MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Is it the money or the job?

I was recently asked whether I would rather have a job where I wouldn’t do much but get paid a lot, or a job where I would work too much but hardly get any pay. To be honest, I was perplexed and didn’t know what to answer. It is not an easy question to reply to.

Doing a job you don’t really like just for the money would enable you to live well-off, having the ease of buying the things you want, being able to travel to the places you want to go to, and generally to breathe life into your material aspirations – well, at least those that money can buy! On the other hand, however, doing a job you love would fill you with the moral satisfaction of actually doing something that pleases you. And at the end of the day, you would be complacent with all that you’ve produced and accomplished. The catch is that you wouldn’t receive the adequate financial compensation. Something which would mean you would have to resort to sacrifices, counting the money you’ve got saved, or even getting a second job just to help out with the expenses. Both options have a downside. Of course the ideal would be to have the job you love and actually get paid well for it. But how many people in the world can really say that about their employment? Most people usually complain about the long hours they work; the constant running around; or the added stress, while others moan about the limited pay; the lack of a raise or bonus; and the fact that it never seems to be enough; that come the end of the month, their balance is always negative.  Striking the perfect deal between work and money is almost impossible to achieve, for humans have it in their nature to always ask for more.

Confucius said that if you choose a job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life. It seems the moral satisfaction of doing something you truly enjoy, of occupying your hours and days with a profession that gratifies you, is much more significant – at least on a psychological level – than the money you gain out of it.

It is true, nonetheless, that many people resort to jobs that sometimes seem meaningless simply for the sake of gaining the money that will ensure their survival – for food, rent, clothes. After all, there is no shame in any form of work. Yet even that at times lacks the necessary fulfillment of doing something you know well and proving useful at it. After all, every person wants to feel that his/her actions actually contribute to something greater. That they help induce a change, an improvement, and that through that they – in a way – leave their mark. All that people ever seek is for acknowledgement. The apprehension of a job well done; of skills that are remarkable and appreciated as such; of a “thank you” and of a “keep it up”. Just like giving a dog a bone to reward his excellent tricks, people need and often deserve a reward for their own accomplishments. Be it a kind word or a worthy gesture, a one-off bonus or a wage increase, all people possess within them the longing for others to recognize their qualities.

In order to stand out from the crowd, we all need a push. Be it from within or from an exterior force, some help is always needed. In any shape or form…

Also part of Daily Prompt: Work? Optional!

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3 thoughts on “Is it the money or the job?

  1. Pingback: Living off a passion | MC's Whispers

  2. Stefanos on said:

    You start by mentioning a job that you don’t do much but get paid well, then proceed elaborating on a job that you do much but you don’t like. There’s a huge difference in the time wasted. If you work a lot and you hate it then yes there is something to consider, whether or not the money is worth the limited free time, but if you don’t do much and you have the money then well….one has to be pretty useless not to find alternative ways of getting his/her emotional satisfaction other than “doing a satisfying job”. What I’m saying is that a job is a job, and no matter how satisfying you may find it it is still a job, therefore it binds you, limits your freedom. If you had the time and the money the world is full of opportunities.

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    • I agree. But if time and money was so readily available to all, then we wouldn’t need to work or get a job in the first place! And the whole point of doing a job you enjoy is that the time spent on it is not actually considered as “wasted”.

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