How Important is Money when you’re choosing a Career?
The pressure to choose a career is great enough without even thinking about the financial side of things. Depending on what you have in mind for your future, it may be admittedly difficult to reconcile financial stability with your true passions or ambitions. Unfortunately, many individuals experience pressure from family or friends to choose the path that is financially driven—and sometimes, this choice is made at the expense of their actual interests.
Furthermore, if you are currently in post-secondary, or plan to attend in the future, you probably realize how much of a financial commitment education can be. This may heighten the pressure to choose a career that will guarantee you financial stability, in order to pay off loans or justify the expense. Overall, it is tempting to take the road well traveled, and the one that will secure you a big paycheque at the end of the day.
Yet, in reality, a career choice should not solely be driven by financial concerns. Firstly, it is extremely difficult to guarantee that you will be financially stable, even in the most “typically” financially stable careers (e.g. medicine, law, or business). Every individual’s financial situation is different, and they may experience different financial aids or stressors throughout the course of their life. Individuals also have different skills that may be suited to some careers rather than others; for example, someone who is pursuing medicine for the money, but is extremely unskilled, may have difficulty finding a job and thus securing their financial stability.
Secondly, financial concerns are just part of the decision you have before you. The career that you choose may end up determining what kind of life you lead, what your values and beliefs are, and what you get up in the morning for. Alternatively, it can turn into “just a job”—but a hefty time commitment nevertheless. Thus, it is also important to consider whether you will enjoy the career that you choose, and whether your skills are suited to that profession or not. Whether the job pays a lot is just one part of the picture.
Finally, consider the fact that you have some power to alter your financial future as well. If you like something, and you work hard at it, chances are you will build up the skills necessary to advance in the workforce (and get paid well accordingly). This may depend on the discipline, but if you are willing to put in the effort, you may become one of the financial exceptions in your field. Of course, where you end up in your career can also be dependent on luck.
Overall, though financial considerations can be crucial, especially in certain circumstances, it is difficult to anticipate what your future will hold. Therefore, when making a choice regarding your career, make sure you make a well-rounded decision. Money may be important, but it isn’t everything.