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Passion Or Money, What Should Influence Your Career?

Electrical trainee assisting two trainees as they test wiring

We’ve already covered the common decision most school-leavers have to make, as well as many people later in life;  University Vs. Vocational Training. Now, we’re looking at whether you should choose your career based on your passion or money.

It’s not a decision to take lightly, and there are several factors to consider before making this decision.

Will your passion pay you enough? Is following the money the more straightforward option? Is life too short to do anything but what you love? We’ll help you navigate through each question to help you make a more informed decision about your future.

Quality Of Life

The average working week is between 37.5 to 40 hours. However, a study by TUC has found that the average full-time employee in the UK works around 42 hours weekly. With such a large proportion of your week at work, your job mustn’t harm your quality of life.

A lack of motivation, enthusiasm and enjoyment in your job can have severe consequences. Not only can unhappiness lead to mental illnesses such as depression, but disliking your career can affect your physical health also. Studies have found that hating your job can result in weight gain and a lower immune system, leaving you more likely to contract a severe illness.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Being in a job you don’t enjoy can mean that you are miserable during your working day and the night. A particularly stressful job or one you’re unsatisfied with can result in trouble sleeping, poor quality sleep, nightmares and a disrupted sleeping pattern.

Working in a role you love isn’t always possible, but some things can help you maintain a good quality of life regardless. For example, a job that provides you with enough income and annual leave to allow you to take time off to enjoy yourself makes a huge difference. In addition, having regular breaks and time away to relax or pursue hobbies and passions can significantly impact your quality of life, mental health, and physical health.

Whether for passion or money, having a good work-life balance is key to a happy life regardless of your job role.

Gas trainee assisting a trainee as he works on a gas appliance in the workshop

Enjoyment At Work

They say that when you have a job you love, you never work a day in your life. There’s no Sunday night dread or Monday morning blues. Instead, when your alarm clock goes off early in the morning, you wake up excited to get to work.

And when you are at work? You perform better. Undertaking tasks and projects isn’t taxing. A new challenge is a way to expand your knowledge and sharpen your existing skills. You’re focused and enthusiastic, which will, in turn, help to motivate others around you. Positivity breeds positivity, so when your co-workers see you enjoying your job, they’re more likely to enjoy theirs.

Usually, when workers are asked to stay late due to a deadline, it’s a request they don’t welcome. However, someone passionate about their work is more likely to be happy to stay back for an extra hour or two.

On the other side of the coin, money talks. There’s nothing wrong with going for a job that pays the bills but isn’t necessarily what you want to do – providing it doesn’t harm your quality of life. You can usually find them when your job, while it may not be your passion, is enjoyable in other ways. This could be a great group of colleagues, flexible working hours, bonus incentives, etc.

Finding A Job

Finding a job isn’t always as easy as it sounds. With so many people competing for the same roles, you have to ensure you tick all the boxes and stand out against the rest of the candidates. Anyone who has experienced the job hunt will know how competitive and fierce it can be. But nothing can beat that feeling when you successfully secure a role.

Following your passion and turning it into a career isn’t necessarily easy. When you already have your dream job in mind, you’ve narrowed the job market for yourself. It’s important that you aren’t too niche when job hunting. The positions available may not be exactly what you’re after, but if they’re in a similar field or have attributes that will be useful, go for it. Expanding your skills and knowledge is only good and can lead to you landing that perfect role.

Alternatively, you can create a job for yourself by going self-employed. When considering self-employment, you should weigh up the pros and cons, figuring out if it’s the right step for you to take. In 2021, 4.3 million people in the UK were self-employed, and that number continues to grow. (Source: Statista).

Trainee electricians working on consumer units in workshop bays

Paying The Bills

Some people are lucky that their passion pays them well, even at an entry-level, allowing them to enjoy working without worrying about their income.

If you can’t match your previous income, it’s not the end of the road. Live within your means. Budget the money you are earning and alter your lifestyle to suit. Why not start a side project if you can’t bring your living costs down low enough? This could be working part-time or at weekends to guarantee that extra income to ensure you don’t fall short.

On the other hand, when you have a family to support and bills to pay, they come first. Leaving a secure role to pursue a passion at the drop of a hat might not be a sensible idea. Instead, continue earning the money you need to fund your and your family’s life while working at your passion on the side. You could take an evening college course, work or practice for an hour each night or during the weekend.

Allow your passion to stay as a side hustle, even if it’s just for the time being. You have two options if you can see it going somewhere and begin making money. Either accept that money as a little extra pocket money alongside your current job or keep working until you can turn that side hustle into your primary source of income.

Passion or Money?

We asked our Twitter followers whether they followed passion or money when choosing their careers.


Of the 80 people who voted in the poll, just 13% said they went into their career for the money alone. On the other hand, 33% said their passion led them to where they are now.

Interestingly, over half of those who answered said it was a combination of the two that guided them onto their career path.

Some knew they would gradually go up the pay grade with hard work and dedication. Others didn’t focus on the money and now see what they earn as a bonus alongside doing what they love.

There is no right or wrong choice, only the best one for you. So whether you choose to follow your passion or money, the most important thing is that you’re happy.

A Career In The Trades

Have you thought about learning a trade if you’re suited to a hands-on career? Tradespeople have been named some of the happiest workers in Britain, and it’s no surprise why. With flexible working hours, a supportive industry, and the chance to work on an employed, self-employed or sub-contract basis, thousands of people look to enter the industry every year.

You can train to become an electrician with Options Skills through our NVQ Level 3 Electrician Course. Alternatively, we have the Domestic Gas Course to help you qualify as a gas and heating engineer.

Get in touch with us on 0800 802 1306 and turn your passion into your full-time job.

All data correct at time of publication.