WHAT COMES FIRST? PASSION OR MONEY?

Ce este mai important pentru voi? Un serviciu care va aduce satisfactie sau un serviciu mai bine platit? Va rog sa nu il lasti pe idealistul din voi sa raspunda singur pentru ca deja stiu raspunsul: un serviciu care iti aduce mai multa satisfactie.

Am fost in ambele situatii, si oricat de cinic ar suna, voi alege mereu un salariu mai bun si beneficii, in ciuda satisfactiei. Nu ma intelegeti gresit, este foarte bine sa ai un serviciu la care te duci de drag, dar numai cativa dintre noi sunt destul de norocosi sa imbine placerea cu un salariu bun. Asa ca iata punctul meu de vedere:

What is more important to you? A job that brings you satisfaction or a job that delivers more in terms of money? Now please, don’t let the idealist in you answer this question alone, because I already know the answer: job satisfaction.

I was in both situations and as cynical as it may sound, I will always choose a better salary and job perks over high job satisfaction. Don’t get me wrong, loving what you do has major benefits, but only a few of us are lucky enough to do what they love and make good money out of it. So hear me out:

two man and two woman standing on green grass field
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Sa incepem cu primul meu serviciu, cariera pe care am ales-o cu sufletul si una dintre cele mai mari realizari din viata mea. Am terminat facultate de jurnalism, pentru ca dintotdeauna mi-am dorit sa lucrez la sport. In primul an de facultate m-am angajat ca intern in media si dupa numai cateva luni in care am invatat cu ce se mananca meseria asta mi-am vazut visul cu ochii: am ajuns reporter sportiv la una dintre cele mai importante televiziuni. In urmatorii 10 ani am fost pe rand reporter, redactor si mai apoi editor senior.

La inceput salariul era mizerabil, dar de-a lungul anilor a mai crescut. Ca senior, veniturile mele au crescut o data cu responsabilitatile si satisfactia profesionala. Dar luand in considerare toate sacrificiile: timp liber inexistent, ore suplimentare pana spre dimineata, sarbatori petrecute departe de familie si multe evenimente din viata prietenilor la care eu nu am putut participa … salariul era infect. Nu imi ramaneau bani de la o luna la alta. Dar toate astea nu contau, pentru ca imi urmam visul. Nicio zi nu era ca alta in redactie si nu exista nici macar un singur moment de plictiseala. Imi traiam visul copilariei. Pasiunea m-a ajutat sa nu ma simt niciodata obosita, nici macar dupa ture epuizante de 14 ore. Din afara totul parea perfect … sau poate nu era chiar asa.

Let’s start with my first job, the career I chose with my soul and one of my biggest achievements in life. I majored in journalism, as I always wanted to work in sports. During my first year of college, I got an entry-level job in media and after only a few months of learning the ropes, I landed the job of my dreams: sports reporter for a well-known television channel. During the next almost 10 years I went from being a reporter to a news writer and a senior editor, calling the shots in terms of content and broadcasting.

At the beginning the pay was miserable, but I worked my way up over the years. During my senior years, my income grew along with my responsibilities and my professional satisfaction. But considering all the sacrifices I had to make: barley no free time, working crazy and long hours, giving up on holidays with my family or missing out on important events in my friends’ lives … the pay was miserable. I never had any money left from one month to another. In the end, these did not matter, I was pursuing my passion. One day was never like the other and things were never dull in the newsroom. I was living my dream and my childhood self would have been proud of me. My passion drove me to never fell tired, not even after a 14-hour shift. Things seemed perfect … or were they?

