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Ask Dave

Money Vs. Happiness

Katherine was laid off and found her calling, but it pays much less. Should she feel guilty for pursuing it?

QUESTION: Katherine lost her job as a lawyer in October. She had a 5-month severance period and during this time found her passion. She says she’s a lot happier, but is worried about her $385,000 of debt. Her husband makes $130,000. Dave encourages her to do more soul searching and find out why she can use her passion to her advantage.

ANSWER: It’s not a question of whether you can make it or not, it’s about you feeling guilty because of this income potential. You don’t know why you were drawn to the law profession, but it was something. Maybe it was the logical process, maybe a sense of justice and fairness, maybe something else. If you can discover what that is, you can flesh out the use of your law degree in a fun and fulfilling way, your calling.

Do some more soul searching and find what brought you to here. Ask yourself how you can use this degree in a way that you enjoy. Ask yourself how you can take those good components and use them. If you hate traditional lawyer business, I would have no guilt over walking away from that. But I would have conviction to go be all God wants me to be. He gave you skills and education, so what can you do with it that will make you glad to get up each morning? Give yourself some slack in the short-term about this, but be doing what you want in 10 years.