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For love or money?

Some people are only concerned with personal happiness when it comes to choosing a career, while others are obsessed with making as much money as possible. For most of us, though, it's a complicated trade-off. Here are some things to take into consideration when deciding which career path to take.

The case for money

While there's a lot of attention paid to those people who've chosen to do something well paid rather than personally fulfilling, it's also the case that there are those who choose to pursue ‘meaningful' work only to become bitter about the lack of financial rewards offered for their efforts.

If a reasonable standard of living and/or buying a house and raising a family are important goals for you, the reality is that you need to pursue a career that will pay you enough to do so. It can also be the case that you're willing to take a well paid but otherwise unattractive job while you're young, so you have the freedom to do better things later in life.

The case for love

All the available evidence suggests that once you earn enough money to meet your basic needs, increasing salaries don't mean increasing happiness. A lot of high-paying positions mean long hours and lots of stress. And given work plays such an important part in our lives, it's difficult to feel fulfilled and happy if you're spending 40 or more hours a week doing something you don't like.

Is it possible to have both?

They say the secret to a good life is working out what you love to do and then finding someone who will pay you for it. Get the right qualifications, network constantly and devote time and effort to developing your career and, one day, you'll hopefully find yourself in a job that's both personally and financially rewarding.

If your dream career simply isn't paying the bills, or if you're looking for something that will make you smile every time you arrive at work, visit TAFE NSW and see the wide variety of courses on offer.