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The Main Elements of a Paying Job

Updated: Apr 26

A man watching outside.

There are two main elements in having a paying job: income and the results of the role you have in that occupation, otherwise known as influence, power, or simply effect. The more of the latter you have, the likelier you are to reach a peak of satisfaction, provided that your income can sustain your living expenses.

Unfortunately, the main concern for many people is not the purpose of the job, but the simple desire to gain money. This ambition can sometimes lead to an unexpected and unwelcome disappointment.

I am not saying that gaining money is bad, nor that money is the root of all evil.

Money can help you survive and even prosper in this world, but can it truly serve as a satisfying source of existential meaning, even if we have too much money? I do not know. Perhaps some people just want to have a high and profitable income, not just an income that pays the bills, to compensate for their internal emptiness.

We are often taught that there can be too little money, but not too much of it. In a world where excessive money is associated with a higher worth in the social and romantic hierarchy, this is not necessarily justified.

In my opinion, having a job just for an income may be motivating, but it ignores so much of the importance of one's occupation and role, both to oneself and to the bigger picture of the world. Every occupation, after all, has some sort of importance, productivity, usage, and contribution. Even being a janitor is a meaningful job, because the janitor promotes hygiene and health, which are elementary values to our lives.

Regardless of income, every job can be considered important to some degree. It is important because it has some influence and assistance to the public, and, at times, even to oneself. If there weren't a necessity for a specific job, that job wouldn't exist in the first place.

Thinking more thoroughly about it, every moment in life can be seen as important because life is a structure of moments, and each moment affects the following moment and the moments after that moment. Why else would every moment be important? Because one can learn from every possible moment, and every moment has to lead to the next one, by the necessity and inevitability of chronological continuation.

So, at least for me, obtaining knowledge and creating wisdom out of it is much more important to me than my income. In fact, I only use my income for two main things: living (buying supplies, surfing the internet, paying the bills, all the things in daily life which require payment to ensure existence) and anything else that surrounds leisure and my work as a philosopher (Netflix and paying for Philosocom). For me, my income is not a meaning by itself, but the servant of my meaning, which I have decided to be my life's meaning, and that is being and developing myself as an ascetic intellectual.

Whenever I see news stories about the largely unnecessary and expensive things in life (spa treatments, concerts, expensive alcohol, exotic travel, nightclubs, and so forth), I often feel angry. Not because I cannot afford these things myself, as I do not want them, but because it is frustrating to see the common delusion that there is no such thing as too much money, and the ignorance of the fact that satisfaction can be easily reached at much cheaper prices, thus saving you much time at work, earning pay for the same result, but at a much cheaper price.

I assume that if I were to have a really high income, but less opportunities to indulge in intellectual issues and deeds, I would find myself having no “higher” meaning whatsoever, as no amount of riches can bring full satisfaction. Even financially rich and successful people may find a lack of meaning in their lives, just like the poor and the unfortunate. Thus, when comparing these two roles of a job, if its pay sustains your living successfully, the contribution and satisfaction should exceed its income, for there is such a thing as too much money.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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