The pursuit of happiness

Nicole Bullard

When looking for a career to call our own, sometimes we stumble across the fact that enjoying our work and earning substantial pay does not go hand in hand.

While I’m finding my way through college, there’s a lot for me to consider, like whether the path I choose will pay the bills and if it really is something I can do for years without becoming jaded or bored.

For those who found both happiness and a good salary in life, congratulations, you have achieved what many people have found impossible. For those who are unsure where to begin, how can these two great career benefits, happiness and money, be combined into one primary goal?

To find our true calling, sometimes our greatest assets are disguised as hobbies. For example, I love to write, so there’s a chance that I could find a career that requires writing skills, like an author or a journalist.

While it can feel exciting and assuring to do what you love, your paycheck should give you the same feeling as the work actually did.

While this may or may not be true, it is also possible that money can be the root of all troubles. It can be frustrating to find out that the profession you have longed to be a part of has some setbacks, like a meager salary or few benefits.

I have seen people do what keeps them inspired while living on an undesirable income, so I know it is not impossible. Many college students have followed their dreams while living a humble lifestyle so I know it isn’t a far-fetched feat.

So what can we do when the career doesn’t pay? There is no correct answer for a question like this, and finding an answer can be a stressful event for many.

While following a career path that I am passionate about is one of my many goals, I know that making a living should be a priority as well.

It all depends on what you consider a comfortable lifestyle. Everyone has their own unique financial needs and levels of comfort. Sometimes, it is easier to drop a career choice because it clearly doesn’t pay.

While some people would feel neutral about dismissing a career choice, it can be a heated topic for others, especially those who don’t believe in giving up on their dreams.

I, for one, can’t see myself sacrificing my dreams just because the pay is less than satisfactory. The satisfaction of doing what I love and giving myself an honest purpose in life is enough.

There is a difference in trying to make a living and trying to make money. With a modest living, there is the stability of a constant lifestyle, no matter how thrifty, but on the other side of the spectrum there is the pride and higher levels of comfort from making a larger salary.

Yes, money is important and it it is doubtful that there will ever be a time in my life where something truly doesn’t cost anything, but what really matters in the end is whether I enjoyed what I did.

When I look back on my life and remember my career choices and experiences, I want to be able to say that I enjoyed myself and accomplished all the things I dared to dream about. I don’t want to look back on my choices and know that I turned down a happy and fulfilling career path in the name of money.

Despite the possibility of not being able to enjoy a career and earn a respectable living, there are hundreds of careers worth living modestly for. All you have to do is find your aspirations and what makes life worthwhile, even if money and happiness don’t go hand in hand.