Regardless of how many internal debates I've had in my head, it will always come up that though money doesn't make the world go round, it does contribute quite a bit to its push and rotation. In other words, we can convince ourselves as much as we can that being rich is overrated but we will always deduce that it sure does have its perks. In the garden of good and evil that we call earth, money is the serpent that tempts people to cross certain paths that are not meant to be crossed. At the same time, money is also the goodness that is endowed in order to go about everyday life — and then some.
Unfortunately, money could never be the forbidden fruit as it does not grow on trees. How we wish of even the remotest possibility that it does though. Money is earned through hard work, drive and motivation though some would say that adding passion, integrity and loyalty can go a long way. We devote about one-third of our lives to garner a decent living and enslave ourselves to people that are willing to part with money in exchange of our services. Some are not so lucky and work half their lives — and still not get enough.
With work being a significant part of our lives, it has evolved into a lifestyle or a life undertaking that has been lavishly dubbed as a career. A career has been transformed into a social indicator that determines which circle you move in and which ladder to climb. It has become a symbol of one's life and order that it progressed to become a title next to a name, a label used to be judged with, and a reputation of sorts. As kids, we have always been trained to think of future career aspects. What do you want to be when you grow up? As teen-agers, the prodding to narrow down career choices continues. What major do you wish you take in college? As young adults, the recognition that the end of the waiting line is near. Find a job that will open more doors for your career.
As full-fledged grown-ups, just how important does a career mean? Thanks to the media, the hype of having a career has gotten worse. There are television shows, books, movies, even songs, that get rolled out every single day that zero in on people whose stories revolve around what they do for a living. I can name about twenty shows about lawyers from the top of my head — even more involving doctors. Movies feature high-flying men in suits all the time and make their worlds sound so glamorous despite the debauchery and profligacy of certain industries. One's monetary worth is tacked against his or her profession and career it seems like. By simply asking “so, what do you do?” one can jump to about a thousand conclusions about the person — hitting at least five hundred correct ones. Through this, stereotypes are either enhanced or defied.
A job, on the other hand, is…. what? How does a job differ from a career? I never really understood. The social stigma of having a job instead of a career seems to be quite heavy. Nonetheless, both generate money that is the needed for everyday living — a fine reason to have either one. I have heard many who say that a job is something done for the sake of obtaining a paycheck whereas a career is something more meaningful and fulfilling. Is it only I who find it funny that many a times, a career becomes a job purely because we find ourselves caring more and more about the paycheck attached to it? At least we can quit jobs when it stops being fun — but quitting a career? When we change careers, do we also change a part of ourselves simply because of all the emotional and mental investments we have made to our previous choices? Do we lose a piece of ourselves too?
Why has the focus on gaining careers become such a huge ordeal? What's wrong with simply having jobs? Why must we only hone one particular skill instead of gaining experiences that we can learn many things from? And most importantly, why must be only choose one craft to master? What happens if we exceed our allowed timetable to think about it? Do we succumb to the consequences of a potential mistake?
People who do not fit the bill of having a career get unjustly punished by society. So what if one chooses to not have a career? Our professions do not necessarily dictate whom we are and what we can do. A partner in a law firm is not much different from a construction worker that frames houses. Both cash a check at the end of the pay period, and both need food on the table and a roof over their heads. The same goes with a college professor and a barista in a coffee shop. Or an accountant and a doctor. Or a garbage man and a telemarketer. We are whom we make ourselves to be and what we do for a living is only a speck of it. We cannot be judged by what we do because that will be similar to judging books by its covers. The world is a place that contests our survival skills and our methods of coping amid struggles. We all have different methods of surviving and coping — as long as we all get to where we want, sometimes it is all that matters.
A job. A career. To-may-to. To-mah-to. At the end of the day, it is always about what makes us happy whilst trying to survive.
As I have said, in the garden of good and evil, money can either be the goodness that paradise brings or the serpent that brings vileness to it. Either we be content on what we have or sell ourselves to the devil for more. It's all a matter of choice. It's all up to us.