Prioritizing Interest over Income

September 9, 2021 By
A neon sign states "Do what you love" in capital letters.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” We’ve all been asked the question by teachers, parents, and classmates alike. As our interests, priorities, and understanding of the world around us changes, our answer to the question evolves. Even with constant support to pursue something that interests you, we often lose sight of our amusements when prioritizing “practicality.” I was around the age of thirteen when my mother sat me down and asked the above, conventional question and my answer was “a psychiatrist.” No, I did not want to be a psychiatrist. In fact, the idea of being one just seemed incredibly mundane. But it was well-paying and practical. I would live comfortably, not worry about expenses and taxes and mortgages and whatever else is part of the whole “adulting” thing. I would prove Mr. Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his renowned idea that money cannot buy happiness to be false. For I would be happy with my income. 

My understanding of the importance of money had me completely neglecting a very important aspect of a career choice, that being, your job should be one you enjoy. 

It was embedded in me that money was the thing to make the world go round and to comfortably go around with it, you needed cash. Being what I wanted to be was out of the question, as a steady, large income was a bigger priority than my general liking of the job. Coming from a well-off family, I was always comfortable. I didn’t have anything to worry about when it came to cash. I came to a false conclusion that the way I was living now was the only “comfortable way of living”. So, my mother asked me again, unhappy with my answer. “You don’t want to be a psychiatrist,” she said. “So, what do you want to be?”

Though I shoved my own passions and loves so deep that I seemed to have forgotten them, the answer came easily: I wanted to be on stage. 

I mentioned how the idea was “not practical” and that I could never make a living being on stage. The idea of money being the overall provider of happiness still playedg a major factor in my career path. She said that of course you have to be good to make a living in the arts, but you had to be good in any career to make a living. So why not just be good at a career you love?

Our career choices often prioritize money over our own enjoyment of the career. I’m not going to tell you that it’s easy to make a living acting or painting, but if you love it, you might just have a chance. You should always take into account your own loves and passions when thinking about a job you are wanting to pursue. Of course, taking money into consideration is a good idea, but it should never outweigh your own interests. 

About the Author

Maja Mlot: Maja Mlot is a high school student interested in criminal law, watchdog journalism, chemistry, and forensics. A jack-of-all-trades, Maja hopes to embark on a career to arise change in present society.