When looking at the popular music, movies, and literature of today’s society, one frequently comes across some version of this common message: “Follow your heart and do what makes you happy.” Teachers often reinforce this message by telling students to use their passions to guide their college and career choices. Students tend to work harder and be happier when they focus on careers that align with their interests. While this is helpful advice, if it is not also paired with sound financial education and planning it can lead to disappointment and financial instability.
Use Community Forums: School administrators can use community resources to help students align their passions with careers that will allow them to support themselves financially. One option is to host monthly career panels that invite members of the community to share their career experiences with the students to ensure variety. Each month should focus on a different field such as computer science, medicine, writing, music, and hospitality. Panelists can share their educational background, the growth potential in their fields, and realistic salary expectations. Students should be encouraged to attend panels that match their interests. They can see all career options available to them in their chosen field and get an accurate idea of how much they can expect to earn. These panels help to expose students to different career options while allowing them to assess whether or not their dream job will allow them to provide for themselves and achieve financial stability.
It is possible for students to follow their passions and earn a respectable wage. Schools can help students find this balance by creating forums that allow students to network with community members and learn about career options that they may not have known were possible. “Follow your heart and do what makes you happy,” while making money is an attainable goal.