Thursday, May 9, 2013

Happiness Vs. Wealth

I've recently been having discussions with several DeMolays (and Masons) about their careers / future careers. Many of these conversations touch on all the subjects you would expect - the job market, money, benefits, relocation, etc. However, one of the things that often seems to get overlooked is, in my opinion, the most important factor of all - happiness!

Working for the fraternity is never going to net me a giant pay check. I realize that I could probably make much more in the commercial sector. However, what's immeasurable is the happiness in my job. I spent several years working in Human Resources. Some days were really good. Some days were really bad. I didn't dislike my work, but like every job, it had its stressful days. In my current job, I could count on a single hand the truly stressful days that I have each year (most of which occur around Convention / Key Man time, by the way.)

Whenever I talk careers with anybody, one of the first things I ask them is "what would you be happy doing?" Sometimes they  have a clear picture of what they want to do, while others don't have a clue. Many people fall back on their hobbies and say they'd love to do that all the time. As someone who works for one his "hobbies,"  I can tell you that it's both rewarding and painful. Others think they'd be happy doing something that makes them a lot of money. "I'd be happy being an attorney." Most of those people are wrong.

I came across this article from Parade Magazine, entitled What's the Happiest (and Unhappiest) Job in America? Guess who hates their job the most? High paid lawyers! Who loves their jobs? Construction workers and sales people. Their jobs may not be high profile, but they find their work rewarding and engaging. Actually, according to a Forbes article, the happiest people make about $50,000 year. That's much less than most expect.

So, as you ponder your career, I urge you to quit looking at the dollars and cents and instead look at what makes you happy. You'll be more content in the long run, I assure you.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

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