In this current economy, a very fine line divides choices made to pursue happiness and those made to stay alive. At the bare minimum, food must be consumed, clothing must be worn, and rent must be paid– but at the same time, dreams should be carried out, education should be sought, and growth should be encouraged. As cost of living increases and incomes seem to drop, some must choose between the physical body’s fundamental needs and the spirit’s peace of mind.
Whether you should sacrifice personal fulfillment and emotional wealth for putting food on the table is a highly sensitive and variable-loaded subject. Making the correct choice of career relies on your ability to be honest with yourself, careful in strategy, and trusting with your own capabilities.
Following are considerations to keep in mind when deciding which career path and financial solution is right for you.
By this I refer to your ability to prioritize. In an almost utilitarian way, consider making lists of things necessary in a job, things that would be nice in a job, and things that absolutely cannot happen in a job. Things that fall under the list marked ‘necessary’ may include absolute minimum annual earnings, ability to grow, type of labor, or benefits. The category labeled ‘unacceptable’ may include anything from irrelevance to future goals to functionality within a school schedule. The middle category may include proximity to home and the like. The contents if this list will vary significantly from person to person, so for the sake of clarity, it’s most beneficial to listen to no one’s priorities but your own.
Once you’ve taken note of what is important to you, seek a position that suits your needs. Perhaps you’ve saved up enough money to have the ability to risk working independently or seeking an employer who provides more freedom or potential for growth. Contrarily, perhaps you need better planning and more time in order to take your career to the next level.
If you find difficulty prioritizing what’s important to you in larger matters such as school versus work or independent freedom versus corporate safety, consider journaling or meditating on the question.
Do your best to time start dates, end dates, and inter-rim periods efficiently, for you will have to budget accordingly. Before changing anything, take a month to simply notice your regular spendings, or just read through your bank statements from the previous few months. After taking note of on what you spend money, analyze which expenses you can adjust and which you can cut out entirely.
Coffee Bean drinks, Yogurtland visits, and trips to the manicurist add up, as do unnecessarily expensive bath products, hair appointments, and various kinds of late fees. If Yogurtland is an absolute addiction, buy a French press coffee maker for home, and if you’re an actress whose hair is an important investment, by all means, skip the bottled dye. Pack a lunch as often as possible, and confirm with your gym that you’re only paying for access to one location. Refrain from buying high-fructose, pre-packaged snacks at the grocery store, and opt instead only for things that grow from the ground or from another animal. Your body will also thank you. In addition for those who are able, many insurance and membership-based companies offer savings to those who pay-in-full for months at a time. Go through your expenditures with a fine-tooth comb and weed out things not absolutely necessary to your lifestyle, but know that sacrifices do not have to be unrealistic and unsatisfying. If more expensive date nights are important investments, for example, either cut elsewhere or make sure your inter-rim income supports your lifestyle.
Finally, account for the length of time an opportunity is available to you and how quickly you must act upon approaching deadlines.
Once you’ve planned your budget realistically and made cuts where appropriate, have prepared a solid resumé, a strong sense of what you are looking for, and an even stronger sense of what you have to offer to your field. Walk into interviews confidently and have faith that whatever change you seek in your current position will be worth the investment of time and energy. Work with supportive individuals with positive energy, and remember that even if income decreases with creative freedom or personal autonomy, no amount of corporate money can buy the happiness that comes from self-efficacy.
I personally wish you the best of luck.
Written by Yasmine Elli.