Updated: Aug 25, 2019
There are two main elements in having a paying job: the income and the results of the role you have in that occupation. Unfortunately, the main care in many people’s priorities is not the purpose of the job, but the simple want to gain money. I’m not saying that gaining money is bad, nor money is the root of all evil. With money one can survive and even prosper and this world, but can it truly serve as a satisfying source to gain existential meaning from? I don’t know, perhaps some people just want to have the income, and not just an income - a high and profitable income that would compensate their internal emptiness.
In my opinion, having a job just for an income may be motivating, but it ignores so much the importance of one’s occupation and role both to himself and the bigger picture that is society. Every occupation 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. Regardless of income, every job can be considered important at some degree. It is important because it has some influence and assistance to the public, and, at times, even to yourself.
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 the said moment. Why else every moment is important? Because one can learn from every possible moment.
So, at least for me, obtaining knowledge and creating wisdom out of it is much more important for me than my income. In fact, I only use my income for 2 main things: living (buying supplies, surfing the net, all the things in daily life which require payment) and studying. For me, my income is not a meaning by itself, but the servant of my meaning I decided to be my life’s meaning, and that is being and developing myself as an intellectual.
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 lack of meaning in their lives, just like the poor and the unfortunate.