I recently ran into a piece on Yahoo that asks one of the age-old questions relating to money and work: how do you balance the need (desire) to make money with a sense of personal fulfillment in your career? Here are their thoughts:
Money or personal fulfillment? The challenge is to find a career that yields both. More and more job seekers are looking for more than a steady paycheck from their work. If you're like them, you want a career that's meaningful, satisfying, and stimulating. At the same time, you probably also have bills to pay and a family to support.
Personally, I went down the "more money than enjoyment" path early on in my career, but as I got older started looking for more of a balance. Currently, I'm in a position where I love what I do and who I work for and I'm paid a good salary too -- I'm in my personal sweet spot for now. Of course, that isn't to say that if the Indianapolis Colts asked me to run their franchise for $3 million a year that I wouldn't jump at it. ;-)
My guess is that most people will sacrifice personal fulfillment up to a point. People need to eat, buy clothes, have shelter, and the like, and until they cover the basics, people will likely do almost anything. Once they reach this point and surpass the "survival" level of income, however, they start looking for more and more fulfillment in their careers.
So what's the balance? What weight do you give to each? Would you give up some (or even a lot) personal fulfillment if it meant a very high salary? Or are you the kind that doesn't care what you make as long as you love your work?
For more on careers, see these posts:
- Which is a Better Career Strategy: Staying with One Company Your Entire Career or Switching Companies Regularly?