Just how important is it to love what you do for a living?
Answer: Very important when it comes to happiness and wealth. Those who love their jobs make more money, accumulate more wealth and are happier than those who don’t love what they do for a living.
According to a 2012 survey conducted by “Big 4” accounting firm Deloitte, 80% of those surveyed did not like their jobs. In another survey conducted by Gallup in 2013, 63% of the 230,000 employees in the survey said they were unhappy with their jobs.
When I analyzed the data I gathered in my study on the habits of the rich and poor, there was a direct correlation between job satisfaction and wealth accumulation. Here’s some of that data:
- 96% of the poor did not like what they did for a living.
- 86% of the rich liked what they did for a living.
- 7% of the rich loved what they did for a living.
What interested me more about the data I gathered on the rich was how much wealth they were able to accumulate and how long it took them to accumulate that wealth:
Rich People Who Liked Their Job
Eighty Six percent of the rich people in my Rich Habits study liked what they did for a living. It’s clear, from my data, that in order to become wealthy you must at least like what you do for a living. Those rich people who at least liked what they did for a living accumulated an average of $3.4 million. It took them thirty two years to accumulate their wealth.
Rich People Who Loved Their Job
Only 7% of the rich people in my study loved what they did for a living. But what shocked me was how important loving what you do for a living is to wealth accumulation. Those rich people who loved what they did for a living accumulated an average of $7.4 million or $4 million more than the wealthy who liked their jobs. It took this group of rich people twelve years to accumulate their wealth, or twenty fewer years than the first group.
When you compare these two groups, it’s startling how important loving what you do for a living is with respect to wealth accumulation. The group who loved their jobs accumulated more than twice the wealth of the group that liked their jobs and it took them about a third of the time to get there.
When I continued to dig, I found out why. Those who loved what they did for a living worked an average of fifty eight hours per week. Those who liked what they did for a living worked an average of fifty one hours per week, or seven hours less per week. That’s a difference of approximately 336 additional hours a year that the job lovers worked.
Some might argue that the rich love what they do for a living because they make a lot of money. In other words, the money made them love their job. My response to this is to consider that it took an average of twelve years for those who loved their jobs to become rich. For twelve years they were not rich and they had no way of knowing if the job they loved would make them rich. There was no crystal ball they could look into that would tell them to keep at it because they would eventually ring the bell. These rich people were so passionate about what they did for a living that their only real goal was to make enough money to pay their living expenses so that they could continue doing the work they loved.
I think the real question is this: If the rich did not make enough money to meet their living expenses would they still do what they love? Thankfully, I have some research on this. Sixty five percent of the self-made millionaires in my study had side jobs or side businesses that provided additional streams of income, which allowed them to continue pursuing their dream job. Twenty seven percent had a spouse who worked full-time or part-time to help carry the financial load until the millionaires made enough money at their dream job to allow their family to survive financially. There is clearly a financial risk doing something you love. It’s the risk of not making enough money to provide for your family. Self-made millionaires become rich because they are willing to take that risk and, in some cases, so too are their spouses.
There are five takeaways, or lessons, from my research regarding pursuing a dream job:
Lesson #1 – When you love what you do for a living you’ll spend more time doing it.
Lesson #2 – When you spend more time doing what you love to do for a living, you’ll get better at doing it.
Lesson #3 – When you are better at what you do than your competition, the world will pay you more money.
Lesson #4 – When you make more money than your competition, you can accumulate more wealth in a shorter period of time.
The final lesson, I believe, sums everything up:
Lesson #5 – If you want to become richer quicker, find a job that you love and never quit.