Dream career versus dream salary


Aspiring athletes, entrepreneurs and artists are encouraged to pursue their dreams but does passion led to unrealistic job expectations?

Students follow their dreams—but at what cost? Image: Torange.biz

Research into whether passion plays a key role in acquiring a successful future occupation was undertaken by the 80,000 Hours Foundation and the University of Oxford, where they found that although study options are available in most fields, occupations following the completion of many degrees are non-existent.

Steph Balmer, Bachelor of Entertainment student, began studying with an interest in events management only later realising that the competitiveness of the industry had a negative decline in job opportunities.

“As events planning is a very popular industry, companies tend to set low salaries and regard experience higher than qualifications, which makes it harder when you are just graduating,” Ms Balmer said.

Year 12 high school student, Evie Steer, said that as she considers her future study pathway, her passions would guide her choice to her chosen career pathway, rather than focusing on what would generate the most revenue.

Mike Rowe, CEO of mikeroweWORKS Foundation challenged the conventional wisdom of popular clichés, offering what he perceives to be the right attitude when thinking about your future.

“A dream job is usually just that, a dream, but their imaginary existence just might keep you from exploring careers that offer a legitimate chance to perform meaningful work and develop a genuine passion for the job you already have,” said Mr Rowe.

“Never follow your passion but always bring it with you.”

Michael Forsyth, University of Queensland Bachelor of Commerce student commented on the idea of finding passion during your studying career.

“I was primarily influenced by my parents at the beginning when it came to my future but after changing degrees from a Bachelor of Engineering to a Bachelor of Finance I began looking into consulting and accounting which I have learnt to love,” said Mr Forsyth.

Matt Peters, Bachelor of Science University student said that, as he is a man of many passions, the choice to pursue a degree in medicine resulted from the given opportunity as it provided a great platform for future success.

“I chose medicine because I got the opportunity to and I like the idea of financial security and the prestige that comes along with it,” said Mr Peters.

As the pressure to succeed continues to be at the height of many individuals mindsets, defining career success has become the difference between creating a job out of a hobby and a success story out of hard work.

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