photo of a woman thinking
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Dezamagirea legata de faptul ca nu eram platita conform muncii mele, atmosfera care s-a tot deteriorat in cadrul echipei si multe posturi care au fost taiate rand pe rand ma faceau sa ma simt la munca precum intr-un cosmar. Dupa aproape noua ani de munca, doar pasiunea ma mai tinea in redactie. Eram atat de convinsa ca pasiunea e totul incat pentru un an am continuat sa lucrez acolo, desi de fiecare data cand ajungeam la munca simteam ca o sa fac un atac de panica. Presiunea care tot crestea si frica pe care o simteam nu m-au oprit sa merg inainte. Acum cand ma uit inapoi, realizez ca daca un anumit lant de evenimente nu s-ar fi desfasurat independent de vointa mea, probabil ca inca as fi fost acolo in ciuda problemelor grave. Totul in numele pasiunii si pentru ca nu am vrut sa ma dezamagesc pe mine … Disappointment over what I was earning and how much I was working, a declining atmosphere in my team and job severances made going back to work feel like a nightmare. After almost nine years of hard work, my passion was the only thing keeping me at my job. I was so convinced that passion is what matters most over anything else that for a full year I kept going back there, even if whenever I stepped foot in the newsroom I was one step closer to an anxiety attack. Still, the growing pressure and paralyzing fear have not stopped me from moving forward. Looking back, I realize that if a certain chain of events would not have been set in motion independently of my will, I would probably still be there, one step closer to mental illness. In the name of passion and not wanting to let myself down…
adult alone anxious black and white
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Dar viata avea alte planuri. Aproape de aniversarea de zece ani la locul de munca, am fost concediata, impreuna cu toata echipa mea. Si locurile noastre de munca au disparut si desi mi-a fost oferit un loc in alt departament, am avut in sfarsit curajul sa spun NU. Trebuia sa renunt la departamentul de sport si sa ma mut la stiri. Nu imi placea nici locul, nici oamenii. Si m-am intrebat: “Daca nici macar pasiunea pentru sport nu imi mai aducea satisfactie, ce se va intampla intr-un loc in care nu vreau sa lucrez?” Asa ca am mers mai departe. Speriata, fara loc de munca si cu chirie de platit, am uitat in acesti zece ani cum e sa te duci la un interviu si nu mai stiam nici care sunt cerintele de pe piata muncii. Chiar si asa, m-am simtit libera cand in sfarsit am semnat lichidarea. But life had other plans. Close to my 10th-year anniversary, together with my whole team, I was fired. Our jobs were severed too and while I was offered a place in another department, I finally had the courage to say NO. I would have had to give up on writing about sports and move in the breaking news department. I did not like that place or the people working there. And I asked myself: “If not even passion sheltered me in the sports department what will happen in a place I don’t want to be in?” So I moved on. Scared, jobless and with a rent to pay, having forgotten in these ten years what a job interview feels like, and completely cut off from the work market requirements. Still, I felt free when I finally signed the papers that released me.
woman stands on mountain over field under cloudy sky at sunrise
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Am mers mai departe, plina de teama, dar usurata. M-am gandit ce vreau sa fac mai departe si am realizat ca nu mai vreau sa lucrez in presa. Aveam nevoie de ceva nou. Am incercat in PR, comunicare si publicitate, dar nu am gasit un post potrivit. Din nou, viata avea un alt plan pentru mine. I moved on, full of fear, but relieved. I thought about what I want to do next. I realized mass media was out of the question. I needed to start fresh. I pursued some jobs in PR, communications, and advertising but nothing good came out of the interviews. Again, life had other plans.
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Intr-o zi am primit un telefon de la o recrutoare, care avea disponibil un port de technical writer pentru o companie IT. Mi-a gasit cv-ul, mi-a trimis detaliile postului pe mail si mi-a propus o intalnire. Nu i-am zis niciodata, dar habar nu aveam ce naiba e un technical writer. Am cautat pe google, am citit descrierea postului si m-am gandit serios: “Pot sa fac asta?” Mi-a placut faptul ca implica scrisul, una dintre pasiunile mele si tehnologia (chiar si fara o educatie in acest camp, mereu am avut o aplecare catre chestiile tehnice). Asa ca mi-am zis: “Ok, o sa incerc sa ma duc la interviu, doar ca sa aflu mai multe detalii”. Dupa ce am trecut de toate etapele si am pus o multime de intrebari (voiam sa ma asigur ca e un loc de munca potrivit pentru mine) am semnat contractul si am inceput o noua cariera.

