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The Close Up on Making Money, its Health Risks & Rewards


How do we make the most money, enjoy every minute and savor the rest of life? Wow – what a tall order!

But why not go for the most that you can get? A longtime friend of mine always says, “You only go around once, so make sure you do it right!” Looking at what’s out there is key.

Jobs that put your sleep at risk

WebMD wisely warns us being a new parent can be a sleep wipeout. My oldest son came into the world yelling, and continued to yell for the next three months. As nervous, inexperienced parents we learned what colic was, and what it was like to become a zombie. (As an adult, he is a joy and all is forgiven.) Most new moms get seven hours of fragmented sleep, and by the time the baby is four months old, sleep patterns settle down.

Sleep challenges show up in lots of jobs

Hospital nurses often work rotating night or day shifts, and log in 12+ hour shifts. Network administrators make sure web servers are up 24-7, and become sleep deprived. Senior managers carry a lot of stress for their team and often put in extra hours, later finding sleep to be elusive.

Happiness & Dollar Career Questions

Money comes up with more lucrative/unhappy careers. Doctors say initial aspirations bog down in daily games with hospital administrators. Their median pay of over $150,000 can be flat or declining. Junior investment bankers do 120 hour weeks with $75,000 base pay. Bosses promise much more if they survive two years.

Sales Managers collect an average of $120,000, but often report constant pressure alternating with boredom and emptiness. First year law associates work long hours and collect $160,000 in cities like New York or Chicago. Studies also show lawyers lead the way in depression. Dentists may graduate with $200,000 in student loans, and like lawyers, may not always be popular.

In the end, the old, maybe best, advice that Warren Buffet gives, is “Love what you do.” I have known unhappy people, and happy people in all of these fields. Some were perfectly suited to their careers, others not so much. Some found ways to offload the stress with family and travel. Others chose fast cars and high risk sports.
Making sure the job you choose fits you may be what it is all about.


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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Jim Larrison

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