Good evening guys, hope everyone is doing well! Today’s topic is a bit different than what I normally write but it’s still an issue and I just wanted to share my thoughts on it.
The other day at work, a coworker named Carmen told me how she was seriously thinking of going back to school and getting a different degree. She said her current field (Teaching) didn’t pay enough and needed to get into the medical field which would pay a lot more. Another coworker told her, that he was recently hired as a full time high school teacher and couldn’t be more excited. As soon as he told her the story, she immediately told him to go back to school and change his degree and get in the medical field because that is where the money’s at. After the conversation, I was very bothered by her response by the whole idea of “doing something that is going to make you a lot of money”. Here is this recently graduated person finally getting into his field (Teaching) and you have a colleague telling him that it’s a mistake getting in the field. How do you tell someone who is passionate about their job that “their choice of career won’t get them very far in life?”.
Now before looking at both sides, I want to briefly state how I got started in the field.
When I graduated high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do as a career. I wanted to keep my options open and see what type of classes would interest me. My parents, pushed me into the medical field and after three years of taking classes that I disliked, I decided to change my major and pursue something more fulfilling.
Now I realize I chose a path that went from a future with a good source of income to a future with a low source of income. Many people often have a hard time choosing their careers because they wanna make sure they don’t end up regretting their decision. In reality many people end up going back to school at least 8 years after graduation because they hate their current career. What’s wrong with getting in a field that is contributing in making the world a better place? even if the pay isn’t great. At the same time, living from paycheck to paycheck isn’t a comfortable lifestyle. We all want a job that pays great and at the same time, a job that makes you want to go to work most days. Sadly in many cases, some careers pay very low and depending on how you live your lifestyle, it will stress you out daily.
There was a story that a coworker told me one day that made a lot of sense to me. She was on her honeymoon with her husband and they went to the Caribbean islands to kayak, hike and do an Eco-tour. In that tour, she told me that the tour guide was the happiest guy in the world doing what he loved to do. He would kayak and hike with tourists daily, educating them on the islands’ biodiversity and history. She then told me that the tour guide had a deep conversation with her and her husband and told them how little he got paid doing what he loved, but at the same time, it was his passion. It was what he would look forward to waking up every morning.
Many people that want to become movie actors, rock stars, writers, etc are often told that those dreams are nearly impossible. In most cases, those careers are extremely hard to get into and that is when one person needs to know the difference between hobbies and a career. At the same time, I have a cousin in California who is an actor and works as a waiter when he isn’t working as an actor. Now some people might tell him to give up on that dream because it is hard as shit to catch a break as an actor but I commend him for his commitment. It’s not like he is doing nothing with his life and just waiting on that one moment that will make him a star.
In the end, we all need all these different types of people in the world, whatever the pay may be. In the end, what matters is what type of lifestyle you want to live, whether it is a lifestyle with lots of luxuries or one with not so many luxuries but still a feeling of joy and fulfillment. People who are making a positive impact on the world are the ones who stand out, no matter what they are getting paid. So when my coworker told me, the medical field is where the money is at, I disagree. Not because I don’t think that is where the money is at, but because that is not the only career people need to get into. We need our teachers, and firefighters, and biologists, and policemen.
When someone is in college and knows what they want to pursue, and has that motivation and passion to get into that career, then money should be the last on your list. As long as that career can hold a roof over your head, feed you and clothe you, than money should not be a very big issue. One thing I know that will personally help me decide that i am in the right career, is one that connects with me in a meaningful level. No matter what we do, how much our income is, what our priorities are, that we are in it to make this world a better place, not only for ourselves but for our children.