Written By
Max Brown


What’s the first rule of the job hunt?

The first rule of a job hunt is to follow your passion. Why is that important? We spend around one third of our lives at work. In fact, some people would argue that you should put all the effort of your career pursuits into the singular focus of achieving your dream job, no matter the monetary cost. In an ideal situation, this would be the correct strategy. In the real world, the one with rent, insurance, and student loan payments, it’s easy to swing the pendulum too far in the opposite direction and only focus on money. After all, money can’t buy happiness, but a lack of money can cause stress. As the New York Times’ Robert H. Frank points out, the path to career and life happiness is actually a bit more nuanced than that.

Comparing two nearly identical jobs, where the only difference is money, is a pretty easy process. However, we don’t have that luxury of purely black and white situations. Most jobs exist on a continuum of grey hues. Now the question is whether a particular position meets someone’s basic Maslow Hierarchy needs. Once that’s established, we can take a closer look at the job itself as a unique entity. Does this position align with your goals? Your values? Does it give you enough autonomy and a pleasant work environment? What is the natural career path, and do you feel passionate about the mission of the company? Perhaps most importantly, is this a job that lets the hours melt away on the clock as you happily solve a problem, working in a “flow” state? Because the value of passion in the workplace is, for now, incalculable.

For the full story, continue reading on NYT.com.