Happiness versus money: which would you choose?

The only way to do great work is to love the job you have.

Although I had switched through so many majors like Johnny Depp changes characters, I was determined to make it through this major: Nursing. I believed that I would get to help people and also make a decent amount of money while doing it. It was a win-win situation. Or so I thought.

So I went through the motions. I signed up for three hard science classes I’d need to complete before the spring semester, which was suicide in itself. And then I went and signed up to volunteer at a hospital near me. I was excited to see what my possible work environment would be like.

And boy was I in for a rude awakening. I was placed in the Emergency Department, so I had the job of showing people back to the rooms of their loved ones, wheeling people back who actually needed treatment and more.

But all I could see were those gray walls of doom staring back at me, the beeping of the machines, and the constant edginess that people tended to get when being in an ER. I didn’t blame them.

This didn’t deter me yet. I was still determined, albeit a bit intimidated and questioning my life choices, but I still wanted to go through with it. I wanted to be a provider. At least, until I had a conversation with a nurse that changed everything.

For anonymity sake, we’ll call her Tina. Tina was a full-time nurse who informed me she worked four, 12-hour shifts a week. She still had three days off, but she got called in often and informed me that she sometimes regretted becoming a nurse.

She couldn’t see her kids as often as she would have with perhaps another job. She told me that patients clawed, bit, screamed, and spit at nurses all the time, and she often finds herself cleaning up people who show no gratitude and yelled at her anyways.

It was draining, she said. Eventually, you become emotionally numb. If you want to help people, but you don’t have a strong mental barrier, you wouldn’t survive and would most likely crumble under the pressure.

But she didn’t completely regret her decision. She managed to get over every obstacle to get where she is now. By becoming mentally strong, she was able to get through her days easily. She did love helping people in general, she loved her co-workers, and it was overall a mostly-satisfying job.

For the record, I am not trying to dissuade anyone from becoming a nurse or pursuing any job in the medical field. I am also not attempting to downplay the job or say it’s awful. It just isn’t for everyone, including myself.

Months ago, I made a decision that would forever guarantee I probably wouldn’t be the moneymaker of the family. I decided to pursue my true, satisfying career: Book editing and publishing.

I know what you’re thinking. But I love reading, I love writing, and I love editing. My dream was always to work for a book publisher for fantasy books. And now I’m planning to do it.

Love your job, and you will succeed. That is my moto daily now, because I truly believe I can bring in the cash for this job if I put in as much effort into it as I believe I will.

Jessica Mack

Co-Editor in Chief at JJC Blazer
Jessica took the role of Co-Editor along with Sean O'Dell in fall 2018. She is planning to graduate in spring of 2019 and transfer to Depaul University where she plans to major in English.

Jessica has always had a love for writing and editing.

Jessica Mack

Jessica took the role of Co-Editor along with Sean O'Dell in fall 2018. She is planning to graduate in spring of 2019 and transfer to Depaul University where she plans to major in English. Jessica has always had a love for writing and editing.