Following Your Heart? Or, A Paycheque?


It’s the million dollar question – Do you work for passion or do you work for money? To start with, there is no absolute answer to this question, no definitive conclusion, no right or wrong.

In an ideal world, we would all love to be following our hearts and pursuing our passions, filling our days doing all the things that we love and going to bed at night with a sense of completion and fulfilment. But, in reality, the bills need to be paid, mortgage or rent commitments need to be met and those orthodontics visits are simply not going to take care of themselves.

So where do you draw the line and decide between doing what you love or what you need to do to pay the bills? Or, is there a way you can possibly do both and how?

Whether you choose to pursue a career that provides passion over profit or profit over passion really depends upon what your own individual price tag for happiness is. A person can be happy without a high income just like a person with all the money in the world can be miserable.

The pursuit of passion vs. profit is a very personal choice and depends upon the price tag that each individual places on their own happiness. A highly creative individual is not going to find fulfilment and satisfaction as a bank clerk and might be willing to forfeit job security in order to take a job more inline with their creative skillset and which fulfills their passion. By the same token, an individual might forfeit doing something they love in order to pursue a career based on financial gain, as they value the benefits of a high income over the benefits of working in an industry that they are passionate about.

Let’s take a look at salary vs. job happiness – the pros and cons!

Passion over pay: the pros

● Work is not a chore
● Passion fuels higher
achievement levels
● Personal fulfilment and career
● Strong work ethic

Passion over pay: the cons

● Financial insecurity
● Job insecurity
● Lack of boundaries between work
and home life
● Personal insecurity if success is not


Pay over passion: the pros

● Financial security
● Job security
● Less stress when bills need to be
● Ability to plan for the future


Pay over passion: the cons

● Lack of stimulation
● Routine and boredom – sense of
being in a “rut”
● Inability to reach new career highs
● Risk of burnout

Deciding whether to take a job that you are passionate about or to follow the money trail is a decision that is easier for some than others. If you are passionate about software engineering, then the decision to pursue that career is an easy one as chances are, you will end up with a high paying job and that you can tick both the passion and profit box. But for others, their passion isn’t as likely to be profitable, for example, artists, musicians and teachers. Their decision about which path to pursue is a little trickier.

At the end of the day all the passion in the world is of little use if it does not put food on the table or pay the electricity bill. For some lucky people, passion can also lead to profit, but for most, passion must be something that is pursued once the bills have been paid!