For Increased Career Satisfaction, Identify Your Purpose

I hear so many folks speak about their employers as if their current job were the only option they had.  Many people stay at a career they dislike simply for the benefit of a steady paycheck.  I hear, all to frequently, from folks who have to work for their healthcare benefits or the 401K.  What kind of life is that?  How productive must you be, if you drag yourself to work simply to cover your healthcare needs.  I certainly understand the cost of healthcare and feel compassion for those who are in this precarious situation. Luckily the new healthcare reform tax credit mollifies the initial cost shock.  My hope is that they can find a way to break out of this cycle of mediocrity and find passion in what they do.  I hate to hear stories, of folks who have traded a steady paycheck for years of missed opportunities which they will never get back.

PassionSo how do we get from a career riddled with potential regret, to passionate pursuits of hobbies which are able to be turned into professions?  Do something out of  necessity!  By doing something out of necessity, your passion and sense of accomplishment grows exponentially.  I read an article about the founder of Auntie Anne’s pretzels, she built her multi-million dollar empire out of a $6000 loan she received from her husband’s parents.  For that $6000 investment she received a spot at a local farmers market to sell pretzels and pizza’s.  The pretzels were obviously a huge hit!  Much of her success can be attributed to her necessity of making the pretzel business work, at least well enough to pay the bills.  We now know, this pretzel business far surpassed ‘just paying the bills’.  To this day, she still has a passion for her business, even though the day to day operations are no longer her responsibility.  At the time of her selling the pretzel business she referred to it, as being one her children, and she cried for days after turning over the reins.  She has passion for pretzels!  Actually, it’s deeper than that.  She really has a passion for the joy the pretzels bring to other people.  So therefore, what she has is purpose.  Her purpose was to live everyday to pursue the feeling of making people happy at the taste of her pretzels.  This is a great example of how we need to reflect about our careers.  Is our career allowing us to seek purpose?

Find your purpose, look deeper than, “oh this job has a great benefits package”.  Recognize that purpose is subjective and different for everyone, so you may have to look below the surface to recognize it.  For some, purpose is to make a lot of money, for some like Auntie Anne, its to make a difference in people’s lives.  I personally think the passion derived from making a difference in people’s lives will last longer than one of making a lot of money.  The money will come, if you let it.  If you focus on the needs of others, everything, including money, will fall into place.

You may ask, why then, are you working for someone else and not following your passion?

I am following my passion.  Yes, I do work for someone else, who does provide excellent healthcare benefits, btw 🙂 .  That said, I feel I am pursuing my purpose by writing about financial education and living a life dedicated to providing a positive financial example.  My purpose is your education!   Along the way, and as a benefit, I get to meet like-minded passionate folks who share the same principals and long term objectives.  So, I view it as a great trade-off, and I hope my financial musings will provide value to you, and you too can seek purpose in your career!

Monday Madness


I dug up a few great posts from bloggers who seemed to have found their passion and are now making a living at it, you can too!!

Shawanda at wrote a very helpful post 20 rules to follow after you quit your job.

John at wrote a lot of great posts about self-employment, here are a few!  Taking the plunge 1 year quitversary and another…How to buy health insurance when your self-employed.

Glen at wrote The ultimate guide to making affiliate income from your blog. Very insightful!

Brandon at has certainly found his calling….In real estate investing, and blogging!  Here is his story.

Alexa at wrote a great post about freelance income called Going for Gold: Freelance Blogging Strategy.

Last, but certainly not least, is a post on preparing for the loss of a job by Renee at  This may come as a roadmap should you decide it’s time to pursue your passion!


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  1. Jim, this is exactly what we’re trying to teach our children to do: earn money and build their career around their passion. We don’t want them to repeat our career mistakes!

    • Jim says:

      Yep, that is the best advice, as long as they find a way to make a living and have good guidance, which your kids certainly do!

  2. I find it’s a bit of a trade-off for me. I need to like my work, but I also need to ensure that I don’t burn out on my passion, which I know I can do.

    • Jim says:

      Great point Anne, that is very true. My father in law’s father (whom I never met) had a passion for fishing, couldn’t wait to retire so he could guide other fisherman. Once he retired he worked as a guide, he found it to be not as much fun as he invisioned. He burnt out and went back to recreation fishing. So, burnout can happen!

  3. FI Pilgrim says:

    I think that passions can change over time, and it’s hard to predict whether you will enjoy the change as much as you hope. I’ve been working in the same field for 15 years, and the same job for 10, but I feel tired of the field I’m in quite a bit. Other opportunities seem appealing, but are they worth giving up a job I’ve enjoyed for a while and provides good income?

    • Jim says:

      I totally agree that passions and interests change over time. Regarding your situation, you really have to assess what your reasons are for staying at your job. Would you be happier and more productive doing something else? Just don’t stay due to the comfort of a steady paycheck, its important but its not everything!

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