Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Last week I presented my students with this question to answer in essay format. I always love to join in with my students in writing the monthly essay, not only as I love writing, but to show them that I, as the teacher, also care about the work I'm giving them, and to give them some support in what many students of English find very challenging.

After a considerable time discussing the question and formulating an essay plan, we got down to the writing. Here is my essay on this particular subject:

When choosing a career path, would one consider salary or passion as the deciding factor?

"I believe it is difficult to conclude that either salary or passion is more important in defining a career. I feel that both factors contribute to a happy life. I will attempt to discuss some of my feelings about each one.

Money is a basic need of human existence in the civilised world. With money, we obtain food and shelter, necessary for survival. Finding a job with a good salary is a vital task in supporting a family. I have a wife and a 3-year-old daughter to provide for, with another child on its way. It can be somewhat daunting to think of ones family responsibilities. Earning a good salary can go some way to alleviating that burden and bringing security to the family unit.

With numerous bills to pay, it becomes imperative to earn more money than you spend. Being the recipient of many household bills is not something I enjoy, but with my decent salary, I'm able to take care of this requirement and feel a sense of relief each month.

Indeed, the ability of earning a substantial income and providing for all the needs of my family brings a great sense of satisfaction as I feel I have fulfilled my duty. Bringing home money gives me a sense of empowerment, makes me feel useful, and increases my self-esteem - all contributing to my overall level of happiness.

Finally, it is possible, and necessary, to save a portion of money each month, for the future. I have my children's education uppermost in my mind, which doesn't come for free. I would also like to have our own home and a better car in the future, which requires careful planning in saving money. Being able to earn enough money to save each month is a major milestone in living a contented life - the blessings which earning a high salary brings.

The next point of discussion is in doing something you are passionate about, instead of focusing solely on salary, as a career. There are many jobs with high salaries, but ones ability to earn is obviously affected by ones qualifications. I'm fortunate enough to be doing a job I love - teaching English. I love the English language and teaching others how to use it correctly. English was always my strongest subject because I simply enjoyed it and had a passion for it. Enjoyment and happiness are the rewards of doing something you love, which may flourish to a greater degree than simply working for money.

Money doesn't necessarily guarantee happiness in life. Achieving satisfaction involves many more factors outside this topic of discussion which could include religion, spirituality, social and emotional relationships. For the sake of this question, I will give my opinion based on the comparison of only salary and passion. It is my conviction that if you can't put your whole heart into your career, you can't be truly happy with your life, regardless of the sum of ones salary.

After much thought concerning this area of discussion whilst working through this essay, I would sway contrary to my previous thinking in my introduction, and thus conclude that the deciding factor in choosing a career path would be salary. I believe doing what you love could be a limiting influence on ones earning power, but on the other hand, one is always capable of learning to love a high-salary career. When it comes to providing the bare essentials of life, earning a good salary would be the most important point in choosing a career path."

What do you think? Do you have your ideal job? Are you working out of love for your career? Or are you labouring to earn a decent income? Are you fortunate enough to be doing something you love which happens to also pay you well?


  1. i work as programmer
    its pretty much what i want, only improvement would be gaming industrie and larger salary

  2. Very interesting and thought provoking. I am an aspiring writer, and that right there says I've pretty much chosen passion over salary. Hopefully both will be sufficient :)

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  3. Hey teacher,

    Remember my conclusion?
    'So just be a monk,doesn't need to care anything'

  4. How could I answer better to your question?

    I am near the finish of my career but I still have a lot of students to teach the next 2 years before my retirement. Could I ask the students this question, when my very modest academic salary was due a week ago and I had not received it yet?! And nobody tells us when this will happen!

    I'm afraid that the answer to your question differs deeply from one country to another.

  5. mac-and-me and Traveling Hawk, maybe this essay question becomes irrelevant as some of us simply don't have the choice. We can only work in the field that we are qualified for. Whether that is what we love, or it pays well, may be beyond our control!

    Sarah Allen, thanks for visiting and I'll be checking out your blog soon.

    Chai, yes i remember clearly, I don't think I've ever read a more concise and meaningful conclusion to an essay. So Chai, I think you should just be a monk!

  6. I think this is a very good question, and a very good conclusion! I'm doing a 9-5 job, and although the salary is just about right, I'm searching for something more... Great post!

  7. Bz, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  8. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Choosing a career path and the conclusion was awesome.


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