Passion vs. Paycheck


Dear Followers,

I’m having another dilemma and could use all of your wonderful advice and experience to guide me through! As some of you may know, I’ve been unemployed for close to five months now and I’m constantly searching for another full time opportunity. Recently, I had an interview with a great organization that has a job title similar to what I’m looking for and the capabilities to train, support, and help me grow! However, the pay is terrible, the insurance benefits are non-existent, and it’s located in a place I’ve never been to (other than for the interview), and is 2.5 hours away from everyone I love and care about. With that being said, let me paint you a better picture….

I have a few strong passions in life: music, animals, writing, and the arts. Over the past couple of months, I’ve tried to figure out what I really want out of a career and what would make me happy. I’m a fairly eccentric person (as you all know), but when it comes to my life style, I’m very old fashioned and thrive on following a routine and have strong family values. But, since I was young, I’ve always wanted to be some sort of famous (hopefully for a good thing). And with my passion for entertaining and music, I thought being a radio DJ might be a great career. However, it’s an extremely difficult industry to get into and very cut-throat. Owners of stations are always changing and individuals are losing jobs left and right. Most of the time, you’re really not free with what you want to do, and have to follow a set format.

But, what a thrill it could be! Currently, I host a show on a college radio station every week and I enjoy it because I’m allowed to play and say whatever I want (as long as I don’t break FCC guidelines). This new opportunity would allow me to get my foot in the door and I would be a real DJ trained on real equipment!

However, current DJ’s and station owners that I’ve talked to have stated that the radio industry has definitely died down over the years and it’s 10 times more competitive.

So, it leaves me to wonder, if I’m offered this position, do I take it and leave everything I love for the chance to join an industry that I’m curious to be a part of, or, do I take/search for a position that involves one of my other passions (the arts, animals, etc) and provides better pay, and keep my show on a college radio station and grow that following and my skills there?

It’s never easy making a crazy life decision, but I know that my choice will impact more than just me (no matter what one I make). If I look at my core values, I realize that being with my family, having time for myself, and doing hobbies/activities that I love come first before any career that I could possibly dream of. But, it would be great if a passion/hobby of mine could turn into a career.

At this point, I just want to hide underneath the covers and continue binge watching Chrisley Knows Best…but at some point I need to really examine my options and think about what’s best for not only myself, but the people I love.

And, this is the part where you come in. Have you ever been faced with a situation where you were struggling to figure out if you should take a position that you were passionate about that provided some flaws or a position that you know you would do well in and receive benefits, but you might not be as thrilled about?

Please comment and share your stories regarding passion vs. paycheck! Thanks in advance!

Granny Smith – over and out

44 thoughts on “Passion vs. Paycheck

  1. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree last year and spent a year looking for a job…and nothing. Today I decided to go back to work at a summer camp I worked at a few years ago. Doesn’t pay a lot, and it’s only for 2 months, but it’s a place I loved working at and to me that outweighed the pay check. Took me a few weeks to decide whether or not I really wanted to go back to a job I’m now overqualified for. And I thought, 2 years from now, heck even 2 months from now, I’ll regret not going back to something I love. And that made my decision easy. Hope this helped, good luck!

  2. I sent almost 25 years doing a well paid job that my university degree backed and doing what was considered to be “the right thing”. It wasn’t. Redundancy is allowing me to choose my own path and doing what I want and boy is that making me a whole load happier (and probably easier to live with). My gut tells me that you want to take this opportunity as when will the next one arise? My guess would be take it, it does not consign you to spending the rest of your life away from your family. Are you more likely to regret not taking it? Only you can answer all of this and know what is right for you. Hope this helps and best wishes, John / MM 🍀

  3. I had this situation arise last year. I walked away from a great, stable job that I was happy in (mostly) to a job with twice the pay, and much better benefits. However, I realized within the first week at the new job what a huge mistake it was. Unfortunately I had made a commitment and stuck it out as long as I could. I lasted 6 months. I finally just quit. No job in site. But as scary as it was, the moment I walked out those doors for the last time, knowing I only had enough money to last one month unemployed, I was at peace. The next job I got, which is the one I am in now, paid almost 9 dollars an hour less……but I am happy once again.

    My advice is, don’t sacrifice what you want because one or two things are off. If this is your passion, go for it. What do you have to lose? And if yo have to lose more than you gain, then you should probably consider that. If not, go with your gut…your family will always be there for you. So your decision has to be the one that makes you happy. Period. Most of us learn that the hard way. And think of the experience you will gain. And some money is better than the no money you are making now, right?

