Quick question for you.
Why are air traffic controllers consistently ranked as one of the highest paid professions?
It’s because the job:
Imagine I asked a roomful of people, “Hey, want to sit in a dark room staring at little dots on a computer screen, knowing that every decision you make could affect about a hundred people’s survival?”
They would likely answer, “Nah, no thanks. That doesn’t sound like such a great gig.”
Yet society has a need for this profession.
So in addition to the aforementioned proposal I’d add, “You’ll get paid six figures to do it.”
Suddenly some hands shoot up with interest.
Pay is called compensation for a reason. It compensates for the crappy aspects of jobs.
(Other less than pleasant aspects of high paying jobs can include crazy hours, being on call, or a large upfront investment of time and money. Not to mention an increased likelihood of pursuing faux happiness endeavors, like over eating, over drinking, over shopping, or over… You get the idea.)
There’s a flipside here.
When a job is inherently enjoyable there is less of a need for society to incentivize people to go after it with money.
Instead much of the compensation lies in the job itself.
These intrinsically pleasant jobs may include things like:
This lifestyle can wind up being cheaper. There’s less of a need to over do things when life itself is pretty enjoyable. There are reduced physical and psychological symptoms of chronic stress, so fewer trips to the doctor, the masseur, or the 5 star resort are needed.
Now there are absolutely people who work in a lower quality of life, higher paid profession that love what they do, take pride in their work, and find a lot of meaning in it.
And there are also people who work in a higher quality of life, lower paid profession that get crafty and wind up making boku money. (More on this next week.)
But I just wanted to point out this general trend for you. It’s like a career seesaw. As quality of life goes down, pay goes up. And as quality of life goes up, pay goes down.
Which type of job should you choose? Totally depends on your values and what you want from life.
If you were 80 years old looking back on your life, what would you have wished that you’d done with it? Take a moment to think about what you care about and what living a successful life means to you.
This is a great article thanks! It has come just at the right time as I am currently deciding whether to take a pay cut and pursue a job that is more closely aligned with my passion for movement, fitness and wellbeing or stay in a better paid boring administrative job where I am stuck behind a desk all day and have developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as a result!
In fact, now that I am writing down my options it seems clearly obvious as to which path will lead to a better quality of life! I dare say that for anyone to avoid doing what they love, not only robs them of a potential life full of more meaning and satisfaction but also robs the universe and those around you of your best self and your best contribution to the world.
Beautifully put Maria! I wish you all the best as you go for your passions. Drop me a line if there’s any way I can support you.