Salariul meu nu a fost fantastic la inceput, dar am realizat destul de repede ca ma pricep la acest job. Sunt foarte organizata, invat repede, si deja stiam sa exprim scurt si la obiect cele mai importante concepte. Aceasta a fost combinatia castigatoare pentru mine.

One day, I got a call from a job recruiter that was seeking a technical writer for a tech company. She came across my resume, sent me the job details over email and gave me the chance to consider an interview. I never told her, but I had no idea what the heck is a technical writer. So I googled it, I read the job description and gave it some serious thought: “Am I able to do this?” It excited me because at least it involved writing, one of my passions, and technology (even with no formal education in this field, I always was tech-savvy). So I thought: “Ok, I am going to give this a chance, and at least go to the interview for more details”. After passing the interviews and asking all the important questions (I really wanted to make sure I can do this job) I signed the papers and embarked on a new career.

The pay was not so great at the beginning, but I discovered fast enough that I was good at this job. My organizational and quick learning skills combined with a career in media that taught me more than clear writing proved to be a winner combination.

person holding chocolate bar near laptop
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Patru ani mai tarziu sunt din nou intr-o pozitie de senior, cu un salariu foarte bun (undeva la 50 la suta mai mult decat salariul din media). Acest lucru, plus celelalte beneficii (bonusuri, program de la 9-5, weekenduri si sarbatori libere, 23 de zile de concediu si abonamente si asigurari medicale) imi ofera o altfel de satisfactie: financiara. Acum castig un salariu din care reusesc sa economisesc si sa o ajut si pe mama. Am mult mai multa siguranta financiara dar si un program normal de lucru.

Iau cina saptamana cu prietenii mei, care imi amintesc fara incetare de anii trecuti. Atunci, oricand ma sunau, primul lucru pe care il auzeam nu era “Buna, ce faci?”, asa cum era normal, ci “Buna, lucrezi? Poti sa vorbesti o clipa cu mine?”. Acum imi petrec Craciunul cu familia si am si libertatea sa imi aleg singura  perioada de concediu.

Am aceeasi satisfactie aici? IUBESC ce fac? Simt ca munca mea este speciala? Nu simt aceste lucruri. Dar am invatat din toata experienta asta ca uneori prea multa pasiune se poate transforma in otrava.

Four years later I find myself again in a senior position, with a very satisfying salary (almost 50 percent higher than what I was making at my former job). This, combined with all the other job perks (bonuses, working from 9-5, free weekends and holidays, 23 vacation days, medical subscriptions and insurances) gives me some other kind of satisfaction: financial. I now earn a salary which allows me to save money monthly and also help my mother. It provides security and a normal schedule.

I have weekly dinners with my friends that never cease to remind me of the past years. Back then, whenever they would call me the first thing I heard was not “Hello, how are you?” but “Hello, are you at work, can we talk for a moment?” I sit around the table with my family for Christmas and I am able to actually choose my vacation days.

Do I get the same satisfaction from this job? Do I LOVE what I do? Do I feel that I make a difference? No, I don’t. But what I learned from all this is that sometimes too much passion can turn to poison.

purple liquid poison on brown wooden surface
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Asa ca oricand aveti de ales intr-o cariera care ofera satisfactie si mai multi bani, luati toate lucrurile in considerare. Peste ani lucrurile se schimba chiar si la un loc de munca atragator la prima vedere. Acum ma lupt si cu niste probleme de sanatate declansate de programul dezordonat, lipsa meselor regulate si stressul continuu de la fostul loc de munca. E o lectie grea, pe care eu am invatat-o prea tarziu, dar ce am pierdut cu adevarat sunt momentele si relatiile pe care pasiunea mi le-a furat in toti acesti ani. So whenever you are faced with a career choice that makes you choose between satisfaction and more money, take all the things into account and remember that over the years jobs change, no matter how enticing they might look at the beginning. Right now I am also dealing with some health issues triggered by my former messy schedule, skipped meals and constant stress I was dealing with. It’s a hard lesson I learned too late, but what I miss the most are the lost moments and relationships that passion claimed in my name in those ten years.

