Imagine your life without the worry of money. Not as a millionaire lottery winner, but a life in which you are debt-free and able to live comfortably without a thought or concern about what you need to earn to pay your bills. Imagine being able to choose a job in this situation, being guided by what you love to do rather than what you earn.
Think for a moment, what would you choose if money wasn't part of the picture? For many, the answer would be very different to the job they do right now.
Finances are a huge influence on our decision making when it comes to our career. We often want more than what we have, not because of the money itself, but for the options and the lifestyle it can provide us. But while it's an important factor in our decisions, it's important that it's not the only one we consider, as the job we do is much more than a pay packet.
You will never make enough money
No matter how much money we earn, human nature means that often we will be left wanting more. The things that are just out of reach are often the most tempting and the more you earn, the more you increase your financial commitments and with it your responsibility to maintain those things along with your lifestyle. A better car may mean higher servicing costs and a bigger house will need more furniture.
While wanting to earn more money is not by any means a bad thing, always focus on the reasons why you would like to earn more money, rather than pursuing wealth for its own sake and remember that your career is much more then the money that you're paid to do it.
Happiness is not just measured by the money you earn
Think again about your answer to the question above. Did you think about a job that might make a difference to other people's lives? Something that lets you be creative and express yourself? Something you can be passionate about? Something that allows you to have more independence and give you more control about the way you work?
Whatever your answer, try to understand the things that are important to you. Are these things being met by your current job? If not it is worth considering whether a change of career might make you happier, even if it means a lower salary in the short-term.
Consider your goals - what do you want to achieve?
Would you rather be in a job that's well paid but left you exhausted and practically in tears each day, or a job that paid just enough and gave you a sense of achievement and satisfaction knowing you'd done something worthwhile each day?
Your career choices aren't limited to the two options above - it's a lifelong balancing act between your priorities, values and needs. By better understanding what your goals are, the easier it will be to plan what you need to do, to achieve the things you want to achieve in your life.
As you plan, find your passion in everything you do and how you do it. Think of the difference you make each day, the focus and commitment you put into your work and the legacy you leave behind.