I’ve been working in the finance industry for the past 8 years and at 29 years old I make a
great income. I’m at a crossroad where I don’t love what I do but I’m doing great at my job
and am on a very successful path if I want it. What I think I’d really love to be doing is
teaching at the elementary-school level. The only thing about teaching is the pay is low.
I can make in 1 year at my job what would take 7 years in teaching. Am I being naive
here by wanting to pursue something that doesn’t pay a lot? Within my current relationship
I also feel guilty that I wouldn’t be participating as greatly in the family income. I’m now
expecting my spouse to bring in the money doing something he doesn’t love. Is that fair?
Should money being the driving factor in a career?
The Career Doctor responds:
It’s funny how there are very distinct stages to life — and how those stages affect working
and job-seeking. I think the two most fascinating to me right now are quarterlife and older workers mainly because there tends to be great introspection and reflection resulting in
You are certainly facing such a time. And the Quarterlife Crisis a time in your late mid- to
late-twenties is when it occurs. There are many folks just like you — who jumped at a job or
career path right out of college and found some sort of success with it even without fulfillment.
Is money a driving factor in choosing a career? For some yes. Should it be? For most no. I
used to teach business students and for many of them money is an important part of why they chose a
But there HAS to be more. As you have found you can have a successful career — and make a
great salary — but at some point you are going to be very very unhappy. Better to tackle it now
than later in life when you’ve let 28 years go by in an unfulfilling career.
I am a complete believer in following your career passion. I believe that when you follow your passion
the money will eventually follow too.
For those reading struggling in a passionless career please take some time to visit this tutorial on
Quintessential Careers: Finding Your
Career Passion Tutorial: Uncover Your Ideal Career Path.
And for more on the Quarterlife Crisis read
Navigating the Quarterlife Crisis
to Career and Personal Success: Five Strategies for Fulfilling Your Dreams.