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.