Passion vs. Paycheck: Careers vs. Jobs

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Not everyone will be lucky enough to work in a field they are passionate about. That guy you just sassed working at Jack in the Box, yeah – it’s not likely that’s what he thought about doing when he grew up – so give him a break. Unless he was a total ass to you. If that was the case, I feel why you felt the need to sass…so nevermind. The point is, again, not everyone working today is doing something they absolutely love. Some have to work to help fuel a hobby, others work to pass the time and pay their way through life with no real “passion” in mind and of course there are those out there who work to ensure their kids are fed. Like that dude at Jack’s, my mom didn’t daydream about being a cashier in a small town and listening to drunks 75% of the time but that was the hand she was dealt and she made due because me and my brothers liked the little things like food, water, Pokemon cards and Backstreet Boys VHS’. That’s my mom’s generation though. They were more about getting shit done than living in a fantasy land. They didn’t have PSAs about reaching for the stars and whatnot. That’s this week’s topic; having a job versus having a career.

So what’s the difference between a career and a job. I think of it like this, a career defines who you are. A job is more of what you do, but they can be one in the same if you’re lucky. Next time someone asks what you do for a living, think about how you answer. Do you say, “Oh I’m a so-and-so at blah-blah,” or do you say, “I work at blah-blah doing so-and-so.” The first one indicates more pride in what you do, while the second signifies that’s just a job and replaceable in your eyes. If you lost your job tomorrow, it would not crush you and you could move on to any other gig. Career is more like, you lose that and then move onto another that’s similar or just like the last.

Should everyone eventually have a career they care about? That’s debatable because it’s not possible. If everyone’s dream came true, we’d all look exactly like we wanted and be void of any sort of despair and mundane times. The thing is though, people often confuse mundane with what they personally find boring. I would think any sort of job involving math would fall into that category BUT have you ever seen the Wife Swap where the husband was likely more in love with numbers than he was his wife? His Swap wife gave him a math book before she left and he’d never looked happier before that moment during the entire episode. While being an accountant would be my nightmare, for some – it’s a dream.

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For some though, it may not come in your 20’s or hell – even your 30’s. Not to always revert back to Chopped but it’s my current constant so again…Chopped has at least one older person every few episodes that was working some field they ended up hating and then went into cooking. That’s another thing, people often forget that we’re allowed to change what we care about. Remember when we talked with Sara about her job in PR? Right now she loves the hell out of it, but fast forward 15 years and she may want to get into something else – and that’s a-okay.

So we know the difference between the two now, and have touched on passion but what about the one thing they have in common? The pay. Pay differs from occupation to occupation, so you can’t sit here and say having a more practical path is more lucrative. Some may get lucky and strike gold going after their passion in art takes off and make more than a lawyer, while some artists’ work may forever live in Instagram. When picking what you love, money should never be the deciding factor. At least that’s what this man worth a pretty penny has said. Isn’t it always easier to say money doesn’t matter when you have it?

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Daniel Lubetzky is the guy behind that KIND food. I’m not too sure what it is because it’s not Oreo’s, and is super healthy, but he noted his change of pace in life when he stopped working for money and started working for passion in Do the KIND Thing. He noted, “When conglomerate investments were lost, it was energizing because it was so purposeful and liberating,” adding, “Purpose gives you staying power.” On the money idea he said, “Striving just for money will limit your potential and never fulfill you because money is just a means to track trade.”

A job is what you do for a living while a career, is more about who you are and what you’re doing with your life. It’s also more likely that people have a lot more passion packed into their careers than they ever do their day jobs. Unless the two are one in the same – then good for you. You’re earning a good pay while doing what you love, but remember what Lubetzky said – money shouldn’t fuel what you love.

The Highs and Lows of Having a Career vs Having a Job

  1. When you love what you do, and are happy to go into work – you’re more productive. In fact, you’re 12% more productive when you’re happy at work.
  2. According to a Blackhawk Engagement Survey done in 2015, only 17% of those surveyed said their job was one of the top three things that made them happy.
  3. Forbes reported back in 2014 and a lot of people were not happy with their jobs, but were okay when the pay was right. Maybe Lubetsky was wrong?
  4. Then Snack Nation noted 36% of those surveyed would give up $5,000 of their salary to be happier at work. We’ll never know which is right here…
  5. If you’re working a job you can’t stand and want to start down a new a new road, check this out.

Tomorrow we’ll talk to a guy who freelances to pay for his real passion; music, talk about me actually freelancing with a passion and how assholes can sometimes douse those dreams in buckets of water, consider the lives of 2 Broke Girls and of course – well, you know what’s coming at the end of this week.

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