clearly have no answers.

But if you do truly love doing something, keep on doing it. And that's all I'm gonna say about that.
 
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James Arias
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I always compare pay vs. quality of life. I took an (on paper) pay cut to eliminate business travel and other stress so we could start our family. The money worked itself out over the years and with the desk job I didn't miss any big moments in my kids' lives.

I also enjoy being an individual contributor because I see all those management folks having to work on Saturday, travel all the time, etc. Pfaw I'd rather be gaming, to me extra income not worth the time/energy tradeoff.

 
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This has come up in the past for me, might come up again. I feel like I had to ask, how unhappy my job with good pay and some aggravation was really making me? In the end I decided I was happy enough where I was. I feel that a career can be a great source of unhappiness, neutral happiness, or a joy. As long as I'm in the neutral-band, and paying my bills, I'm okay. The key for me is to fill in the happiness outside of work.

That being said, I came across this in the paper last week and realized I had made the wrong career choice:


People retire from a career in Gumball-Machine repair?!
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Jerry Martin
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Take the happy job.
 
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From my 7 kid family point of view, and wife who stays at home and homeschools the kids:

1. For me, 'love' and 'job' don't appear in the same sentence. I don't love my job, and don't expect to. I love my wife and kids, I love God, I love "my fellow man" in a brotherly sort of way. My job ... I can say I enjoy it sometimes, and dread it on certain days, but I do not aspire to love it ever. As in the fishing example, even something you truly enjoy all the time can become a 'job'.

2. I have a lot of mouths to feed, so I am very risk averse. Money and security are important. Very important. The Lord provides for us, and I am grateful. I don't chase some mythical happiness, I endeavor to be happy where I am.

3. All that said, once I had an opportunity to pursue a job with a former employer, which would bring me closer to home. My wife vetoed that one because I truly disliked the work and was often in a foul mood. She would rather have me home less and happy, than home more and grumpy.
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Diane Close
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Geosphere wrote:
Given a choice to continue in an OK job you don't truly like and making an above average amount of money and jumping tracks to another career in which you would make significantly less but absolutely love, what would you really do?

Think hard. And explain.


This requires no thought because I have already done this. One thing they don't tell you about the "make significantly less" job, is that if you truly love what you're doing, in several years you are far, far more likely to be making significantly more than you would've/could've at your old hated-it job. Seriously. If you love what you're doing, you'll excel at it, and keep your eye open for opportunities to push it further.
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Michael Carter
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MWChapel wrote:
More money is aways the right answer. I have hobbies to make me happy.


Yep, I work to afford my dirt racing hobby. Besides money, my big priority with work is no weekends during racing season.
 
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J Boyes
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Don't you have two soon to be college aged kids?

There will be fun poorly paying jobs available down the line. I'm watching a lot of my friends family's hitting that age. Those university bills are scary.
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