Choosing between career growth and money earning is an ancient dilemma that still troubles the minds of employees all over the globe.

The stakes are high as only a handful of lucky professionals immediately manage to find a job that fulfills both requirements.

According to the report, less than half of employees in the US feel satisfied with their jobs, while only 20% of them feel very passionate about it.

This stat might as well show that most people still prefer substantial compensations over career opportunities, but there are other studies to consider here, too.

For instance, experts say that happiness does increase with wealth, but the correlation peaks at earning $75 thousand per year.

The threshold for life satisfaction varies around the world, from $35 thousand in the Caribbean to $125 thousand in New Zealand. After that, people face the point of no return where more money does not contribute to the overall feeling of self-esteem, confidence, or happiness.

There is obviously no secret formula that can tell you how to behave and what type of job to pursue. What we can do, however, is to analyze each aspect of the topic.

We will try to come up with enough inputs to help you with the decision, so keep reading to learn how to choose between a well-paid job and career growth.


First of all, we need to explain what it means to build a career gradually and what is money making.

When we are talking about career growth, we are discussing individuals who are ready to earn less in order to invest in their skill development and network, which in turn helps them to earn much more later on.

On the other side, money making is all about earning more here and now, while skills development and networking come second.

But if you want to see the big picture, you need to understand each one of these career paths separately.

The first thing in this process is to figure out the pros and cons of earning a lot of money, so let’s open the discussion with the benefits of targeting a high salary:

  • Money: The biggest benefit is quite obvious – you get to earn a lot of money straight away. You can shop everything you need (and even more than that), buy a house, and pay for all other things you might consider relevant at a given moment.
  • Safety: Needless to say, professionals who instantly earn a substantial amount of money feel much safer than their (financially) less successful peers. You don’t have to worry about market crashes, sudden changes in company management, or any other short-term issue for that matter.
  • Respect: Although this benefit seems a little artificial, the fact remains that people tend to respect well-off individuals, particularly if they are both young and wealthy. It can make you proud and socially satisfied, which is never a bad thing.
  • Save for a rainy day: The money you are able to accumulate guarantees peace of mind. No matter what happens with your job, you can move on smoothly. After all, once you’ve made enough money, perhaps you could even start doing something completely different.

You’ve seen the advantages of money earning, but the story has its downsides as well. Let’s take a look:

  • Underdevelopment: If you immediately start chasing the big money, you won’t be able to develop those much-needed skills that guarantee long-term success.
  • Lack of professional connections: Being stuck at one job for a long time eliminates diversity from your professional life. There will be no network of colleagues and professional acquaintances to support you later on throughout career.
  • Working hours: A well-paid job does not come for free. On the contrary, you probably have to earn your money by investing some extra hours in your work. This usually causes time management issues, which is something you will have to deal with.
  • Competition: Individuals with highly profitable entry positions must be prepared to keep fighting for their titles. The competition in the business universe is severe, particularly if your current salary goes way above the industry average.
  • Pressure: Do you often feel pressure at work? Are you constantly chasing goals and targets? Welcome to the world of big money! If you want to become Mr. Big immediately, get ready for the never-ending influx of pressure and tension.
  • Health issues: With so much activity and pressure in your business life, it’s not surprising to see a lot of successful professionals dealing with health issues. It begins with minor problems such as sleep disorders, but it might end up much worse if you can’t find a way out of the magic circle.


The coin always has two sides, so it’s time to flip it and analyze the pros and cons of doing the job you love.

As always, we start with the list of advantages:

  • Career growth: Of course, the first benefit is very tangible – you become better and smarter every day, slowly building a stairway to a much more attractive job.
  • Networking: Unlike instant money earning, career building is all about making friends and forming a wide network of professional connections. In such circumstances, finding a new and more profitable job in the future becomes much simpler.
  • Learning: As a passionate employee, you are glad to keep learning and improving your skills. You don’t satisfy for the average, but rather try to master every single aspect of your job. It will make you a genuine industry expert.
  • Confidence: As you keep working and improving, you will be boosting self-confidence. It always feels good when you are aware of your skills and know that you can successfully compete or collaborate with other professionals in your niche.
  • Health: If money making is causing headaches, the job you love is doing exactly the opposite. You don’t feel pressure and don’t hate going to work early in the morning, which is the basic precondition for staying healthy in the long run.
  • Pleasure: There is nothing better than finding your ideal working environment. If you really like what you are doing, you are willing to give your best and achieve the highest level of personal productivity.

Now let’s take a look at the disadvantages of choosing professional growth over money.

  • Earn less: Passionate workers aren’t always able to make a lot of money. You might be struggling to make ends meet in the beginning, which is a huge disadvantage. While this is a just a temporary disadvantage, it can be very awkward for individuals who are constantly in need for more money.
  • Hard to relax: Career building is an exciting process, but it doesn’t give you time to rest or relax. You always have to brainstorm, follow the latest industry trends, talk to people, and do all it takes to craft your professional path properly.
  • Fail to meet expectations: When you are young, you have a bag full of hopes and dreams. However, the truth is that most of our dreams fail to materialize. You might discover that your colleagues don’t share the same values or that the company is completely profit-oriented. This might stop you from learning because they expect you to do one thing only.
  • Your passion disappears: If you realize that your job is not the role you were hoping for, your passion to work and contribute could disappear easily. In such circumstances, it is always better to visit the Resumes Planet and find a few extra options just in case you want to try new things in a career.


