When it comes to your job, passion should trump money every time

by jeffhilimire on August 28, 2014

I went to visit a friend at his new job recently and he seemed like an entirely different person. He lit up when he talked about the business and the work that he’s doing. Heck, I wanted to work there after hearing him talk about it! I felt like high-fiving people on the street after I left, I was so pumped up.

And he had a really great job before, but I can now tell – and so can he – that it wasn’t fulfilling him. He wasn’t leaping out of bed excited to get to work the way he is now. And its hard to put a price on that!

Its so energizing being with people who truly love their jobs. I’ve been telling people for a while now that I’ve never worked with folks more passionate about their jobs than here at Dragon Army. Some of these team members have wanted to build games since they were 8 years old! One of the main reasons I gave the team more responsibility for our games last week was to help them continue to be as passionate as possible about what we’re building.

I’ve written a lot about passion over the years. But I decided to write this post not because I had spent time with my friend at his new job, but because I recently talked to another person about their career and he shared with me that at one point he loved his job but realized he wasn’t able to make as much money as he wanted, so he had to find another career.

Why do we want more money? So we can buy things that make us happy. So we can take trips. Live in a bigger house. Drive a faster car. Save up for retirement. Send our kids to college.

All of those things are great, and its hard to argue with saving for retirement and sending your kids to college not being the right thing to do. But think about this: You will probably always make more money than your parents and somehow they saved for retirement and you got a great education.

We want money so that we can be happy! We perceive that if we work at a job we don’t love, but we make a good deal of money, we’ll be happier. Bull.

Let’s say you start working at 22 years old. You work until you’re 55. That’s 33 years of working. 33 years x 48 weeks a year x 40 hours a week = 63,360 hours!

So you can either be very happy for 63,000 hours of your life, or you can be kind of bored and unfulfilled so that maybe, just maybe, when you finally retire, the money you will have saved will allow you to finally do things that you enjoy. Or maybe while you’re unhappy for those 63,000 hours, you have a nicer car while you sit in traffic to and from your unhappy job.

Find a job you absolutely love. I promise you’ll be a much happier and fulfilled person. One of the happiest people I know is a security guard at an office building. He can’t be making a ton of money, but man, he LOVES his job. And good for him.

My friend who I mentioned at the start of this post works at the company that helped the young woman in the video below. Do you think she’s going to settle for a job that she’s not passionate about? No chance.

  • http://www.brainwads.net/drewhawkins Drew Hawkins

    I’d agree. Taking a new job purely for financial reasons has the potential to imprison you than provide freedom. If another more fulfilling opportunity comes along but pays less, it’s harder to take that newer job, even if you’d enjoy it more.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Good point. I think most people know in their gut if they really love their job. I think people are conditioned to think that “everyone kinda hates their job, it is what it is”, but I refuse to believe that. Sometimes its the case for sure, not everyone can pick and choose, but I have to believe that most people who read this blog (people that have a computer, access to the internet, etc) are probably able to find a job that they get geeked up about on a daily basis.

  • JosephJameson2

    I’m going to share this everywhere. I keep telling people this, that money doesn’t make you happy, it only makes you comfortable. Doing what you love ensures comfort beyond this life.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Thanks JJ2, and well said. It might not be easy, but figuring out what you love to do and making that your career is a noble effort.

  • rchoudhury

    Great post Jeff.

Previous post:

Next post: