Distinctive Thinking

on Business Success – Articles, tips, and Q&A’s

Work choice – passion or paycheck?

Posted by bizcoachjason on September 12, 2007


I need to ask the big question: Do you work for passion or for a

I am a professional operating in the field of higher education. However, no matter what I do, I don’t think (unless being a university president many years down the road) I would ever earn the type of salary I really desire (6 figures).

Now I don’t want to come off as greedy by saying that, however, I do want to live and provide a lifestyle for my children that I haven’t lived.

My passion is working with students, period; but I am starting to feel frustrated because I won’t get to where I want to be financially; so I am asking this big question:

Would you recommend me scrapping my education & experience…go back to school and pursue an MBA. Has anyone else experienced this?

Great question!

I believe in the end, if you don’t work for passion, you are not going to have much of it in your either your professional or personal life.  There always is a balance between passion for work and money, and you won’t always love everything in your job.  But if you don’t find and create more good aspects of it – including the relationships with your manager, peers and direct-reports – you are not going to be happy and may not last long in the job (either quit, lay off or get fired).

I know this from my own experience.  In the first six years of my corporate career, I followed the money.  Now I did enjoy parts of my jobs, and learned a tremendous amount about leadership, employee development, management, etc. etc. so it was incredibly valuable.  But in later years I found that I can have both.  I had to take a step back and learn to trust myself to let the money go and follow my passions.  Now I am exactly where I want to be and very excited about the future!

So, I do believe every person has a way to have both (and this is what I work on with my own coaching clients).  Most people just don’t know how to get there or even consider that both are possible.

I hope this email and info on my own experiences help.  I recommend you work with someone to strategize how you can have both!  J

All the best,


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