May 28, 2016

What Happens When You’re Faced with Every Millennial’s Problem: Passion or Financial Stability?

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Welcome to Ask Poppy! I’m Poppy, your go-to girl for all of life’s woes. And when I say ALL, I MEAN IT. I’m not an expert on anything except maybe for being me, which makes me totally qualified to do this.


Hi there. I hope you are well. I am writing to you to help me figure out a choice I have to make soon.

Right now, I have a job THAT I ABSOLUTELY LOVE. It’s not a terribly exciting job nor is it one-of-a-kind. But I love it because it caters to my passion. Even on horrible days when all my bosses get mad at me and then I go home late only to wake up extra early, I still love it. I know, it’s crazy. But somehow, I have been lucky in this regard. In fact, I don’t only see it as a job, I see it as my career. I see it as something I want to be good at and be recognized for a couple of years from now.

The pay is really shitty though. No bull, just being really blunt about it. And isn’t that the case for some passion jobs most often?

Down the road, I look at investments, insurance, and other things I need to live past this paycheck to paycheck life I have. And unless a miracle happens, this job won’t really give me that.

I keep hoping that maybe I can make it work by being extra smart with my money or looking for side projects to help me get past another pay period. But with the economy and other reasons, I still come up short.

Plus, one of my family members recently offered me a job which offers double my pay. In a few years’ time, the returns of that job will steadily increase. It is much more stable, financially secure, and in every sense of the word, more practical. It is, however, something not like my current job and I don’t even know if I do see myself enjoying it.

I am trying to think if I can just opt to work in that position for a few years until I have enough money in my savings that I can just go back to this passion I have—the current job I have.

On the other hand, I know that if I leave this job I have now, I would have lost the progression I’ve built in the industry. I would cut the momentum I have to be promoted and to slowly move my career forward. And the thing is, I have worked in a job I absolutely hated before, so I know the feeling of working just for the sake of being able to do something, not working as though you’ve found your calling… or whatever cheesy way people put it.

In a weird way, I am one of those people who believes that a big paycheck doesn’t add up to anything if it means killing your soul every day. Or losing your will to live slowly and only “living on the weekends.” If you find something you are excited to wake up for in the morning, then maybe, you’ve found everything you’ll ever need. Monetary problems and material possessions can be steadily earned anyway. Am I being naïve or too optimistic? I think that’s really my problem as well. I don’t know if I insist on looking through rose-colored glasses when it’s so damn overcast ahead.

Let me know what you think, Poppy. Help a B out.



Hey, B!

You’re not being naïve, it’s simply what you call loving what you’re doing. Now, are you being too optimistic? Haha, yeah, girl.

You see, a lot of us spend all our lives looking for that one thing that gives us a reason to wake up every damn morning. A lot of us don’t find it. We spend years, even lifetimes getting stuck on something that we’re really not meant for. Finding something that you’re passionate about at such an early stage of your life is pretty damn fascinating. I’m saying this because until now, I’m not really sure if what I’m doing is exactly what I want to be.

Looking back on the past jobs I’ve had, I always go through the same notions. At first, I love it. Enamored by what I do. I believe that this is my destiny, my calling, what I spent all those years toiling in college—this is what it’s for. But then you get tired doing the same sh*t over and over again. That’s when I start telling myself that I’m destined for better things. Much, much better things.

People would tell you, you’re not meant to love your job. Part of it is true. I love what I’m doing, but a part of me also wants to f*ck sh*t up and do nothing else. I’ve had jobs that made me miserable as hell. I’ve had jobs that was fun at the start, but once you’re exposed to all the crap, you start seeing how the people around you are really incompetent twats.

I can’t love a job 100 percent because I have no capacity to give in to it completely. I’m moody and I hate seeing people. I work at my own pace, but I make sure I get sh*t done. If I can do it alone, I’d probably do it without caring about your opinion. I’m not a team player, I just want to do my shit. The pace of the work environment, especially in the industry I’m working in right now, is so f*cking cutthroat that I can’t really tell if I’m doing the right things at the right time. Right now, I’m in the middle of a bustling set for a major thing, but here I am tap-tap-tapping on my keyboard, writing down a column that nobody at work knows about. (Or maybe they do?)

“So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.”

– Office Space

But the thing about my current job (aside from the fact that I can work anywhere) is that the pay is pretty damn good. But yeah, I started from nothing. In my 20’s, I worked for a big media corporation and hated the commute (Alabang to Quezon City? B*tch, please.), hated the structure, hated that the corporation stood for, hated everything, but stuck with it for six months. My bosses were all tied down to the system. I asked one co-worker and was horrified when she told me that she’s been doing this shit for more than a decade. Ten years and you’re still doing the same sh*t. I had to get out.

I want to tell you to stay where your passion is, but is that where the money is? Let’s not kid ourselves: we go where the money is. Try and envision yourself in the future: will this job allow you to go places? Will there be money down the road that you’d be able to live comfortably? Sure, money means nothing, but when you want bigger and better things for yourself, you’re gonna need money.

If this job is really what you want to do for the rest of your dying days, then I want you to go for it. I want you to really do the daily grind, to push yourself to the limits, to give it all your all. In short, I want you to succeed, Carina. The money will come to you if you just push harder, stronger, faster.

You sound so full of life when you were talking about your career that it would be quite tragic if you leave now and do this thing for the family business, you’re going to earn much bigger (because it’s a family business, they want the money IN the family), but you’re going to hate it. And you can’t just leave, because then your family would be hurt.

Don’t go down the family route only to look for another side job that can help you fulfill your passion. I would rather have you stick to your low-paying job and find something else on the side that would not only give you extra moolah, it would also hone your skills even further.

Tread the path you want to take and not the one that offers you that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Making money is sweet, knowing that you earned it because of doing something that you love completely makes it a whole lot sweeter.

I want to end with something aspirational, so here’s another winning quote from Mike Judge’s Office Space:

“Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about about mission statements.”

Now go out and slay.

Always werk it,


Got a question for Poppy? From love and relationships to weird questions you dare not ask even your psychologist, Poppy is ready to answer them all. Send in your questions to or post your question over Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #AskPoppy, and you just might get the answer you are looking for.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.


Art by Dorothy Guya


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advice column, Alabang, Ask Poppy, Career, culture, Dilemma, family business, Financial Status, Job, Mike Judge, millennial, Office Space, Passion, Poppy, Preen,, Quezon City, Salary, work

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