Do You Care More About Job Stability or Passion in Your Work?

by Miranda Marquit · 7 comments

In recent years, there’s been a trend toward following our passions and doing work we love. At least, we hear a lot about finding ways to get paid to do work that we like. However, that trend might be on the verge of a chance, if a recent survey is any indication.

College Students Look for Job Stability

Adecco Staffing USA recent released the results of its recent Way to Work survey, and the findings are that many college students are more interested in stability than they feel a passion for their work.

The survey indicates that 70% of the college-age respondents are more interested in finding a stable job than they are interested in whether or not they feel passionate about what they are doing. Not only that, but the aspiration that received the greatest interest in the service was to be financially stable in the next 10 years (31% of respondents). Landing a dream job in the next 10 years was the second-greatest aspiration, with 28% of respondents hoping for this outcome.

This is an interesting development when you consider that, for a number of years, we’ve been steeped in messages about following passions and creating our own dream jobs. At least, I’ve been steeped in that rhetoric as a personal finance freelancer who is regularly exposed to people trying to follow their dreams and create their own jobs.

However, as many college students near the end of their education, it appears that many are less concerned about how much they love their work, and more concerned about whether or not they will have a job that will lead them to financial stability.

What are Your Career Priorities?

This is a struggle that many of us face in our own lives. It’s hard to put a price on job stability. In some cases, it makes sense to stick with a stable job for longer because it does offer something known. You know how much you will be paid each month.

On top of that, a stable job often offers other benefits, like subsidized health insurance and an employer match for your retirement plan. I know that things have been a little easier since my husband got a more stable job. Having that knowledge of when he will be paid, along with the fact that he has benefits, has provided a little more certainty in our lives — and eased our cash flow considerably.

My husband is fortunate, though. He enjoys teaching and working with college students, so he has a great passion for his job, and the stability that comes with his job is a bonus. But if he had to choose between passion and stability?

In the past, both my husband and I have chosen stability over passion in our work. We’ve both made the decision to choose the safer route in the name of shoring up the finances and making sure the bills are paid.

It’s important to understand the choices you make, and to carefully consider what you are willing to do. If I didn’t have a family, I might choose more passion over stability. But sometimes, the things we do inform our choices and change our priorities.

What choice do you prefer for your career? Passion or stability?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Rick says:

    I feel that those looking for a career in an industry or niche that they are passionate about are on the right path. If we think in terms of a small business owner we should think about the reasons for starting a business and what need we are fulfilling; for ourselves, end users, and other business partners and supply chain members.

    I remember having positions where I made good money, but no interest in what I was doing. I had no drive and had no aspirations of climbing the ladder. I see passion as a critical element in long-term career stability; it’s much easier to find motivation when you love what you are doing.

    If you are not passionate about your career then ask yourself a question, “What positions out there could I do forever and have no problem staying interested?” The answers to this question would be a great place to start.

  • Ramona says:

    I was lucky enough to work for 10 years as a radio DJ (which was the dream job for me) and now I run a web design business (which is also a huge passion of mine). I do think that for many people the money does come first, since we cannot pay our bills with ‘passion’. Ideally our jobs should be something we love to do, but, if it’s not possible, anything that pays the bills is OK 😀

  • Phillip says:

    For me it would be job security. I think seeing my single mom lose the house and file bankruptcy a few years back that has played heavily on my financial decisions. I have my passions that I attend to daily and that helps keep me sane while I work towards my goals.

    I got out of the military last year and have been finishing up my degree in Information Security, which will HOPEFULLY pay off in the future. I won’t have any student debt, my car is paid off, I’m healthy, so all is good right now. Before I joined the Military I was pursuing a degree in Exercise Science but I changed my mind after getting out for a more in demand and possibly lucrative career field.

    I’ve got a good amount in savings and have a vanguard IRA that I contribute a little to every month. I just need to earn more money because this part time student job doesn’t do much for me.

    But, Yes I am seeking job security by pursuing a technical degree which will hopefully pay off in the future and allow me to start a family and get married before I turn 30.

    I live by this quote: Appreciate what you have, while working for what you want.

  • Money Beagle says:

    I think just like anything else, a proper mix is what you need, as you really can’t have just one element and find sustained happiness, in my opinion. I’ve been with my current employer for almost nine years, and it’s largely because I learn, face new challenges, feel appreciated, and know that work will always be there as long as I continue to deliver top results. I’d say that’s a pretty good mix and that’s why I haven’t done much serious looking.

  • Jordan says:

    I’d say a little of both is necessary – of course, I feel that I wouldn’t enjoy a job as much if I felt I was at risk to lose it constantly! There’s definitely a happy medium between the two I think, though I’d say right now I’m personally more focused on stability over passion.

  • Alan R says:

    I’d say a little bit of both. Indeed, job stability is crucial but the best thing in the world is to wake up and go to work without noticing we are actually working.

  • I started off by seeking a stable job since I graduated in debt (like most students who pay for their own school) and loans were due. I like many aspects of my job but the pressures and stress oftentimes outweigh the good times.

    Once I had my loan paid off and had a good amount of savings (before I let lifestyle creep take over) I actually considered quitting and going back to school for a career change. I had enough money saved up for pay for the 2 year college program and cover all expenses so I wouldn’t need to work.

    I was then offered a big promotion to stay, more money, more responsibilities and an office. At the time I was excited so I stayed…but now I am starting to look for something different and more challenging as I am not enjoying the management track.

    I am working on a passion project with a few friends that will hopefully turn into a small side venture by 2016. Unfortunately neither of us can dedicate a lot of time yet so it is a slow moving shift. Our plan is to see if we can take our passion project somewhere before we quit our jobs…I guess we are all choosing safety again.

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