A lot of career advice centers around following your passion. That doesn’t always pay the bills. Don’t feel bad if you chose your career based on how much money you can make instead. It’s a perfectly smart reason to choose a job.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult on your mental health in the long run. The good news is that you can make the most of your career with these tips, even if you chose money over your passion.
Get Specific in Your Field
Just because you don’t enjoy your current position doesn’t mean there isn’t one within your field that you may enjoy more. Many fields have many different opportunities that enable you to move back and forth between optimizing your income and following your passion.
For example, the average attorney makes around $100,000 every year. If you want to increase your income, you may want to consider becoming a personal injury attorney or practicing corporate law. If you’re finding yourself feeling unfulfilled, you can consider taking a pay cut and becoming a criminal defense attorney.
The nice thing about this strategy is that it very rarely requires you to go back to school or get additional certifications. You just have to think about how to utilize your college degree in new and creative ways.
Set a Goal for the Money You’re Making
If making money was your primary goal when you took your latest job, you aren’t going to be happy if you discover that there isn’t any more money in your bank account than when you worked at the gas station in high school.
Keep this from happening by setting goals for the money you’re making. A few savings rules that may work for you include:
- Save your age as a percentage of your overall income
- Save a certain percentage of any raise you get
- Automate your savings so you can’t put it off
Lifestyle creep is one of the biggest things you should look out for. Just because you make more money doesn’t mean you should buy a bigger house, buy a boat, or make spa days a weekly occurrence. Keep lifestyle costs low so you can make the most of the money you’re making.
Optimize the Time You Take Off
If you chose your career based on money instead of passion, you are more likely to get burned out quickly. If you know money is your ultimate goal, it is especially important to take care of your mental health. That means optimizing the time you take off.
First, it simply means taking the vacation days you have. You should never let anyone make you feel guilty for taking time off that’s yours to take.
It may also mean being smart about how you take your time off. For some, it may be better to take one day off every few weeks or month, while for others, it may be better to take it all at once and go on a big vacation.
Get a Side Hustle That You’re Passionate About
If you’re having a hard time reconciling the fact that you don’t love what you do, find something to do that you love without quitting your day job.
When you follow a few rules, you can have a side hustle you’re passionate about that will make you feel a little more fulfilled when your regular job isn’t doing it for you. And who knows—you just may be able to turn your passion into a lucrative full-time business some day!
Prioritize Your Personal Life
Many people feel guilty about prioritizing their personal lives over work, but you shouldn’t feel guilty at all. That’s especially the case if you chose a career in order to pay the bills and not necessarily because you love what you do all day.
There are many other things in life you can feel passionate about when you don’t feel passionate about work. Make sure you make time to bake or paint and prioritize spending time with your friends and family over staying late at the office. There are many areas of your life to feel good about. What you do for a living is only one of them.
Following your dreams doesn’t always pay the bills. If you chose money over passion, you shouldn’t feel bad, and you shouldn’t let it mean you have a lower quality of life. There are plenty of ways to make a career based on money work for you.