The Job You Want v. The Job That Pays

Let’s say you’ve got two job offers on the table. They look a-little somethin’ like this:

The Job You Want
Pros: This is what you went to college for, what you interned, unpaid, for. You love the way this job smells because every day smells like triumph under stupendous pressure. You’ve had a hard time getting an interview because it’s fairly exclusive. It’s hard to get in without experience.
Eventually one can make quite a bit of money and achieve some recognition, too. You like recognition. But most of all it’s fucking FUN, and you’re damn good at it.

Cons: It’s several hours away from your family and prospective fiance’. Couple that with the fact that your dream job pays only 32 hours a week at $7.50 an hour. That means taking on a second job while dealing with frequent bothering from your worry-wart family and whiny badgering from your girlfriend while making real ends meet. Now, you’ve got a bit socked away that needs to go in to a new(er) vehicle because your 203,000 mile beater’s got two wheels in the junkyard, but Mommy thinks you’ll need a nice apartment and Fiance needs a piece of glittering fucking carbon pressed into circular, decorative, metal receptacle.
Financially, you’re pulling at strings here. But goddammit, this is the fucking break, THE fucking job that could get you where you want to go. No insurance, paycheck to paycheck, but this could be where the Legend Begins.

The Job That Pays
Pros: $30,000 per year…for starters. You’re selling shit over the phone, but at least it’s not cold calling. They come to you. Well, that’s something.
But 30k…for starters. If you sell like the crazy motherfucker you are, that could be 35 or 38k in your first year. Count in that your nosy family would love to keep you around for another year, that eliminates rent, utilities, food, etc. I can ride that pony to Kingdom Come and have more money than God when I get there. This also allows me some wiggle room with that car I need. Maybe I can even establish some credit with a local, reputable auto dealership.
What’s more is that Fiance’ just got a job in town. I can drive across town to see her rather than three hours across the state. I like this. Better yet, putting us in one place means that we can plan in earnest for a wedding and plan financially for afterward. And I can even afford that stupid fucking rock that females are trained from BIRTH to desire*.

Cons: This ain’t what you’re trained for. Sure, this is an excellent and reputable company that’s completely capable of training you. But this isn’t in your blood, man. You dread how hollow this job may feel. Lots of money…for what? For whom, rather? Yeah, you get your piece of the pie while attempting to increase the size of the pie itself. But are you helping folks? Sure you are, helping them find the just the right product at just the right price!

Are you going to fucking sell out and do the easy thing? Make some good money and make everybody else happy? Because it really makes sense. Insurance, security, stability. Everyone wants and needs these things. Look at your sister, man. 29 with no kids and she and her husband are raking it in! Two new cars in one year, man! Think about that.

Or do you have the juevos, the chutzpah, the out-and-out guts to do something novel: something that has the potential to make you truly happy? Not something that makes everyone else happy, but YOU. Just you. Earn your way to the top with your own two hands, one good eye and ear and your wits. Jesus, think about it. Write your way to the top? Hell, you can do that.

What are you gonna do?

*This had to come down here…(1. Because he doesn’t love you if he doesn’t buy you one, and 2. Because that means she’s got that cock locked down! Your ass is free to blimp up above and beyond Starr Jones, and if he strays then TAKE that sonofabitch for every fucking dime he can muster and several that he hasn’t mustered.)

Shit, I meant to change that title. Emailing a mod now.

If, in the long run, the “job you want” has better potential for making your life good in the combination of fulfillment and money, go for it. Don’t think short term; think long term.

Is there a possibility of doing “the job that pays” just long enough to afford doing “the job you want?”

$30 K a year won’t make you rich and $15 K per year is enough to live on.

The fiance and others will fall in line, and if they don’t, you can always find another wife and a set of in-laws.

The job yout want will eventually prove financialy rewarding enough and will also make you a happier person.

I have to say that the hands down winner is the job that you want.

I’m 54, and I’ve never had an actual permanent job. (I’ve always been more-or-less free-lance.) But I’ve spent the last 30 years doing what I absolutely love to do. It’s been worth the financial insecurity for the sake of that. At this stage of my life, I’m the envy of most of the guys I went to high school with, even though they have a lot more security.

