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Ask the Plant

By Beatriz Neves

Arts & Culture Editor

I won't be rich if I follow the path I’m currently on. Should I switch programs?

Dear Scrooge McDuck wannabe,

If you ask this question to any academic adviser or proper counsellor, you will probably get the predictable answer that you should follow your passion regardless of money. They will say that financial reward comes if you work hard in any profession. They will say that your career should fall somewhere on the spectrum between passion and money.

You can follow their advice. You are free to live a mediocre life. If that is what you want. But I will not pretend that life is filled with rainbows and sunshine rays...because it isn't. If you want to let a piece of paper with former prime minister Sir Robert Borden on it decide your life, go ahead and be its puppet.

Why would someone not want to?

Well, not everyone’s passion aligns with their financial interests.

But what is the problem with having a job that gives you money but no fulfillment? You might be able to escape this dull, grey life by travelling once a year, since you can afford plane tickets and a luxury hotel. Maybe your dream is to have a jacuzzi in a Westmount mansion, but your love is to be a cashier at a fast food place. You can enjoy the satisfaction (and moral superiority) of self-knowledge if you choose passion, but you probably won't go to lunch in a helicopter. A more viable solution is to turn this passion into a hobby.

I'm not one of those spiritual gurus who will tell you that you can make infinite money from any skill or passion you like. If you want to be rich, choose wisely. Welcome to reality. Of course, I am not part of this group of people because I am a student newspaper, and neither journalists nor students are known for their fat bank accounts.

Yet, maybe it's not that hard to make money through your passion. A little research never hurt anyone. Linkedin probably knows about the salary expectations you should have. There, you can find a job that can pay for a Tesla but won't make your closet smell like Gucci and Prada. Balance is essential.

You could always play for the LotoQuebec draw. Elon Musk could still adopt you for no apparent reason. Or one of the Kardashians could fall madly in love with you. Or maybe a sugar daddy could fancy you and decide to reward you with a generous allowance. Or you might meet your secret grandmother and find out that you are in line for the throne of Genova. Who knows?

I could just wish you good luck. I understand your desire for wealth, but I enjoy the journey of becoming successful doing what I love. Money might seem a good enough motivation for choosing a career path, but who knows if that motivation will last a lifetime. People say that there is nothing worse than waking up early to do work when you don't even care about the result. They say that there is no better feeling than doing something you love. But, again, it's unlikely those people know what caviar tastes like.

It comes down to what you are willing to sacrifice. Maybe you have to work harder during your career as an artist, for instance, to make minimum wage. You might be willing to exchange that for the few years of stress, pressure and the emptiness you would feel every day of your passionless career. You just have to bury your life’s calling under student loans and hundred dollars books.

Keep this in mind.


The Plant

Image: "Money" by Kollage Kid is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0



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