The true value of your career

Is money the dominating factor in decision making? Does a high salary distract you from your true aspiration? We all know the expression, ‘Money doesn’t buy happiness.’ In this blog post our Careers Advisor, Jim Bird, takes a look at how money affects career decisions.


If you’ve been inspired by the Careers…Making a Difference Fair or you’re hoping to find a career path that matches your motivations, read on. 

Money, money, money

Throughout your life you are taught the importance of money. In our culture, it is promoted that money directly correlates to success. We are told every day through adverts in our consumer society to ‘buy, buy, buy!’ and to do this we must ‘earn, earn, earn!’ and ‘borrow, borrow, borrow!’. This drives competition for money and therefore high salaries.

Even choosing a course at University is influenced by money, The Key Information Set produced by Unistats now tells prospective students what starting salary they can expect six months after graduation from a course.

It is important to be impartial; there are different career motivations for different people such as money, passion, ethics, location etc. and all of these are correct and unique to you. Some people want to earn as much money as they possibly can, others just want enough. Some people aren’t too worried what career path they take, whilst others want to make a difference or follow a passion.

The value of your career

Can taking money out of the career planning equation help someone plan their career/life more successfully? Can it open their eyes to their true aspiration?

If you try and take money out of your career planning what do you find? After all, the definition of a career does not mention money. From the Oxford Dictionary, a career is ‘an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.’

So the following questions may have more meaning when you consider them if money did not exist. Try answering these questions:

  • How would you like to spend your life?
  • What do you enjoy?
  • What motivates you?
  • What determines your happiness or success?
  • Do you want to keep your interests and career separate?
  • Do you want to work for you or for someone else?
  • Do you want to work in a large or small company?

If you have found some answers then you may now be thinking, “but you can’t earn money that way!”

Are you sure? Could you earn enough? Should you do something you don’t like doing to earn money?

What is the value of money?

The definition of value from the Oxford Dictionary; ‘the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something’

According to The Economist; Global Public Debt is more than £33 trillion.

In the UK alone, public debt is more than £2.2 trillion, which equates to nearly £24,000 debt per person.

I’m no economist but are we living a dream, using money that doesn’t even exist and contains an obscured actual ‘value’?

What is the value of your career?

To conclude, consider the value of your career to you.

This is what you will do for a significant period of your life, think carefully and remember you can talk it through at the Careers Centre, just drop-in Weekdays, 9-4.

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