  4. This is a tough decision, but yes, as Paul and meticulousmick have said – all you can do is ask yourself the question: if I am offered this job and don’t take it, how does that make me feel?

  5. Change can be exciting and scary. I have made some big changes over my years and agonized over those decisions. It has always turned out to be a good thing though. It is just so hard to take that leap of faith. Good luck. I know you will make the best of whatever you decide.

  6. I have been Out There for far longer than I will admit to, with lots of job-changes and life re-orgs. I suspect that it is true for most people, but I can tell you that I have been the happiest when I have taken “risks” (even when they didn’t work out in the long-run) and I have been the least happy when playing it safe and “doing it for the money”. No matter how much money you make, it will never be enough to compensate for spending time in a place or activity that you find dreary. Simply financing hobbies with a day-job and “living for the weekend” is not good enough – you have to actually enjoy what you do with the majority of your waking hours. On the other hand, there are some compromises to practicality that have to be made too, and I see no point in starving yourself just to feel noble about it.

    BTW; my wife took a job at a local radio station a couple of years ago because that was her great passion from college days too. The environment was rough however, it paid next-to-nothing and the station eventually failed. She did make some good contacts though, and she is now pursuing options in the world of voice-over, which is more plentiful work and pays better (marginally). You just never know where you may end up, but if you start with something you enjoy and follow the money you will be more likely to end up happy than if you start with money for something that you don’t enjoy.

  7. It’s been my experience that when we desire something, the universe conspires with us to bring it into being. You created this opportunity, and you can uncreate it as well if your desire for something else is greater. I noticed you focused a lot on negative aspects of your pursuits. What would happen if you focused on the positive? Imagine what you could create then! Be fearless, and know you are a powerful creator of your life! xox

  8. I always wanted to live in Israel so…I made application, got granted citizenship papers (I’m Jewish so this went through those channels), found a job (unheard of before one arrives) and secured an apartment AND bought furniture before we even arrived. I was deliriously happy there. Despite getting divorced, losing my job and having severe health problems. My kid and I were just so freaking happy. So is it worth it to just jump? Yes, a hundred times yes. People still think it was an impulsive and crazy move…something they like to say when you fail at something. But if I could go back tomorrow, I would – sadly I had to return last year after nearly 2 years of living in Jerusalem because of my health and money issues.

  9. Hope you don’t get bored with me, but you did solicit opinions and experiences and there is another personal comment that I can make related to your situation.

    In 1990 my wife had the opportunity to be relocated to France to open a European presence for the small company that we both worked for at the time. She was the one that the company really wanted there, but I was offered a tag-along job too and the question was; did I want to leave a life I was very comfortable with, a job that I liked and a brand-new house that I loved for this once-in-a-lifetime prospect? After much soul-searching my conclusion was that even if this didn’t work out, I would have at least tried something that few get the chance to. If I DIDN’T go then there would always be a big “What If” hanging over me and I would just never know.

    In fact, I did go to France with my wife and I lived and worked there for about 18-months. It didn’t “work out” in that I hated the actual job that I had and came back 10-months before my wife did, but living in France remains one of the highlights of my life and a defining experience that I am VERY glad that I took advantage of. Although the work there was deadly boring to me and did not directly advance my career, the unusual expatriate experience got me a subsequent job that was quite lucrative.

    There is plenty of time to be dull and conservative when you are old – take all the crazy chances that you can while you are still young enough to enjoy them (or recover from them). Down the road you will regret what you don’t do far more than you will regret what you do.

  10. I’m in a similar position as you, boy is the decision tough! I haven’t been offered the job yet (waiting to hear!) but I’ve really tried to think and outweigh all the options. I still am not sure what to do. But I think all you can do is go with your gut. It’ll tell you where to go, you’ve got to trust that inner gut feeling.

  11. I suggest you keep the options regarding arts and animals open since you love doing that as well , in the end make sure you do what you love , better safe then sorry. Take care!

  12. I say that it’s important to find the balance and the commonalities between those passions you listed. Where this isn’t an opportunity means that you need to create one for yourself. In other words, if opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

    I like that saying.

    If you’re serious about making this work, then a part-time job might be best, one that still lets you exercise your skills without compromising you and your real needs. From the looks of things, and judging from my own experiences in the past, that job seems like it could sap all your life and creative energy. The right opportunity will be there if you seek it or co-create it.

