** For who or what are we working for anymore

My son is a product of corporate downsizing. He is one of the 10% of the American workforce that has been out of a job for over a year. Resume after resume and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Unemployment benefits have enabled him to keep a roof over his head and food on the table, but he is very quickly approaching the end of the line, benefits are running out, and he is starting to panic.

6 months ago he started his own e-commerce website. While orders have slowly marched in, he is nowhere in the position to have this company support him for any period of time. So we have been discussing the probability of him returning to school. Being that he is only 26 years old this should be quite an easy transition for him.

While his current career is that of an Optical Sales Rep he does not think he wants to continue on in this field. He was not being fulfilled, he says. So we began the process of looking at schools, then looking at courses.

As we studied the available fields of interest, i noticed he kept going back to one thing. Each time i brought up something that i thought would be a good fit he would immediately check the salary range of the proposed career. This seemed to be his number one motivating factor for whatever field he chose. I think this is the worst way to go about this and here is why.

As I told him, this is something that you will be doing for probably the rest of your working life. If you choose your career solely on the pay then there is a good chance you may end up being unfulfilled again. You need to be looking deep inside yourself looking for your passion. When you find your passion, your job will no longer be a job. You will wake each morning ready to face the day with a smile instead of a lingering dread. When you are working for your passion pay seems to be something that falls to the wayside. Sure, you need to be earning enough to cover your necessities, but you will find that you no longer are out there looking for more fulfillment, usually in what is known as stuff. Passion is what will drive you to be successful and then more than likely the money will follow.

Whether this sunk in with him yet or not I am not sure. I suppose time will tell. In the meantime, mom will continue to offer her guidance, assistance and the occasional nagging that we mothers have become the master of throughout the years. Hopefully whatever he chooses he will one day look back on this and say “I made a wise decision”. That is all any mother could hope for.

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