The Money is the Motive

By: K. Denise Richardson

“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” With that in mind, I’ve worked every single day for the past two years. Like many of my peers and even my elders, money has been the motivation for the jobs I’ve pursued. Logically, if it didn’t make dollars, it didn’t make sense …until recently. As I have completed the right of passage into womanhood, I have realized that life isn’t just about the almighty dollar.

A large majority of my life, I have been intermixed with the entertainment industry. Having a vibrant inner circle that includes musicians and professional athletes makes for many a life lesson. I’ve been exposed to more than my share of “celebrities”, but this is my life and these people are honestly just family to me.

Leaving home, I knew I wanted to do what no one in my family has ever done. My natural course of action was going to be Business, with an emphasis in Finance. After a few semesters at Emory University, I learned that I did NOT want to follow that route. I changed my major to International Economics, with a second major in French. Something about being the one to match a consumer with a product gave me thrills. Not to mention, being bilingual is pretty hot!

Since graduation I’ve worked as a Pricing Specialist, which in turn, opened a new door for me as a Functional Consultant. Over the past two years, I have been very fulfilled financially — professionally, not so much. Money was the most important thing to me after graduation. I never realized you could enjoy work, so I made sure to make more than enough money to enjoy whatever I wanted after my 9 to 5 (more like 8:30 to 6:30 or 7) was over. I would complain to my Mom who always reminded me that it was a recession, while my short attention span didn’t help either. “Stick it out, you’re getting paid aren’t you?“ was the response from most people I complained to. Job security wasn’t even a factor in my mind. I was UNHAPPY! I had enthusiasm, freshness, and creativity that wasn’t even being tapped into.  As young professionals, we’re conflicted with the forced demands of the real world vs. following our passions –it’s a tough cookie.

One day on my way to work, I was scrolling through my Blackberry reviewing my To-Do List for the week. I literally burst into tears at the thought of another dreaded work week. I was tired of prostituting myself –doing a job for the sole purpose of the money I received. I prayed about it while simultaneously sending out my resume for Marketing and Public Relations jobs …all from my car. Thank God for Wi-Fi!

I know that ultimately, if you’re doing what you’re meant to do, doors will open. Life is too great to be unhappy for 8 hours a day for the rest of your life, then complain to anyone with two ears. I wanted to be somewhere I knew I could make a difference. My goal was to “be emerged in a diverse atmosphere with a fusion of perspectives and ideas, while contributing my own.” (Quoted from my heartfelt cover letter) I was hired on the spot for TWS The UnAgency, and I must say that I haven’t been unhappy a day since. I feel so comfortable and have met some wonderful people while expanding my network in just a short time. I am gathering a solid knowledge base on which I plan to build my career in Entertainment PR & Marketing, an industry I wanted to have nothing to do with so many years ago but I can’t deny my roots. I know what I am meant to do and I refuse to do anything else. The long hours and small, yet meaningful tasks in this industry still turn me on. I am fulfilled. These experiences are testing my courage, broadening my empathy, and teaching me essential lessons about myself. Now, Money is no longer the Motive, it’s just an added and much appreciated bonus.

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10 responses to “The Money is the Motive

  1. Wow! I completely agree. We all know money buys you freedom and there is nothing more a young person wants than precisely that! Why limit yourself when you can have it all- sky’s the limit, right? I think in in the race to make it to the top, we forget what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. Who wants to make a lot of money but be unhappy doing it? Talk about an unfulfilling life! It’s great that at such a young age you realized the life you had begun to create for yourself wasn’t the life you were meant to live. Sometimes it really takes having a “moment” and re-evaluating all the things that make you who you are and your motivations. Money is always nice, but happiness is required and the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

  2. Keri – LOVE THIS! Thanks for sharing your journey to find a suitable career that feeds your soul. I got goose bumps reading this!

  3. wow girl i just read your post and it is AWESOME it really touches on important points for all young people in the job market today… shoot not even just young… everyone in the job market. I mean you are totally right, why do something just for the money when you are not happy, are you really enjoying your life? to just wake up to go to a job that you hate… to live for the weekend… and then the whole time you are dreading the coming of MONDAY…. F that!… Im proud of you. I had to do the same thing like I just need to do what I WANT to do forget about monetary gain… cause like you said once you are on your correct path things have a way of falling into place…

  4. It’s not often I’m inspired 4rm a blog, but that was the best thing I’ve read all week.Wish u nothin but happiness

  5. solid article. def words to live by.

  6. OMG!!! That was so true and the story of my life. I am at work right now trying not to tear up over that. I know I should feel blessed to be employed in this day and age, but you took the words right out of my mouth. Anyways, I interview tomorrow with a yet to be disclosed company, so pray for me (or at least cross your fingers lol). GREAT POST!

  7. Inspirational, informative, and so important for me to hear as I begin to venture out into the “real world” this May! I’m so proud of you Keri!

    Kudos and keep writing!

  8. Great piece! Money should never be the single purpose for anything. Like my pastor said one Sunday “money should be used as a tool; you should not love money”. With that being said any salary is a mere ‘tool’ to pay bills, help others, invest, etc. It will not talk back to you when you have problems or meet you for Sunday brunch. I’m so happy for you & when you do what you love, you do it well because you’re striving.

  9. Yes! This is soo true for so many of us and our peers. Great to see that you are now on the other side among the happy minority. Congrats and keep it up!

  10. Dude, this article definitely spoke to me. I cant imagine doing what I’m doing for another year let alone the rest of my life. Some serious soul searching is in order. Thanks for pointing me to this. Great article btw…

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