Are Your Working for a Paycheck or a Purpose?

by Jessica Sommerfield · 0 comments

It seems like there is increasing pressure, in the present economy, to do whatever it takes to secure a good income.  I’m not talking about the need to be willing to take whatever work you can find until the job you want opens up; that’s just survival. After all, everyone needs to be able to pay the bills. No, the disturbing trend is that more and more individuals are pursuing training and even going into debt for education that will qualify them for high-paying jobs they don’t really enjoy.

Your career is one of the choices you make that affects every aspect of your life, so it’s important to put a lot of thought into it. If you surf the Web, there is plenty of information about what are considered the top-paying jobs, and which career fields are growing. Although salary and job stability are definitely important factors when making a career choice, they are not the most important ones. Have you ever asked yourself whether you actually like your job? Does it provide you with a sense of fulfillment? There are, admittedly, situations and circumstances that may limit what you can choose to do for a living: a lack of education or training, a family to support on one income, obligations that prevent you from attending college, a disability, or your location, to name a few.  But what if you had no such limitations? What job would you choose?

I am noticing a lot of young people going to college for careers that pay extremely well, but that they don’t enjoy. Medical professions  are very honorable, but how many people choose them for the six figure salary and not out of altruistic  motives, or any interest in medicine? Those who choose careers they don’t enjoy in some aspect are getting paid to be miserable, bored, or indifferent. And, since we know that money can’t buy happiness, where does their happiness come from? Certainly not from their job.

Of course, your career isn’t  your entire life; it’s just what you do for a living, right? Considering that most people spend forty or more hours a week and at least one third of each day at their job, the career you choose takes up a considerable amount of your life. The income from your job may enable you to do things you wouldn’t otherwise be able to, but sometimes at the expense of doing the things you’d prefer to be doing. There’s a common concept that working isn’t supposed to be fun or enjoyable; it’s work, an obligation, a chore. There is no doubt we were designed for work. Just look at some retirees who are starting new businesses after a lifetime of working, and you’ll see the proof. We need to be doing something.  The important distinction I’m making is the difference between working for a paycheck and working for a purpose.

In the job markets of the modern world, there may not be the ‘perfect’ job that fulfills your income requirements while enabling you to utilize your passion and purpose. But you can make it your goal to get as close as possible, instead of focusing merely on numbers. At the end of your life, you’ll look back and feel content with having fulfilled your calling and pursued your dreams, or you’ll regret all the hours wasted in drudgery for a paycheck that will not outlive you.  So here are some things to think about:

  • Do you enjoy what you do for a living?
  • Is there something you’d enjoy more?
  • What are the obstacles keeping you from doing that, and are they able to be overcome?
  • What excuses are you using for not pursuing your dreams? Are they superficial?
  • What can you do today to better fulfill your purpose or at least set things in motion?

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