I honestly dont think there is a right or wrong answer for this one. People are motivated by different things and for some, it may be money. I have worked several jobs where the money was great, but I was not happy and fulfilled with what I was doing. For me the higher pay was not enough for me to continue on the path I was on. I found that I was more productive, happier and less stressed in a position that I was passionate about. Work hard at something you love and the money will follow.
Preeti Jose’s Answer
The answer to your question isn't one or the other, but "it depends".
- Are you healthy, and fed? Depending on where you live, you may need enough income to be reasonably sure. (In the US, medical bills are a major source of bankruptcy, and it doesn't have to be a devastating cancer to be a ridiculous bill)
- If so, are you physically safe? Are you able to travel to/from work with a reasonable belief that you won't be harmed? Have that confidence at work? At home?
If you don't have those lower tiers, work for income, so you can get them. I'm not saying take ANY job, but at this point accepting physical risk for moral/emotional happiness is more likely to make you resent the choices, leaving you neither safe nor satisfied.
Once you have those taken care of, the answer becomes a lot more nuanced. You are at the point where you start to worry about more subtle and subjective issues. Answering what is right to do in those cases is a deeply personal question, and not one that is easy. The only wrong thing to do is pretend that it's NOT a hard choice. You are balancing different types of safety and happiness against one another. That's hard, PARTICULARLY if you don't have experiences to say what to expect from any choice: You are balancing PREDICTIONS of safety and happiness.
If you are fortunate enough to get to the point where you are at/near the tip of that hierarchy, then the question becomes easier (but not easy). Nothing is guaranteed, no one is every 100% safe or protected, so you can't pretend not to worry about those foundational tiers, but realistically, you can hit a point where more income won't make a notable change in those tiers. That's when you should give your other desires more weight (note I'm not saying "that is when you should pay attention" to them. They've always existed, always been real. They just didn't have as much weight).
I've spent a long time chasing income as a substitute for safety. I can say there is DEFINITELY a point of inflection. When you can get lost in a town and feel safe that if push comes to shove, you can call a taxi/lyft/uber/etc to get home without breaking the bank. When your car can refuse to start and you don't have to worry about getting fired or losing money you can't afford. When you have some symptom and can go to the doctor without worrying that doing so (regardless of the determination) will threaten your ability to pay for other things.
The biggest one for me was when I had enough savings to know that if I got fired I could pay the rent/mortgage and food bills for the time it would take for me to get another job.
Once I hit that point, though, more money didn't really help. I still feel immense pressure - what if I get disabled and lose my ability to work? What if I die, what happens to my wife? What if... - but earning more (and saving more) doesn't really help with those fears, at least not without a few decades more of saving money. The scale is just too big.
So I've hit the point where I should be giving my personal satisfaction more weight than income. Hopefully you (and everyone) is as lucky as I am to be able to find that point too.
Note: A lot of that sense of safety comes from having enough savings, rather than having a big enough income. People I trust recommend having enough saved to live for 6 months without income. Figure out your retirement plans and start early, which makes the effort involved less (but hardly zero). Savings is DEFINITELY easier when you have a bigger income, but if you don't start the process when you have little income it's easy to miss out on the opportunity if you get more income.
This is a great question. I would say INTEREST should be your focus. If you are bored by your job, it can make the job feel really hard. You would be surprised at how wonderful it is to pursue a career where you are really interested in what you are doing. That is because in some ways it makes it easier to work harder. Once I determined what I wanted to do for a living, my passion got me through two college degree programs that helped me do well in my job. I also love what I do so much that I continue to learn more about how to do it with new programs or in different industries. And being interested in what you do makes you willing to take risks and share your knowledge with others. Money is important. You have to have money to live. I just think that an Interest takes you beyond just living to really thriving. Interest generates innovation which often earns you more money. Money doesn't generate Interest. Money doesn't make you like your job or your boss anymore. Or if you want to be self employed, Interest is really everything since running a business is really hard.