 

9 thoughts on “WHAT COMES FIRST? PASSION OR MONEY?

  1. Where are you now, ie where is this job? It’s a very interesting post but I’d like to put it into context. I’m now retired but have been technical journalist, technical writer and general journalist and still like to write, most days – fact, fiction and something neither one nor the other. O zi bună!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. It read rather like you were somewhere else and your English is so good I would not know, as a former teacher of English, that it was not your mother tongue as the very few ‘mistakes’ are no more than many native speakers would make nowadays.

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      2. Thank you so much for your comment. You have no idea how much it means. I always have insecurities because I never took one English class in my entire life. At school, I studied German, French and Italian. I wanted to learn English so I studied at home using books and audio tapes.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well Adriana that is quite amazing. I can read and understand spoken Romanian pretty well but writing it is something else. I never had a lesson in your language either but I did live there for 11.1/2 years and since I left in 2004 have spent every summer but one there, most of the time in Bucovina, which I love.

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    1. I noticed that most Romanians have an innate ability to learn foreign languages.
      Speaking is easier but from my point of view, Romanian is harder to learn than other romance languages. This applies to writing mostly, because we have more letters than the English alphabet and sometimes even native speakers use the wrong form for ă, î , â or misspell words.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are of course right about the ability of Romanians to learn another language. My wife Petronela, arriving in UK with me with only eight words of English, took just a year to learn English well enough to teach her subject, history, in high school here.
        Oddly, in a recent post I referred to the problem of knowing whether to use ‘a’, ‘ă’ or ‘â’:
        https://grumpytyke.com/2018/11/04/a-beginners-update-on-duolingo-japanese-and-romanian-warning-about-advertisements/
        However that is not the major problem as so much Romanian is now written without the diacriticals and it will be understood. A far bigger problem is all those pronouns scattered about which still baffles me (so I just leave them out 😃) and it is a reverse problem for Romanians who will often say, eg, “The water it is cold”. Petronela still does it frequently after 14 years here.
        In an attempt to improve my writing of Romanian I recently embarked on a duolingo Romanian course. I’m racing through it making few mistakes so far but the English in the course really needs to be of a higher standard, such as yours.
        It is not only that it is often ‘clumsy’, eg if I translate “Pereții garajului sunt galbeni” I will be marked incorrect if I answer “The garage walls are yellow”, only getting ‘correct’ if I answer “The walls of the garage are yellow”, which we would pretty well never say. Another problem is incorrect use of ‘at’, ‘to’, ‘from’ etc.
        And, the course developers seem almost not to have heard of ‘present continuous’ as ‘present simple’ is almost always used though often it is inappropriate.
        These are three problems which I spent a lot of time ensuring my Romanian students did not make.
        Your blog is really useful for me as I read the Romanian, referring to the English only if I am ‘stuck’. But when I do it’s good to know it will be ‘correct’.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for explaining exactly what are your struggles with learning Romanian. I always wondered how it feels like to be on the other side of the fence when it comes to Romanian.
        Regarding the learning abilities, I don’t know how the educational system works in the UK, but in Romania learning a foreign language is taken very seriously from a young age. We do not speak a widespread language so it’s only natural to learn other languages. English, on the other hand, is basically the new universal language so I think most native speakers don’t really feel the need to learn a second language.
        I also use Duolingo to practice and improve my Spanish and I always come across situations like the one you are describing. It’s so frustrating, but then again Duolingo’s purpose is to just familiarize you with some basics. Gaining further knowledge also means putting more effort and time into learning.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. ‘Traditionally’ learning a foreign language was not so important in the English education system – it seems to me it was regarded more of an academic exercise with the ‘top stream’ having Latin classes. As English was the universal language learning others seemed to be unimportant. However more recently as Spanish and Chinese are growing in importance these two languages are being studied more and more, also to some extent Japanese. My decision to learn a little Japanese was just for a bit of fun ‘brain exercise’ – not very serious.

        Liked by 1 person

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