Career Motivations – Money or Job Satisfaction?

“All people, everyone, when they go to a job, it’s for the money. So I don’t understand why, when I said I play for the money, people were shocked.”
Benoit Assou Ekotto, 2010

Benoit Assou Ekotto is a current Premier League player for Tottenham Hotspur (contrary to belief they do have players other than a certain Mr Bale! Here is a picture of the both of them to prove it!).

A couple of years ago, while in interview, he came out with the above statement. Now this is not the usual rhetoric used by the modern day footballer. A typical example of an opposing view would be Alessandro Del Piero, he was once quoted as saying – “Money is not everything. My ambition was football itself, not the money I’d make from it“ (Metro 2010).

These statements raise the important question that we all at some point face – should I be motivated solely by financial gain, or should my future career path be influenced by the desire for job satisfaction?

We all follow the similar path, you go to school, get qualifications, continue to further education and then on to higher education. All for one purpose – to allow you to join the rat race and earn lots of lovely money! Let’s face it, as the saying goes – ‘money makes the world go round’, and if you lived without it… well you would soon notice that life isn’t all that fun!

However, we have all heard examples of wealthy city types leaving behind well paid jobs for a quieter, less well paid lifestyle in the countryside (You know who im talking about if you have ever watched an episode of Location, Location, Location?!), or those who leave well paid 9-5 jobs to follow their dream of start their own risk filled business venture.

You won’t be surprised to know that I can’t give you the definitive answer to that… everyone is different – for some people, the quest for money borders upon obsession, for others it is merely a necessary evil. And every now and then someone lands a job that they not only enjoy, but earn bucket loads from! For me personally, I would rather follow a career path that is slightly less well paid if it meant that I was in a job that was fulfilling and enjoyable. The thought of waking up in the morning dreading the forthcoming day is not something that I ever want to experience!

Now you may be thinking, “Sean – comparing the career choices of rich and famous to the average citizen is utterly pointless and irrelevant.” However, it is my belief that these decisions often provide perfect (albeit exaggerated) examples of real people facing real life career choices – just like you and me.

Below are several examples of celebrities and quotes on what motivates/has motivated them:

Julio Cesar (Footballer)
Recently QPR signed a new goalkeeper called Julio Cesar, in a shock move from Italian giants Internazionale, arguably a bigger club with the prestige of playing in the top European competitions.

The reasons for Julio leaving the Italian giants were widely reported to be financial, to which he acknowledged: “It all started during my summer vacation, when Inter suggested that I reduce my salary. No player in my situation would have done that.” (Metro 2012)

Happy Mondays (Band)
After the success of the multi-million earning Stone Roses reunion, fellow Manc band Happy Mondays also decided to get in on the action. However, maraca man Bez is quoted as saying “sometimes you have to hang your boots up gracefully” (Gigwise, 2012) and decided not to rejoin the band for one last money making jaunt.

Benoit Assou Ekotto (Footballer)
“I knew for a fact that I didn’t like school and I also knew that I didn’t want to work in an office where I would be paid €1,500-a-month and, at the end of my career, be able to buy a little suburban apartment or something”. (Guardian 2010)

Jimmy Carr (Comedian)
Jimmy gained employment in a marketing role at Shell, but ultimately hated it: “The most vulnerable I have ever felt was not on stage but when I left that secure job which everything about my upbringing had led me towards.” (Daily Mail 2010) – As you all probably know, it worked out well for Jimmy in the end, but this quote demonstrates that sometimes, money isn’t everything (not that I’m encouraging you all to jack in your planned career to be a stand up!!!)


What do you think? Do you agree with the initial statement? Do people just work for the money? Have you ever thought about the importance of job satisfaction to you?

Read more about the people mentioned above here


Posted on April 19, 2013, in Job hunting, Professional development and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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