Something most college students have been asked by a nosy family member or friend at least once is, “What are you going to do with your life?” Whether these students are incoming freshman or soon-to-be graduates, each of them will most likely face this during their college career and have to somehow come up with an answer.
It’s normal to experience career anxiety, especially during college, because deciding on a career path and conjuring a long-term plan after graduating can be incredibly daunting and stressful. While those who prod and pressure others about finding a steady career path are hard to ignore, the most important person for students to listen to when deciding their life plan is themselves. In order to succeed in a future career, students need to find something they enjoy and have a genuine interest in — not just something that will earn them big bucks.
When people come to the point where they need to make a decision, many might end up picking a career for the money. Granted, money is a great tool that can arguably make anyone’s life better. It can buy new cars, houses and even a big fancy yacht, but as the saying goes, “Money can’t buy happiness.”
According to a study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, it found that there was a positive correlation between income and emotional wellbeing, mental health experts point out that happiness is a complex emotion not achieved through money but through one’s mindset. Money has great benefits, but it will not simply solve all the world’s problems, guarantee success and ensure lifelong happiness.
Chasing a career for the money and ultimately landing an abhorrent job with an awful workplace environment can take a serious toll on one’s physical and mental health. According to an article by Forbes, job dissatisfaction can lead to weight gain, depression, anxiety, stress and loss of sleep.
Along with affecting wellbeing, hating one’s job can also affect those around them. When work stress becomes too much, people often unleash it on those closest to them, according to Thrive Global. This spill-over effect negatively impacts personal relationships, leading to further conflict with friends and family.
Because money can’t buy happiness, it is important for job-seekers to discover for themselves what will. According to an article from CNBC, “Research consistently shows that if you want to be happier in your job, you shouldn’t chase a high salary. From a happiness standpoint, it’s more important that your job provides a sense of meaning or purpose.” Therefore, finding a career that genuinely brings enjoyment and fulfillment should take precedence over a high paycheck.
There are many benefits to following one’s passions and loving a job. If someone is in a career they truly enjoy and take pride in, they are likely to feel more fulfilled. Spending valuable and worthwhile time at work also has the power to increase motivation and self-confidence. It’s hard to find enjoyment and optimism when work is detestable, but when someone is accomplishing goals that are important to them, their passion and drive lead the way.
Furthermore, being happy at work makes people more productive. Love for one’s job will motivate and energize them, enhancing their performance. According to a USC article, people are more likely to learn faster, make fewer mistakes and make better business decisions when they enjoy their job.
It might be easy to believe that happiness is related to wealth, success and possessions, but happiness comes from a variety of things. Happiness is a multifaceted experience that is achieved through being. It is having an understanding of one’s passions, goals and what one ultimately wants to achieve in life.
Although, dreams and passions sometimes don’t have any earning potential. Money sure can’t guarantee happiness, but it can keep a roof over someone’s head and pay for their medical insurance. Therefore there must be a balance between fulfillment and income. Finding a career that fits one’s passions and financial goals is essential.
If you can’t be in the job you love, you need to love the job you're in. After all, people spend just over 13 years of their lives at work, according to a HuffPost analysis. Imagine spending a decade’s worth of time absolutely hating it. Life is too short to not be happy.
Following one’s passions might not bring immediate success, but in the long run, it will offer more happiness and fulfillment. Even if roadblocks occur along the way, passion over profit will carry one through them, offering courage, determination and ambition.