A career you love or a career that pays?

I remember growing up, teachers, guardians and parents would ask us, “What would you like to be when you grow up?”

The answers would always be ‘a doctor’, ‘a teacher’, ‘a surgeon’, ‘an engineer’ and all other “high-ranking jobs” in society that you can think of.

Very rarely were the children comfortable or even inspired to say they would like to be creatives, musicians or artists.

I don’t know if we were saying these things because of societal expectations or because we actually had a passion for these careers.

We may have also said we want to take up these jobs so as to look smart minded at the time, or maybe because as children we were taught by parents/guardians/ teachers to look up to doctors and engineers.

The aching truth however is that there is still a shortage of medics and engineers today, it may not be as much as when I was a toddler in the 90’s but the numbers also didn’t shoot up despite popular opinion growing up.

Career choice is therefore a rather complex issue in our society and especially today, where reality meets life. The trends have also been changing over the years.

Nowadays high school leavers are advised to select a course in university where there is a gap/need in the market and not necessarily out of passion.

Sometimes this career guideline works but often times it does not because finding a job these days is a job in itself, and the market is already flooded in all the major industries.

The gaps/needs in the job market currently are in nuclear science, aeronautics etc which are very costly to even study in the first place with high academic expectations. There is also a demand for skilled labour in the market so thanks to the Government for TVET institutions.

I am sure young people would also love to have passion filled careers and not just follow the money but I think they love to be able to pay their bills even more. So now they get jobs in any field without necessarily being passionate about it and as long as it helps pay the bills it is alright!

The only problem with this approach is the increasing rate of depression in the workplace and young people not sticking to jobs for long because they are either bored or lack motivation and they are always looking for greener pastures.

However, as they say, necessity is the mother of innovation, the youth who are such passionate individuals by nature have been led to follow their instincts on what they love to do and from it they have made money.

The older generation is yet to understand some of these passion-field careers such as online influencing, styling and blogging but they embrace it based on the fact that these jobs buy the bread.

I have heard of a 35 year old business man who sells his products online and sends part of his profits to his mother who appreciates but keeps insisting that he needs to position himself in a permanent job position because what is why she struggled to pay his school fees to go to school.

So on to you, what do you prefer? A job that makes you money or a job you love?