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Did you choose your career path for money or because it was your passion?

As much as we all want to follow our dreams, I often wonder if I am making the right decision pursuing a career that doesn't have high salaries. #college #career #career-choice #salary #financial-planning #personal-development

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matthew’s Answer

Passion first, then on the long run you have to strategize on how to let your passion put food on your table and support your family

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Joel’s Answer

Hi Jackie,

I think that is an excellent question and I'm glad to see you're already thinking about it. Personally, I started my career because of interest, but realized that both financially and career-wise, it wasn't for me. Since then, I have taken a different route after realizing what it is I am passionate about and where I have solid skills. It has been a life-changing move and I am very thankful that I did it. Here are a few suggestions I have for you as you think about your own future:

1) Consider what it is you enjoy doing most. Make a list. Ask your friends and family about how they view you and your personality, and I think you might be surprised by some things they say, in a good way. This will help you figure out where your passion lies. After all, you can be making a lot of money, but if you totally hate it, you'll be unhappy.

2) Check out this website (www.onetonline.org). It is a career/job database published through the Department of Labor and includes A TON of information (job titles, requirements, education, salary, future expectations, etc.) and is current within the last two years. This may help you find out roughly where some career paths you are interested in will leave you financially.

3) Thinking about college and your majors is extremely important. Talk with your advisors and counselors, your professors, friends and family. However, keep in mind that many, many students change their majors (I didn't even decide mine until Junior year, and now have a career not directly related to my major). I'm saying this not to be pessimistic, but to make you realize that people change their minds and you will grow a ton in college. This is a very good thing and it will help you realize what you truly do want in the future.

4) In summary, do a lot of reflection, ask others for their advice, check out the website and be open to adjusting your career goals based on your experiences and all of the other factors I mentioned.

It's a big decision, but I'm sure you will make the right one, and it will provide you with happiness and money!!

Joel
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Maura’s Answer

For me it is in the balance of these two things. My highest priorities are my family and personal accountability for supporting my desired lifestyle and achieving my goals personally and financially. I fortunately found my passion and love consultative sales, but I always took into consideration my earning potential and made sacrifices along the way to work hard to achieve compensation that supported my various priorities. I think either extreme is challenging unless you can be happy in that context. If you passion does not allow you to make an income or an income that will allow you to meet your financial responsibilities, can you really be happy? If the pursuit of income is in a field that you are passionless about, can you really be happy? It's likely that neither extreme will bring you happiness. My advice is to seek a balance and do whatever you choose well.
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Danielle’s Answer

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I knew what I wanted to do when I entered my first job. Each time I switch jobs I have entered a different role in the same field - financial services Operations . I still am learning about what I am truly passionate about. I continually pursue roles that I excel at or I’m interested in. Money is just part of it. I would suggest not focusing on the $ aspect and really focus on what you are passionate about. And equally, a career that offers work-life balance. Plus you can pivot and you don’t have to stay in the same career. I used to have to travel and work weekends as a consultant. That didn’t work for me and now I’m at a more stable job where I can go study in the evening and spend time with family. I have friends and colleagues that also have switched careers multiple times in life. There is no wrong answer.
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Kim’s Answer

Hi Jackie

You have been given some excellent advice already. My only additional thought to consider is that you will most likely spend a considerable amount of time in your career, so check in periodically to make certain you are enjoying it. You never know where a career choice may take you if you keep your eyes and mind open to new opportunities. It'seems easier to see them when your head is held high. And that is most likely to happen when you are enjoying yourself. And people who possess those opportunities for you will notice you if you're confident and showing the passion for what you are doing. You may even find that the financial piece comes along with it.

Kim recommends the following next steps:

Start with what you enjoy doing.
Keep your mind and eyes open for new opportunities that may be related or an enhancement to what you are doing.
Stay connected to opportunities through strong personal networks.
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Sam’s Answer

Jackie, this is a great question to ask. At one point in time we all have had this same question. I am going to give you my true and honest opinion. Research what you are passionate about and if there are jobs that pay well enough for your lifestyle, then chase it. It's important to find a balance. It's very important to have a salary that you are content with, and it's important to have a job that doesn't make it hard to get out of bed every morning. The finance industry has so much to offer, so don't limit yourself, shoot for the stars. I chose this industry because I could never picture myself being an engineer, a pilot, a researcher, or a teacher (all of these are good careers), I felt like the finance industry was where I belonged.

Sam recommends the following next steps:

Write down "What am I passionate about?"
Reasearch jobs that would fulfill those passions you wrote down - and make a pros and cons list of each job
If there are few jobs that would fulfill your passion, research alternative jobs
Write down "What am I interested in?"
Reasearch jobs that would fulfill those interests you wrote down - and make a pros and cons list of each job
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