Career Coaching

Money or Prospects: What to Look for When Choosing a Profession?

By in Career Coaching

A wide-eyed youngster may say that money is the most important thing to look out for because life still seems easy and fun when one is young. As one ages and realizes how difficult life is, the notion of prospects starts to matter more than money. Is it different for different people in different scenarios? This article will examine some answers to that question.


Prospects Can Sometimes Mean Opportunity

There are quite a few jobs where a career with prospects means getting the experience and qualifications needed for in-demand jobs. There are remarkably many jobs that are always in demand. For example, nursing home staff and medical nurses are always in demand. Proofreaders are always in demand and dentists are always in demand. 

What’s more, there are quite a few times when a job with prospects, or a job where demand exceeds supply, may result in more money. For example, a person who works in a nursing home can find work all the time without ever having to go unemployed. Contrast that career with one that breaks from time-to-time, and the fully-and-perpetually-employed nursing home nurse need never fall into debt and may build quite a nest egg before retirement.

One may not take a job for the money, and yet that job turns into a job with money. Or, at least, the skills and experience the job delivers become valuable to the point where such a person may earn a good living his or her entire life, or where a person may start charging more for his/her services. 


Have You Felt The Clammy Hand Of Unemployment?

Life has a way of crushing the human spirit, and instead of shying away from it, we should factor it into future decision making. As Sylvester Stallone said, “The world is a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it” (Rocky 2006). You need to factor in the way life is going to treat you when you start thinking about your long-term career become some bumps in the road are going to knock you off your feet.

If you become unemployed at a young age, you still feel that the world has a place for you. As you get older, the effect of becoming unemployed becomes more and more devastating, (it is actually bleaker than you imagine if you read the NHS report on the effect of unemployment). There comes a point where becoming unemployed or staying unemployed is like a foot on your neck that holds you down. 

The people who feel this pain the least are people who choose jobs because they have prospects. They choose jobs because the training they give is transferable into other jobs. They take jobs because getting experience in them will open many other doors in the same industry. 

If you are starting to feel the sting of depression because of unemployment, or you never want to be in the position of a long-term unemployed person, then always go for a job with prospects. This seems more important to people who are younger with children because the option of pursuing money and meeting failure has a bigger consequence. 


What About When Your Whole Work-life Changes?

Let’s say you are working as a nursery nurse, and suddenly the law changes that says your qualifications are not enough, so you have to go back to college. Let’s now say that you struggle at college and you cannot get your qualifications. You have over ten years of experience in a certain industry that you are no longer able to work in, so what do you do next? 

You are sat in a position that a great many people have been sat in, from miners to IT technicians and leads marketplace experts, so what do you do? Your avenue of pursuing jobs for money have been stripped from you because the thing you are good at is no longer willing to pay you big money. All you can do is search for jobs with prospects.

You now need to search for jobs that offer you different avenues of employment. Maybe there will be a day when you have enough experience and training to start asking for bigger wages, but for the near future you are stuck with having to find jobs that have good or varied prospects.


What If The Money Is The Biggest Perk Of A Job

Take the example of a person who takes up a legal career. This person defends the scum of the earth and gets paid massive amounts for it. That person doesn’t love his/her job but does it because he/she enjoys the money. Is this okay? 

In truth, this person’s mentality is no different from that of a person who sweeps roads for a living. The only difference is that the lawyer earns a lot more. Still, should the lawyer have sought a career that he/she dislikes simply because the money is good? 

Part of the answer relies on how important the money is and if there is a long term plan. If the lawyer could never lower his/her standards of living, then pursuing money is important, and the same is true if the lawyer has a long-term plan for the money. However, if the lawyer finds himself/herself unhappy, maybe hits the bottle, maybe has marriage problems, then perhaps the real source of all the unhappiness is that person’s pursuit of money over happiness.

According to Confucius, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”


When Your Job Isn’t Everything

The message in the conclusion of this article is 100% correct. As Elbert Hubbard (American writer and philosopher) said “Work to become, not to acquire.”  The successful people in this world are successful over the long term because they enjoy what they do and not because of the money. However, what about people who do not enjoy their jobs? What about plate washers, factory workers, and shelf fillers, are their lives doomed to failure? 

On the contrary, both modern and ancient history is littered with examples of people who achieved all their goals in life while still working a menial job that they dislike. The problem comes from people who portion too much of their life and identity into their job. 

Did Einstein call himself a patent clerk or a mathematician? Do you have your kids call you fishmonger rather than mum or dad? Does Rosa Parks have a statue in New York because she worked as a secretary in the Maxwell Air Force Base?

Sometimes people pick jobs with no prospects and a minimum wage. Some people do it because life has crushed their spirit, and some do it because their job is not what defines them. They live a rich and full life without relying on their job. So, despite the happiness-success rhetoric in the conclusion of this article, the truth is that sometimes neither money nor prospects matter. 


Conclusion – Choosing A Profession For Money Is Fruitless

Successful people who say they chose a profession for the money are usually describing their primary reasons for entering a profession rather than their actual reasons for sticking with it. For example, President Trump is one of the most successful people of the last century, and even though he started out in his career to make money, he admitted that he enjoys creating buildings and that is why he stuck with it. 

Some question why Arnold Schwarzenegger keeps going on and being successful, and why Oprah and Judge Judy could have retired years ago and never have. For these people it is not about the money, it is about loving what they do. Perhaps when asking what profession you should take, you should ask yourself which profession will help you sleep through the night and be glad to wake in a morning. 

For these people it is not about the money, it is about loving what they do

Luke Loftin is a blog writer and an award-winning indie filmmaker. When he isn’t writing about himself, he specializes in finance and health, blogging about all sorts of topics including credit cards, personal loans, bank accounts, and the digestive system. He currently writes for LeadsMarket among other sites, and his articles are scattered all across the information superhighway. You can find him on LinkedIn.

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