During a conversation with my manager this morning, she mentioned that her manager– the district manager– had told her that “We want people who are passionate about our products. We don’t want people working here if they’re doing it for the money.”
To which the manager (internally, because she doesn’t want to be fired), went “you’ve got to be fucking shitting me.”
Here’s the thing: it is totally possible to do a job for the passion and not be obsessively thinking about the money every minute of every day. In fact, there have been economic studies regarding that very thing.
You know when it starts?
When the employee in question is making $50-75k per year.*
That’s the starting point of financial security. That’s the point when you’re fairly secure that you’re going to have rent, food, and basic living expenses covered.
I’ve worked a lot of jobs over the years. A lot.
I saw the same working as a freelancer– when I charged lower rates, my clients treated me like shit and acted like they were doing me a favor; when I charged more, they respected me as a professional. A newspaper that started out paying me above market wage also treated me very kindly, because they started with the assumption that I was a human being who needs to eat.
In my experience, the employers that insist that your job be your “passion” are also the ones that pay you nothing and treat you like garbage. It’s exactly like abusive people, who tell you that you would put up with their abuse if you “loved them enough”. It’s a way of convincing the victim that they’re responsible for their own mistreatment, which is absolutely fucked up.
Here’s my advice to you:
It is absolutely okay to take a job that doesn’t pay you what you deserve– you’ve got to eat, after all. But don’t think for a second that you have a responsibility to that job. If you see something available that pays better and treats you better, take it and don’t look back. Don’t waste an ounce of sympathy for employers who try to convince you that passion is an acceptable substitute for survival.