Choose Passion or Salary in Picking a Career?

Terry writes:
I would like to ask you a question that will decide my future career.
Should I pick a career based on my passion or on salary? By the way I’m a high-school senior and am preparing for college. If you be so kind please write me back
soon as possible.

The Career Doctor responds:
Hmm. Passion or salary? Well I am an idealist so I say why not both?
Of course if I had to choose one I would ALWAYS say follow your passion.
Sometimes I think people think that following their passion excludes them
from making money. However the opposite rarely happens — chasing down
the higher salary rarely results in finding a career passion.
The great news for you is that you have years to find your passion. And years
to make and execute a plan where you’ll make money living your passion.
But let’s look at the flip side. Even if you don’t find a way to make a lot of
money with your passion you will still have the satisfaction and joy that you
derive from the job. However if you make a lot of money but are bored or
dislike your job you will feel a growing sense of being empty and unsatisfied.
How can you find your passion? With a lot of self-assessment. Sure you
can take some assessment tests but you should also look at your
strengths and weaknesses as well as the activities you most enjoy
accomplishing. At your age you should also spend a lot of time researching
careers talking to people about their jobs and doing what you can to help
narrow your choices.
Just remember to take your time. The real goal of college is a solid education –
and any major will give you that. Focus on obtaining the degree. Do that while
also gaining some experience along the way and doors will open up for you
by the time you graduate.
For more help in choosing a career path consider reading this article published
on Quintessential Careers: Ten
Tips for Creating a Career That Lights Your Fire
And for help in choosing a major read: Choosing
a College Major: How to Chart Your Ideal Path


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