Is there something wrong with doing a job “just for the money”? Do you always have to a passion for the work you do?
One of the trends I notice right now, especially among Millennials, is the idea that you shouldn’t do something “just for the money.”
I agree that it’s always better to make money doing what you love. After all, I enjoy writing, I am happy to work from home, and I make a nice living. I would never poo-poo doing what you love and making money.
But, at the same time, I have a hard time castigating those who choose careers “just for the money.” Because, sometimes, “just for the money” is all you have.
Why are You Working “Just for the Money”?
I’m a big fan of introspection when it comes to money. I have long been an advocate of looking at the why of things when it comes to using your money. On top of that, I see money more as a resource to be directed. How you direct that resource depends on you overall goals. Once you know your goals, I think it makes sense to figure out an earning plan — on top of your spending plan — that works within your own framework.
And this framework includes working “just for the money.”
One of the things to consider when working “just for the money” is whether or not you are in survival mode. It’s nice to think that you can do work you love, and make a good living, but the reality is that the fact that you don’t love your job is probably a first world problem. Even in our country, which is considered first world, there are plenty of people in survival mode. Working “just for the money” makes a lot more sense when you are in survival mode, trying to get by, or trying to change your financial situation so that you can move beyond survival mode.
The motivations behind your money mindset are important to acknowledge if you want to figure out what to do next. If you are in desperately trying to change your situation, it makes sense to work “just for the money.” You take any damn job you can get.
What About Money for Status?
I also talk a lot about doing things because you want to do them, and spending money on things that matter most to you. So, what if you are just trying to do something that makes a lot of money so you can reap the rewards of status?
Once again, it depends on what’s important to you. If status is really important to you, and you enjoy the rewards of status/fame/whatever more than you hate the thing you are doing “just for them money,” I don’t actually see a problem with it.
This is something I’m starting to evolve a little bit more about in my life. There are times that I wish I could be a superstar, and I get a little grumpy about it. Sometimes I’m even negative about when I don’t think I’m getting “my due.” However, when I get right down to it, the reality is that I’m not willing to do what it takes. I’m learning to at least be content with the C list.
There are some things I’m willing to do “just for the money,” especially when it comes to my writing. Mainly because, overall, I like my lifestyle and I want to maintain it. If I sometimes need to do something I don’t particularly like to maintain where I’m at, I’ll go ahead and do it, just so I can get paid.
But, ultimately, I can’t really gripe against those who want to do something because more money so often means more status. If that status is important to them, and they are willing to do things they find unpleasant to earn the money that allows them to buy that status, I don’t have a problem with it.
No, you may not be the happiest person in the world while you are doing your work, but if your career is “just for the money,” there might be other ways you are enjoying your life. If you can manage to enjoy bright, shining moments in between, that might be worth it to you.
Figure out what drives you, and what’s behind your drive to do something “just for the money.” Then decide if it’s still worth it.
What do you think? Have you ever done something “just for the money”? Was it worth it? Do you think that you would do it again?