Don't take me for a communist or an insane person (if the last two notions are not one and the same thing for you), but working for money is one of the worst things that can happen to a person. Yes, of course, we all need cash, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a well-paid job. Still, when payment is your only motivation at work, you are on a sure path to professional and personal stagnation. And here is why:
You let the market dictate your life choices
A while back, law was a very popular professional field. About a decade ago, there was a huge boom in marketing and advertising. Doctors never quite seem to go out of fashion. Now, programmers are a big thing. Bottom line, trendy jobs come and go — just like stylish shades every season. So what? If you love black, would you really buy a pink coat? Then why on Earth would you let market demand make the decision for you when it comes to choosing your career? Yes, for a while you may get a higher than average salary, but one day or another, the demand may change and the salary — drop. Not even the best experts are safe from market fluctuations — and you will unlikely become one working a job you don't really like (see below).
There is zero room for improvement
We are all human, and there is only one way for us to improve — to love what we are doing. Whether it’s sports, music, programming or marketing — it’s our passion and desire to learn that make us better. Every. Single. Day. But of course, when working a job you don't like or are simply indifferent to, there is no room for growth. Not ever.
Your professional activity stops to be result-oriented
Let’s be completely frank with each other. What does a typical employee do? Right — just enough not to get fired. Because after all, if a monthly paycheck is the only thing a person is truly interested in, this person will never care about the quality of a service or a product in question. Think people that get paid ‘by piece’ (say, one design concept equals 500$) are better? Not a chance! The same principle applies — they do just enough to have at least something done and get their money. That’s it.
You are constantly unhappy with your life
A while ago, this quote got all over the Internet: no one ever regretted working too much on their death bed. Well, that may be so. Still, I am pretty confident many people regretted not achieving anything, not leaving anything behind, and not making this world a better place. What could be more fulfilling than creating something new and cool, something that makes our planet Earth just a little bit better? For example, imagine the world without pizza delivery; or, try to recall what it was like to use a cell phone without a touchscreen. Those things were implemented by people — people who tried to make a difference and succeeded. So can you. Leading a dull life, a life without challenge, achievement, and personal fulfillment, on the other hand, is a sure path to depressive mood swings and things to regret by the time you grow old.
A way out? Yes, there is!
Be honest with yourself
If you think: ‘my job is kind of fine; it has its drawbacks but it can be interesting now and then,’ I will be completely frank — I don’t quite feel the love here. So, do yourself a favor and ask yourself — would you keep doing the same thing every day if no one paid you for it? I’ll take a wild guess here, but 98% of all people will probably say ‘no’ to that. If this is the case with you, take step number two. Try to figure out what you would do — even if no one paid you for it. Practically any human activity out there can be monetized. With people who love writing, it’s relatively simple — quality blogs make cash today. But even if your true passion is different, you can still find a way to make it pay. Say, you love animals. Why not become a vet instead of a surgeon? Or, if you are really into cars, what’s wrong with being a simple mechanic? Bottom line, choose an occupation field that really gets you going. No matter what this field is.
Don't be afraid of change
Sure, it takes courage to quit advertising (or whatever it is you're doing now) and start repairing cars. Or open a cafe. Or, start taking care of dogs — whatever you are passionate about. Still, you should never — ever — be afraid of change. It is a vital part of our lives, no matter if we like it or not. Everything changes — sometimes, quite unexpectedly. Also, do not even try to make excuses — it’s too late, I already have a job, I am too old to learn new things. As a former teacher, I can tell you one thing: there is very little correlation between a student’s age and his ability to learn. Our brains do not just dry out as we grow older. On the contrary, experience usually boosts one’s analytical abilities, and some subjects are easier to master when you are older. Plus, with the abundance of courses and other online materials these days, you won’t even have to go anywhere. If one day you decide that it’s time to learn something new, just open your laptop and get down to studies. No excuses!
Surround yourself with the right people
Finally, do not forget that the environment has a huge impact on all of us. If you are ready to make a change for the better, surround yourself with people who want the same thing. Do not let other people’s excuses and fears drag you down. Find like-minded people and, together, you might actually make a difference in this world!