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June 06, 2007

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It seems that if one is so concerned with finding personal fulfillment, then money wouldn't matter to you so much.

My advice: don't work a job. As long as you and your paycheck are subject to the whim of a boss or a corporation of shareholders, you will never be fulfilled, personally or financially. Find or build a business that offers you to opportunity to achieve both.

I am lucky enough to have a job that pays well and offers me the opportunity to work on what I like the most.

I have always liked math, and I have been fascinated with money and finance for a long time.

Being a Quant makes it a good balance between the two :)

If I have to choose though, at this stage of my career, I think going for "maximum gain in the long term" is the way I would go. It's not necessarily the job that pays the most at the moment, but one that offers the best opportunity in the future.

My job pays pretty well and is fairly fulfulling. If I were to take my ideal job, it would be more fulfilling but pay somewhere between 1/3 and 1/4 as much.

The reason I do not considder taking such a job is the end state. With my current job, I'll be able to easily retire comfortably at 55. Then, I can take on my most fulfilling job: spending time with familty. If I took such a job now, I would have to work till I am 67 and then not retire as comfortably. It is a trade-off that I make.

On the other hand, I could do consultant work and get paid up to 2 times what I do now. I would not like it after a month or so and it would be very stressful. Its not worth it.

What about if I like the job that I do, but it means that the hours I work can be brutal?

I work in finance and would say that it is definitely meaningful, satisfying, and stimulating and that I feel I am having a personally fulfilling career. The downside is that it can also be arduous and demanding on one's personal life (separate to personal career fulfillment).

I don't know if I'll stay in the industry forever, but for now it keeps me interested and so I'll keep burning the midnight oil.

Thanks HMG, you pointed out something important.

I find myself in a similar situation. I am spending many many hours at my current job.

I guess I don't see myself spending so many hours on this in the long run, but for now it suits me.

So I guess there are 3 things to consider: money, personal fulfillment, and time spent at work!

This is a very interesting discussion. I too am struggling with this. I have an unfulfilling job that pays well. I try to train myself to just keep thinking about possible early retirement, or to try to find other joy outside of work. However, I can't help but want to take the plunge also and start something on my own. It's good to at least hear that others feel the same way.

Starting out, I saw that poor pay did not mean security and high pay did not mean dissatisfaction, so I treated pay as respect for my efforts and found something interesting about anything I did. The only security and the only satisfaction is in yourself. I was not a workaholic. Such effort would actually have been a step backwards from creativity and innovation. I don't think there is really that much pay difference between most jobs that actually use your talents, only an impressive number of jobs that waste them and pay poorly as a result. I found it easy to love my work but I found it increasing difficult to find satisfying work. Companies wanted skill sets instead of minds, bodies instead of talent, projects instead of businesses. Maximize opportunity was my approach until I could no longer find any. By then I could retire though.

How do you balance money and personal fulfillment in a career?

Don't look at me, I've never had either!

There are so many people out there who hate their jobs. Isn't it sad!

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