You’ve seen the lists of pros and cons, but it’s probably not enough to help you make a final decision. Choosing a fancy job title over paycheck or vice versa is almost impossible if you don’t take more elements into the calculation.

This is why we prepared for you a list of 10 things you need to consider before taking any further steps. Without further ado, let’s see our top recommendations:

1. Determine priorities

You can take two different paths, so which one will it be? It’s much easier to make a decision if you carefully determine priorities.

Some people are in a desperate need for money, so their choice is obvious.

On the other side, a salary may not be your primary motive for the time being. In this case, you should probably test a few jobs that could really keep you going.

If you can distinguish between priorities this way, the right answer will come to you quickly.

2. Motivation

Motivation is yet another detail to be considered here. Some people can’t work if they are not motivated and don’t share the organizational values, beliefs, and vision.

However, others recognize money making as the only motive in their professional lives.

Think about it for a while and ask yourself a simple question: What motivates me to get up in the morning and work hard?

Just be honest and you will be able to solve the mystery.

3. Location

The first two indicators are pretty much subjective and irrational, but this one is all about logic and strategic planning. Your salary and financial demands change drastically from region to region.

According to the 2019 Cost of Living Calculator, New York City is 171.5% more expensive than Cleveland.

What does it tell you? Well, it means that you can afford to chase an ideal career opportunity in Cleveland, while New York City forces you to earn more money.

It’s a tangible distinction that you have to consider while brainstorming about your career.

4. Age group

In general, it’s much easier to test different things and gain new skills when you are young.

As a student or a fresh college graduate, you can volunteer or join many internship programs to learn how different industries, companies, and organizations function.

This should give you enough inputs to make the final decision effortlessly.

However, people who are past their prime should definitely put salary atop of their priorities because there is no time to waste anymore.

After all, it is more important to secure a decent living for your family than to chase rainbows.

5. Do you have children?

Speaking of families, you must also think about your kids. How old are they? How much do you plan to invest in their education and training?

Can you afford to travel with your family? All these questions are very important because you probably want to provide kids with quality life experiences.

But if you are single and don’t plan to raise children, you are pretty much free to do anything you like.

6. Unemployment

Dreaming big is okay, but only if you can afford it. We all probably know that one person who is unemployed for months already, but still seems to live perfectly fine.

However, it’s not something you want to brag about. Unless you have some hidden source of funding, we strongly recommend you to take any job and start earning money immediately.

You can always quit when you find a better position that allows you to network and gain practical skills, but you do have to make a living before something extraordinary pops up.

7. Friends and family

We mentioned the “friends and family” factor several times already, but we have to discuss it one more time.

These are the people who are closest to you, so don’t be afraid of asking for their opinions. You might as well be too biased to think through it clearly, while your friends or relatives can take the necessary distance before answering your questions.

They will be honest and probably point out the ups and downs of pursuing each one of the two options.

8. Consider long-term goals

If none of the previous suggestions works for you, then you could think about the long-term goals. How do you see yourself in 10 or 15 years?

Earning big in the first few years is okay, but only if you don’t need money in the long-term perspective.

However, it’s hard to imagine someone who doesn’t require a substantial budget, which is why career growth sounds like a more reasonable solution to most people.

9. Do you know what you want?

This is a common mistake among young professionals: they don’t know what they want, but they hate the idea of working for money exclusively. Although it sounds like a huge dilemma, it really doesn’t have to be.

Namely, it’s always better to do something and earn money straight away than to avoid responsibility until you finally figure out the priorities.

You can use this period of life to save some money aside and then start looking for a new job that will give you enough opportunities to grow and develop.

10. Trust your instincts

The last tip on our list may seem a little vague, but it’s often the best one. If you are unable to solve the mystery and decide what to do, you should trust your instincts.

Sometimes you won’t be able to give a logical answer to all those career issues, but your sixth sense will tell you what to do. Make sure to follow it and you probably won’t be mistaken.


Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. It’s an old saying you’ve probably heard a thousand times before, but is it really the truth? Is job satisfaction enough to compensate you for a lower starting salary?

The answer to this question depends on so many variables, but we tried to give you a hand by discussing all aspects of the story.

After everything we’ve said here, the only reasonable conclusion is that each person has to make a decision alone.

There is no secret formula that can solve this equation, so you have to think about the things that make you happy and fulfilled. Be honest with yourself and you will learn how to make a balance between career growth and financial compensations.

Passion VS Money What To Choose In Your Career

About the author

Mark Delarika is a professional content writer and teacher, successful entrepreneur and blogger. He is familiar with a wide range of spheres concerning running own business and education. Mark taught in more than 10 countries all over the world. He helps students and business people to improve their writing skills, shares his personal experience and gives practical tips.


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