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Love vs. Money

Publication Date : 23-02-2013


For love: Wouldn’t we rather be free to paint for a living? For money: Love is all well and good, but can you afford to forego the money?


Wa are talking about careers: Would you work for money or love? If you go around asking for advice, you might find a big gap separating the two schools of thought. On one hand, parents will definitely tell you to work for money as it is the more practical and “safe” option, whereas motivational trainers generally whole-heartedly espouse the “for love!” end of things because that’s what they do – motivate!

Let’s look at both sides:

For love

“Definitely passion, because money can’t get you far in life”. – Jane Ng, part-time model.

This always seems like the ideal situation, the one endorsed by everybody from (the now bankrupt) Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad, Poor Dad fame to the multitudes of Internet career “experts”. “Work for love,” they enthuse, “You’ll be happier that way, and the money will come soon enough”.

Their reasoning makes sense: If you love what you do, you will be more forgiving of the job’s idiosyncrasies and inconveniences (Cranky boss? Mad working hours? Based in a dodgy part of town? No problem). You will also generally stay longer and work harder since it is, after all, something you love and are passionate about.

Love has a strong case going for it; after all, the idea of a salaried worker slogging away in despair just for money is a strongly negative one in most people’s minds. In an age of being told that we can be anything we want to be, the idea of being desk-bound is a highly unappealing one: Wouldn’t we rather be free to paint for a living, or shop from nine to five? The biggest reason people choose love over money, is that doing what you love is good for your soul. The rationale is that money will come, either way; you might as well be happy in the process of earning it!

For money

“It’s called work for a reason. Passionate or not, you are hardly going to enjoy ALL aspects of it. So of course you go for the money. Money is incentive enough to work”! – Yvonne Tee, business development executive.

Working for money, earns you money and a lot of it too, if you work hard enough in the right jobs. That in itself is working for money’s strong case.

While people who choose love over money may scoff at those who look at the number of zeroes on their paycheque as a job satisfaction gauge, the fact remains that everybody has food to buy and bills to pay for.

With money, you will have the means to chase your other passions and hobbies: Baking, for example, does require equipment and ingredients that can burn a hole in your pocket if the numbers sold cannot generate enough revenue to cover the overhead costs. The same goes for sports and even art.

Most importantly, can you afford to forego the money? Those who have to help support their families and/or have commitments in the form of car, house or student loans may not have the luxury of picking jobs based on their interests.

That brings us to compromise

“Passion and money are not mutually exclusive – passion can bring money”. – Kong Sing Ming, associate.

Why don’t we try doing what makes money and is as close as possible to our dreams? After all, what you love and what makes you money doesn’t have to – and shouldn’t! – be mutually exclusive.

By all means, work for the money; but, you can also try getting a job in a field that you really love. If you love fashion but can’t quit everything to be a designer, you can work for a designer or for a fashion magazine. In the course of the job, you may even learn to love being, say, a stylist or a fashion merchandiser. If you love chatting but can’t find a job that pays you to hang out by the water cooler all day, try public relations, customer services, and even radio hosting... You get the idea.

When it comes to real life, dreams are fantastic, but practicalities must be observed. There is no point in telling people to just follow their dreams and not be there for them when their dreams lead them so far off that they get lost! If you’re already in a job that gives you financial satisfaction minus the soul-deep happiness that your passions bring, then try doing what you love on a part-time basis! Even half an hour a day of doing what makes you happy can go a long way towards overall happiness, regardless of occupation.

At the end of the day, pick what you want to do, not what your mother thinks will suit you best, nor what is “cool” at the moment. Don’t do medicine because everybody else has a doctor in the family, don’t do law because your dad is one and wants to put “So-and-so and Son” on the front door of his practice.

Your career is your own, and only you can call the shots. In this regard, you should definitely, absolutely, do what you love and not what everybody else loves.


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