Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Starving Artist or CEO: Balancing Love & Money in a Career Search

Searching for a new career can sometimes mean that a job seeker’s desire for a fulfilling career can clash with their need for money. Piyali Syam of recently delved deeper into this in her article “For Love or Money?” In her article, Syam gives four main considerations job seekers should take into account when deciding whether to follow their idealism or their wallet.

The first of Syam’s considerations is choosing a field. She suggests that you research average salaries in various career fields. And while an engineer may start out making more than someone in a service field, Syam points out that where you start doesn't necessarily determine your potential salary. She reminds us of the maxim: “Do what you love and the money will follow.”

Second, Syam says to leverage your skills and not necessarily in a direct translation. She explains that if you are an English major, you don’t necessarily need to teach. You could use your skills in PR, for example. This is definitely true for veterans. While there are a great many civilian jobs that are a very close translation of military jobs, you should think outside the box on ways your skills could be used.

For her third tip, Syam suggests weighing the tangibles and intangibles of a career field. You may be able to earn more in a certain job, which is a tangible benefit; but you may have to work double the hours to do so, which could be viewed as a negative tangible. She lists money and time as tangibles and job satisfaction and fulfillment as intangibles and says weighing them can help point you in the right direction. Additionally, remember that having a passion for your career and making money are not mutually exclusive. 

Finally, Syam suggests you make compromises. When weighing intangibles and tangibles, there may not be a clear winner. Sometimes only time will tell you where that balance is for you and your family. Syam sums up by writing, “With some soul-searching, prioritizing, and willingness to compromise, it is completely possible to find a reasonable balance between both.”

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