  13. I’ve been facing a similar dilemma over the last couple of weeks. We’re renovating an old house and are finding things which are digging deeper into the budget than we’d hoped. Money is getting tight. Then a ‘perfect’ job opportunity showed up. It paid a lot but the price of the job was that our current dreams would have to be either abandoned or altered beyond recognition. I decided the price was too great so I turned down the job.

    The important thing is to focus on what you love to do. It can be, and usually is, very hard but if you’re doing what you really want to do its much easier to pour your energy into it. And, as I am rapidly approaching the wrong side of 60, I have noted over the years that if you keep plugging away, keep pushing at what you really want to do something usually turns up. It might not be exactly what you expected but whatever it is it’ll be better than doing something just for the money.

  14. Fear of anything, especially the unknown paralyzes us. Read my about page for my story and I feel you might have some insights. kgorman77 touches the essence. You just might make a success of ‘this’ situation or you just might flat out fail and come home with your tail between your legs….BUT…. “you” will have lived “your” life and that is what it is called, Life. Live it, love it, cry about it, get angry about it, ups and downs, twists and turns. Accept, Allow and Receive.

  15. I agree with Gary. Don’t live the rest of your life wondering ‘what if?’ You said you were unemployed at the moment… so go for it. The worst that can happen is that you end up back where you are now… but a little wiser.
    There are some who say that it’s easier to get a job once you have a job. That was my experience. After seven months out of work and sending applications to everyone who advertised anything I could bear to work at (unsuccessfully), I landed a Government-sponsored training course, which led to a job. Not an ideal job, but what happened after that? Several successful applications came through! Weird.
    Good luck and I hope whatever you decide to do, it makes you happy.

  16. First of all, what an amazing response to this post! I want to thank everyone who has contributed their advice; I couldn’t be more grateful!

    After much deliberation, and speaking with my family and friends, I have decided not to take the job and peruse other opportunities.

    Yes, I may hate myself for it later, but at the end of the day…it just wasn’t the right fit. I really didn’t feel like moving to their location and making those individuals a part of my “family.” Also, they were really concerned with the fact that I was from so far out of town and entry level. They really wanted someone who wanted to be a part of their town and work at the organization for a number of years (not just gain the experience, learn the software, and leave…which is what I was planing on doing).

    In the end, I saved the organization (and possibly myself) from a weird breakup and some extra trouble. Whatever is next for me, I’m sure will be nothing short of a great experience. As long as I have my family by my side, nothing can go wrong.

    You all are so wonderful, and through these likes and comments, I’m constantly reminded why I do this! I truly have the best followers a girl could ask for. Thank you again, my friends, for your support! 🙂

  17. Hmmmm that’s a hard one. Only you can decided what’s right for you. I’ve followed my passion and hit a snag on the way (suffered a TBI) but still have no regrets. To me, it’s a temporary setback and once I’m better, tooth and nail, continuing on the road. It’s what I feel is best for me, despite what others think. You have to weigh all aspects and choose what’s right for you.

  18. Moving for a new job can seem scary but I have done it and I am glad I did. Change always makes us nervous but I hope you go for it. You have before you an opportunity for growth as a person, an opportunity to learn a new community and make new friends, an opportunity to gain new self confidence. If a seed stayed a seed, there would be no trees!

  19. I’m not a very experienced person in this area, as I’ve yet to find myself a job and I’m still in college, but I think you should do what you want to right now. Do you need money desperately?

    If not, then search for a job that requires the utilization of your talents — one that further improves your skills. And never ever regret for not doing anything in life.

    Even if you take up the job that would fetch you a fat salary, keep on polishing your arts.

    And btw, even I’m confused what to do next. I’ve got many companies visiting college for campus recruitment this semester, but I don’t think I even stand a chance against some of them, but I’m sure I’ll be having a job at the end of this year. Even if I do get one, I’m going to work for a couple of years and see if it fits me.

    If yes, then fine. If not… well…. there’s so much more to experience in life. Why stick to a single company?

    Who knows? I might end up making my own company someday if no one gives me a job. Ha! Better be an employer than an employee.

    But mostly, I might even think of becoming an entrepreneur! 😀

    But whatever decision you take, your loved ones will always support you, I’m sure. Decide wisely.

    And… Best of luck! 🙂 You seem like an interesting person! 🙂

  20. Thanks for following my blog! I’ve enjoyed reading several of your posts already–I love the honesty in your writing. Best of luck following and making time for your many passions (it is a challenge I face too). I agree with following your gut feeling–it never fails! I hope things worked out after your wrote this post. I look forward to reading more of your writing.

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