Doing It For the Money vs. Doing What You Love

"Doing it for the money" and "doing what you love" are both gross simplifications of what careers should be. It's all about striking a good balance between the two that's acceptable to you.

I'm in the camp of "Do what you love as long as it pays the bills and you actually want to do it for a living". It's a slightly more nuanced approach. I have a lot of interests, but most of them could only pan out into successful careers if:

  • I spent of a lot of time on it and got crazy good
  • I got a really good mentor
  • I suddenly realized that it was my true life calling

A lot of times doing it for money can really take the fun out of something. That's why a lot of my interests aren't strong enough to turn into careers.

I really do wish that all I ever wanted from life was to do one thing. Like crafting shoes. But society can't sustain full specialization (at least not yet), so it's advantageous to have a diverse set of interests in case money * love equation doesn't work for you.

I just made this up on the fly but it totally makes sense. Basically you take how much money that job makes and multiply it by how much you love it. And weight the two variables appropriately. The weakness in this equation is that how much you love something can change over time. So the sum might be a losing equation in the long-term.