My youngest brother was making $120,000 a year on Wall Street, in a career he had chosen mainly for the financial rewards. A few years ago he just quit because he hated it so much. He went back to school and got a nursing degree, and now is making less than half of what he did before. I’m sure he’s much much happier.

Go for the job you want, and the rest be damned.

Since you posted it, I am not sure if you want advice or just a rant. But, I’m gonna give my perspective:

  1. Prospective fiance is a fancy way to say girlfriend. Honestly ask yourself, do you really want a fiance or are you just talking that way because it is what she wants and you have been going out so long you are at a shit or get off the pot stage.

  2. Forget blowing money on a diamond. If she has any decency, she will take a wrapped up piece of tin foil as long as the answer to question 1 is sincere.

  3. Don’t give up your dream. Do what you have to, but don’t do something you hate just because it pays, if you have that option (it sounds like you do).

Good luck.

My vote is for the job you want. It’s far more enjoyable to scrape by doing something you love than it is to live a little more comfortably hating every minute of it.

-Enginerd, who left a much higher paying construction industry job to work for a barely-afloat non-profit group doing stream restoration work.

Another vote for the job you want. If the girlfriend is meant to be your wife, it’ll work out. If not, better to find out before throwing away a damn fine opportunity.

I am currently working in a job that pays (not tons, around that same 30k you mentioned), and if I had an offer for work that I love (musician… here I come Broadway) for minimum wage in order to ‘break in,’ I’d do it in a heart beat and make everything else work out.

I don’t have a Fiance, and only have myself to worry about, but still.

Once you get used to a 30k/year, it’s damn near impossible to live on 15K. So unless you have a super-himan ability to save while living in poverty–while your friends and family have new expectatations of your ability to contribute, since you now have a “good job”–thinkof this as your last chance to take the job at 15K.

If the fiancé would rather have you rich (which 30K isn’t) and hating about 1/3 of your time awake, than not-so-poor and happy:

ditch the fiancé.

Mind you, this may explain why I never married :stuck_out_tongue:

The job you want- do not pass go and obviously don’t collect $200.

There’s more to work (where you spend so much of your time and energy and thought) than the paycheck - and the trade off is more than worth it.

I’ve done both. There’s a lot to be said for the “job you want”. It’s great fun, it’s fulfilling etc. But the “job that pays”…actually pays. And there’s quite a bit to be said for that side of things too.

As someone who made choice number 2 early in life let me tell you that it was a huge mistake. I ended up losing my ability to function effectively in my chosen career as new technology passed me by.

Your choice number one does appear to hold out for future money and recognition. Recognition is a huge factor in job satisfaction. I eventually achieved that in a subsequent career, and let me tell you it is a wonderful feeling.

Invest in your future, son. Take a bag lunch to work. Become the man you want to be.

Take the job you want while you’re young and free enough to get by on 15K. You won’t always be, and at that point there’s no going back.

The job that pays? 30k isn’t that much. 50k… I know people who dropped out of college to take that 50k job that pays.

They regret it now. You’re young, you have time. What you do now defines your life. Take the job you want now. The job that pays, maybe later… but get experience now.

Sounds like you already have some hard feelings towards the family and girlfriend. They will (not may, will) multiply ten-fold as the resentment grows for passing up the opportunity to get into the field you want.
I took the road less paychecked. It has made all the difference.
And hey - the family got used to it and now they are proud of me.

Ditto the job you want -

My past three years have been spent kicking myself in the ass for being more concerned about pay and having “security” than doing what I want to be doing. Now I have a golden collar and it sucks. It’s for real, and it’s your life. Don’t fuck up.

Hearken to what Manda JO said:

I wish someone had pulled me aside 10 years ago and told me that. . .

I took the job that pays. It’s not what I would love to do, but it pays the bills. My wife and kids well being and comfort are much more important to me than my job satisfaction. My job satisfaction comes via direct deposit & benefits. I’m sure that everyone would agree that Life requires some sort of sacrifice, so I’m sacrificing my job satisfaction now, for the benefit of my family. I believe that my sacrifice will pay off in the long run, between having a better homelife now, and still being able to reap the rewards of my hard work & sacrifice later. I’m planning on retiring between 45 and 50 and then I can (and will) do the job I love, and be able to enjoy doing it without worrying about maintaining the quality of life I’m now accustomed to.