Follow the money! Or the fun?

My gut says one thing but my wallet says another.

Our elder offers this jobseeker a few tips on what to consider when choosing between two gigs.

Dear EWC:

I’m having trouble with my career. I am currently unemployed and I need a job. 

I currently have two job offers. The first one is a job that I have a gut feeling I’ll enjoy, but the pay is just minimum wage. The second job pays really well, but I don’t think it’s right for me. My mom submitted my resume, telling me that it’s a high-paying job, but I’m not so sure that I’ll have fun.

I don’t know what to choose. Should I go for what I like or should I go for money? I don’t want to feel like I’m forcing myself to do something, but I would love to give some money back to my parents. I don’t really know what I want.

Dave-Scott replies:

I have been in your situation before. Great job, but low pay. Not so great job, but good pay. Whenever I have a choice to make I make a pro and con chart and sometimes the obvious choice becomes apparent. 

Here are a few things to consider:

The minimum wage is not really a living wage. Having to have two jobs to pay all the bills is not usually that fun. Depending on your situation, being able to pay your bills could be considered a really “fun” thing.

It might be best to choose a job that will add greater value to your future resume.

How enjoyable is the fun job and how bad is the better paying job? If the bad job is just boring, is that really that bad? If the bad job is disgusting or backbreaking, is it worth doing for any amount of money?

If you work 40 hours per week, you still have a lot of time to have fun. Does more money equal more fun?

If it sounds like I am leaning towards advising you to go with the higher paying job, maybe I am. But I don’t know all the details, so you are the only one who can make this decision. Talk to your mom, she probably has good reasons for submitting your resume.

Good luck.



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