Home Discover LuxembourgExpat Columns For love or money? That is the question.

For love or money? That is the question.

by Christelle McKillen
For love or money

It’s a dilemma that perhaps has really only come to the fore in the ‘millenial’ era, our parents and previous generations saw their jobs as a means to an end, the need to make money, the need to raise their families with good ol’fashioned hard work. There was no time to question ‘am I serving a purpose?’ let alone ‘am I enjoying this?’

Contrast with 2018 and it’s almost taboo to say you don’t LOVVEEEE your job. Now increasingly often young people are aiming to be self-employed, particularly the Personal Trainer and Make-up Artist business has boomed, all you need is an active social media following and some pretty stellar Instagram game and voila instafame…

Precisely because of the link of social media/small businesses (it’s vital marketing for them) we are all acutely aware from all our scrolling / story watching that everyone seems to be following/living their dreams …or are they? The Instagram vortex can be a slippery thing, looking only at filtered lives would make even the most secure person feel inferior.

So an average day on social media you will see many a quotation along the lines of ‘Love what you do, do what you love’ this is all well and good but what about the need to actually have money – at the end of the day a job boils down to that and it’s so easy to think to yourself that you are failing because you aren’t LOVING absolutely every single day of your work life, this does not make you a life failure.

This generation grew up wanting it ALL, generally we have delayed getting married and having children because we want to focus on our own individual lives and our own success.

It’s something to be proud of that we want more for ourselves but sometimes perhaps to our own detriment by beating ourselves up as to why we don’t have the dream job that everyone else seems to have.

When I began my current job I did get the ‘OMG you’re so lucky’ response from friends/family and it may have seemed like it all came easy, it didn’t.

What isn’t so instagrammable is the fact that I worked in McDonalds for over a year in the Netherlands because I couldn’t speak Dutch, literally flipping burgers to pay for my Master’s degree, be under no illusion it is physically exhausting and just plain awful at 3am on a Saturday night compacting rubbish bins of old burgers and sour milkshakes.

And so… while it certainly is possible to adore your job so SO much ‘that it doesn’t feel like work’, it’s relatively rare despite what Instagram may tell you. However, we cannot forget the importance of carrying out your own job to your best ability knowing that you are serving a purpose (however big or small) and being rewarded for that work.

The luxury of buying a new pair of shoes, or going on multiple holidays a year without having to worry, is a luxury that your job may allow you. Even though on social media it might seem that these are the most basic requirements of a fulfilling life– it’s actually not the case.

I can still remember being anxious in my first six months of interning in Brussels questioning if I should treat myself with a 3EUR takeaway coffee or not in the mornings, it was something I really had to consider and budget for, which may seem ridiculous now but it definitely taught me the importance of making money regardless if you have a ‘dream job’ or not.

Don’t get me wrong, no one should detest their job and if its bringing you to the point of total misery you of course have to change your life but at the same time don’t beat yourself up if you are not absolutely thrilled, delighted and challenged each and every day at work.

Work to live – and take all those Instagram businesses with a pinch of salt, no one ever got rich by sponsoring detox tea on their insta.

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