Q&A: financial security vs. passion

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Katelynn Warfle is an arts and humanities undergrad major at Michigan State University, seeking to be a physicians assistant in the future (Photo supplied by Katelynn Warfle)

How do you strike a balance between finding financial security and following your passion?

Answering related questions are Mackenzie McClellan, a student at Oakland University, is a psychology major who aspires to become a clinical psychologist; Braxton Buckner, a student at Michigan State university, majors in advertising with a media management focus’; and Katelynn Warfle, a student at Michigan State University studying arts and humanities for her undergraduate degree and plans on attending medical school to become a physician assistant.

Q: Why did you choose your major/career field?

McClellan: “I chose my major and career path because I think psychology is incredibly interesting, and I really love it. It could potentially result in a lot of pay, but that was not a deciding factor for me.”

Mackenzie McClellan is a psychology major at Oakland University, who dreams of becoming a clinical psychologist. (Photo supplied by Mackenzie McClellan).

Buckner: I selected my major because I saw a lot of opportunity in the industry. With so much around us continuously abandoning the traditional methods of advertising for the internet. I see potential to take advantage of the early stages of it. A lack of transparency really seems to be shaking up advertising right now, and finding a good way to solve this could really pay out. To say money doesn’t play a factor would be a lie. Being willfully ignorant to the costs of life wouldn’t help me sleep at night.”

Warfle: “I picked my major based on my interests, I did not look at the potential income. I just wanted to study something that I enjoy.”

Q: Do you think it’s better to be financially safe in a job that might not be the most fun, or be in a job that you love, that may not pay the greatest?

McClellan: “I think it’s important to love what you do, regardless of how much you make, but it’s also important to be financially secure.”

Braxton Buckner is an advertising and media management major at Michigan State University. (Photo provided by Braxton Buckner).

Buckner: “That’s tough to say. Financial stability can open doors to entire experiences we don’t even know exist. I don’t think I’m going to wake up everyday excited to go to work and be sad when I clock out. I think an understanding of balance is important. If you can have a good paying job that isn’t necessarily your calling, but it provides the time and resources to do the things you want in your leisure, then it’s perfectly fine as long as you find your job to be meaningful.”

Warfle: “I think it is important to look at being financially stable, but I also think enjoying your job is important too. Both relate to your future happiness, because if you are financially unstable you will be stressed, but if you hate your job you will be unhappy. I think there is a way to find a balance between the two.”

Q: Do you have any regrets about choosing your major/career path?

McClellan: “I have no regrets, I love the path I’ve taken and I’m excited to see where it takes me.”

Katelynn Warfle is an arts and humanities undergrad major at Michigan State University, seeking to be a physicians assistant in the future (Photo supplied by Katelynn Warfle)

Buckner: “It’s still pretty early to say that I have regrets. I don’t regret anything at this point. I still stand by my decision on what I chose, because I still see the opportunity to be financially stable as well as enjoy something that I find meaningful. If one day I wake up and realize this isn’t what I want, on to the next one.”

Warfle: “So far I do not have any regrets about my major or career path.”

Q: Why do you think some people decide to go into careers where they will be financially stable, even when they do not love the path they have selected?

McClellan: “I think people just want to be financially safe as quickly as possible, and that’s okay. For me, I would rather love what I do, and I’ll be lucky enough to love my career as well as be financially stable.”

Buckner: “I think security is a big thing. I loved physics growing up. Science was literally all I would read about, all I wanted to do with my life. Even to this day I consume more media and information on advancements in the fields of astrophysics and technology than anything else. Knowing that there are expenses in life and things that happen outside of your control, I knew money was important. Money is to a tool and I plan to use it to ensure security and the freedom to take part in leisure that satisfies anything I feel that my work if missing.”

Warfle: “I think it comes from the worry of not having enough money to survive. Most of the people who go into their fields for the money prioritize financial stability over happiness in liking their job. They probably think that by being financially stable, they can have fun and find happiness outside of their job.”

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