Nothing Wrong with Earning an Honest Living

What’s pride got to do with it?

For most of us, there are several factors that go into choosing what job we would like to have. Part of the motivation has to come from the compensation package, of course, because we do need that money in order to live. Another part of it may come from a matter of convenience, since you may be willing to take a pay cut if it means that you have a shorter commute to the office.

Another major component that many people consider is the level of prestige or class that goes with the job.

Assistant to the Regional Manager

That’s why some people are willing to take a lateral promotion if it means that they can get a more prestigious-sounding title, even if the salary remains exactly the same. I’m reminded of the episode of The Office where Dwight Shrute is “promoted” from “Assistant to the Regional Manager” to “Assistant Regional Manager.” It’s the exact same job with the same responsibilities and the same pay, but the latter title just “sounds” a little better.

While some people may say that the economy is slowly getting better, there are still many people out there who are getting laid off as a result of the recession. Making their way through the want ads, they may limit themselves to job postings that offer not only a comparable paycheque as their previous position, but also an equivalent level of prestige. If you were once an assistant regional manager at a major paper company, would you be willing to take a job as a garbage collector or a bathroom attendant?

A Dollar is a Dollar is a Dollar

Many of us would say no, but circumstances may dictate otherwise. The truth is that there is no shame in earning an honest living, so long as you are not sacrificing your ethical standards as a result. At some point, you may have to swallow your pride and cast your sense of entitlement aside. The world owes you nothing. If you need the money to pay the bills, then you need to do what you need to do in order to get that money, at least until you are able to find a job that better fits your career aspirations.

There is always something to be learned from new experiences. You may have to cut back on your spending, but that does not mean that there is no value to be extracted from working at the mall’s food court. In fact, it is through jobs like these that you can gain a greater appreciation for the work that they do, as well as a greater appreciation for the value of a dollar. There is no shame in a hard day’s work.

Putting Perspective on its Head

Ironically, the less prestigious job can be more lucrative too. It is a fact that many tradespeople, like plumbers and car mechanics, can make more money than their counterparts in three-piece suits. Whether you’re blue collar, white collar, or no collar doesn’t really matter. A freelance writer working from home can make more money than a columnist in a national newspaper, even if the latter may have a more positive public image.

It may be true that you shouldn’t “settle” for less than what you deserve, but at the same, you should feel no shame for earning an honest buck.