Follow the Money or Stick to Your Passion: Choosing a Career Path

Choosing between following your passion for building a career and following the money is a dilemma many people encounter. Very few professionals can attest to having immediately found a job that fulfills both desires after college. 

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Can you believe that less than 50% of the employees in the U.S are dissatisfied with their jobs and that only 20% feel very passionate about their work?

Let us address this dilemma by breaking down the pros and cons of each one of these paths. Then, we shall give criteria of what to look for when making the decision. By the time you’re done with this read, you will have a clear picture of what you want to do for the rest of your life.

Pros and Cons of Targeting a High Salary


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  • MoneyThis is the obvious benefit you will get from targeting a high salary. The additional advantage is that you get to earn this money right away. You will then be able to do everything you wanted and even more.
  • Security of Constant Cash FlowPeople who earn a substantial amount of money instantly will feel safe, successful, and secure. You will not have to worry about any instability in the market prices or even sudden changes in your company management.
  • Emergency FundsIf you choose to follow the money, you can save a portion of the monthly income for emergencies. Once your savings reach where you want them to be, you can work on projects you had longed to begin.
  • AdmirationWealth makes people treat you differently. One of the perks of having a huge salary is respect. People will hold you in high esteem when they see that you can afford what they can’t.


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You have already seen the perks of money earning, here are some of its downsides.

  • Poor Skill Development Under-development is one of the main disadvantages of earning your money almost in an instant. Since you already have the money to buy all you need, you may not be as motivated to work on your skills.
  • Insufficient Network Being too comfortable in one job limits your growth potential. The only people you know are the ones that share a desk with you or work in the same building as you.
  • Long Working Hours You may have to put in some extra hours at work because high paying jobs come with a price. Your boss may want you to work on weekends and overtime. You give them so much of your time that you forget about yourself.
  • Stress People who chase money are often under a lot of pressure because they are always chasing goals and targets. If this is what you desire, get ready for lots of tension.

Pros and Cons of Chasing Your Passion


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  • Steady GrowthWhen you do what you love, you grow steadily. Since you enjoy what you’re doing, you want to become the best. Therefore, you practice every day until you perfect your skills.
  • Strong NetworkSince you are doing what you love, you will make time for events and friends. In the process, you’ll meet people that can help you much later in your career. Some can even connect you to great leads.
  • Builds Character and Self-esteemYour confidence will also be greatly boosted as you experience tangible results after improving your skills. You’ll feel more and more capable every day.


follow your passionSource: Shutterstock

  • Limited Finances You may earn less money for some time. Although this situation is temporary, it can be very stressful for people in constant need of money.
  • Risk Doing Too Much While career building is an exciting process, you may not have ample time to relax because you will always be looking for ways to enhance your career.
  • Losing Hope Lastly, your passion may disappear. Sometimes, people realize that what they were chasing was really not for them after being too deep. This could lead to a loss of passion and depression.

Making the Big Decision

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As you can see, there are plenty of advantages and disadvantages of going after money and passion. But the question remains, which one is the best choice? 

Here are some things to consider when making THE decision.


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Your most pressing needs at the time you are choosing between career growth and money-making can make the decision easier. For example, if you have just depleted your savings because you had to take care of an emergency or had to settle a lawsuit, you’ll have to go for the high-paying job.

Alternatively, you may want to build networks and learn more about the industry. If that’s the case, you can do some volunteer work as you explore your passion.

Where You Live

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Here is the truth about life. Not all towns are the same. Some are more expensive to live in than others. If you live in one of those expensive cities and are starting a life on your own, it’s better if you go for the high-paying job first. You need something that will help you pay the bills.

However, if you live in a small town, you can follow your passion and do small jobs to get by because the living costs aren’t that high.


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Do you have people that are depending on you to give them a good life? If the answer to this question is yes, you should go for a high-paying job. That’s because you can’t afford to let your family down.

On the other hand, if you’re not the sole breadwinner, do what makes you happy because you have time.


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This one may be a bit controversial because we should not always be defined by our age. However, if you are in your mid-30s and 40s and are still trying to make it by following your passion, it’s time to do something else.

The average life expectancy is around 78 years. Don’t waste those years chasing something that won’t work. You are mature enough to understand what happens in life if you don’t have retirement savings. Therefore, look for a good-paying job.


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This is a crucial factor to consider when picking which course to follow. Some people do not know how to work when they are not motivated. Others will be greatly driven because of money. 

 Ask yourself what gets you motivated to work hard, and you will have solved your mystery.

Income Availability

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Here another ignored fact – you cannot do what you love without money. If you don’t have a source of income, you should find one before you think about following your passion. For example, if your passion is music, you need money to pay for classes.

You have seen what can happen if you follow the money. You may gain the respect of your peers. But you’ll also have to sacrifice a lot of your time for the company. If you follow your passion, it may take you a while before you get that first big paycheck. In the end, it all comes down to you.

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