Forget About the Money, Let’s Focus On The Passion!

By Stephanie Navasu

Not too long ago, I had a requirement for an entry-level Mechanical Engineer for a contract-to-hire position. The requirement asked for a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a willingness to learn. I was excited to work on this position because I love talking to and getting to know the next generation of engineers. Little did I know what was in store for me.

It’s very rare that I get the opportunity to staff for entry-level positions, as a majority of the requirements I get are for senior-level candidates with many, many years of experience, degrees, certifications, etc. So this was my opportunity to roll up my sleeves and build a network of and relationship with recent college grads. My first few calls were met with rather rude individuals, people who were only looking to see what was in it for themselves. They wanted to know how much the position would pay. How long was the contract? Would it be permanent? Was there paid time off? All this, even before I  had the opportunity to share the position details. I thought to myself, “Wow, this is an interesting generation of young people!” (And I’m not even that old, or at least I like to tell myself that!)

Having been recruiting in the Southern California region for almost 10 years, I found myself very discouraged by the newly graduated talent that was out there. Sure, they had some excellent credentials and received degrees from some of the very best schools in the country, yet I was saddened by their lack of enthusiasm for an opportunity, their lack of commitment or curiosity, and their interest in only money.

Don’t get me wrong, having a college degree proves that they took the time to invest in their education, that they got to study and learn from some of the greatest scholars in the country. But having a college degree doesn’t give anyone the right to expect a six-figure salary when they haven’t done much of anything in the industry yet to warrant that salary. Yes, we all have to work to pay bills and make ends meet. But your career should be about more than just the money–it should be about your passion, what makes you willing to get up every morning and the next, to tackle the day ahead.

I just ran across a surprising article about a young investment banker named Hayden Williams who got what everyone thinks they want–an important job and a huge salary. But after three years, when Williams got a promotion, he realized that he didn’t love his job and that the money alone was not fulfilling. Click here to read about how he quit his job, without knowing what he’d do next, and how it led to his starting a new business he feels passionate about!

Do you think there’s more to your career than just money? Next time a recruiter calls you with a job opportunity, here’s my advice: Take the time to consider what the recruiter has to say, not about the money or the benefits, but about the opportunity. Find out what you can learn from this position and what you might have to offer the company. When your next career opportunity arises, don’t focus first on the money–there will be time to talk about that later. Instead, think about why you even majored in a specific subject in the first place. When you focus on your passion, that’s when the real magic happens.

Do you fear getting stuck in a career? Read what one millennial has to say.

Amtec Bitz Newsletters

Essential industry highlights & expert insights every month.

Latest Posts

View all posts