Does your first job really matter?

Fun or money - what is more important when choosing a career?

There is a well-known saying that if you love your job, you never have to work again. It implies that the job should above all be fun, so that you jump out of bed joyfully every morning and “finally” want to go back to work. But hand on heart: how realistic is this picture? There are many people who would say that they enjoy their work. But still, vacation is usually nicer! Sleep in, no alarm clock, no appointments, no commitments - most people would prefer this scenario in the long run. At least you need a break from your job every now and then to rediscover the fun of it. Because what you do every day will not wake you up every morning with deep enthusiasm, at least not as a rule. There may be exceptions in the sense of people who have a deep passion for their job, but they only confirm the rule: work is always somehow exhausting.

Millennials prefer the fun

Sure, after all, you have to do something for your money and, as is well known, nothing is given in life. Nevertheless, money is only one aspect for more and more people when they decide on a profession or job. This is especially true for the young “millennials”, i.e. the generations who are entering the profession now or in the future. For them, fun is often the top priority and they would be prepared to forego more money for it. In plain English: Millennials also work for less money if they at least enjoy going to work. In itself, this is also a good attitude, because anyone who is (permanently) unhappy at their job is very likely to get sick. And if burnout doesn't call, at least motivation remains low and performance mediocre. As a result, hierarchical advancement stagnates or professional development does not materialize. So having fun is definitely an important factor - and shouldn't be just for millennials.

The positive effects of having fun

The tables can of course also be turned around: if you enjoy your work and are motivated, you usually perform better and thus achieve higher professional goals, which in turn increases motivation and so on. So you are embarking on a positive upward spiral. As an interim conclusion, it can be said that you should actually enjoy your work - or at least not have a deep dislike for it.

What about the money?

However, this fun will quickly be lost if you cannot make a living from your work. Because as much as you get excited about your job - constant worries about money and the future are just as stressful as a job in which you are unhappy. Even then, consequential problems such as mental or physical illnesses threaten. Maybe you still have to take on a part-time job and no longer have a work-life balance. Or you wake up every morning with a stomach ache thinking about your bills. The aspect of money cannot and should therefore not simply be disregarded when choosing a career. Many people even take the view that doing the job for the money is perfectly fine!


In the end, it can be said that both aspects are important. The job doesn't have to fill you with deep joy, but it should at least give you some kind of fun or meaning. Under no circumstances should he oppose you so that you have the feeling that you are doing something “bad” with your work. Indifference is to be seen as the minimum here if you see the job primarily as a means to an end in order to have enough money to live on. It is of course better if you actually enjoy it or if it is a true passion for you. However, he still has to be paid well enough so that you can live carefree. Otherwise you won't enjoy your work either - fun or not. So it is not an either / or, but your work brings you at best both (a little) fun and enough money. After all, life is not always black or white. You also have to answer this question individually. So find out what is more important to you personally ... and look for a suitable compromise.

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