Do What You Love (it pays better)

Pop Economics is the blog I would write if I wrote only about economics, and if I were a little more thoughtful.

Some call the last 10 years the “lost decade” because stock growth has been flat as measured by the S&P 500 (though it didn’t have to be that way).  Pop points out that you can lose a decade for reasons other than investment:

After 10 years, our incomes have gone nowhere.

Much has been written about the lost decade for stocks. Right now, the S&P 500 is at 1,125. Its high in September 2000 was 1520. That’s a sad stretch.

But there’s another lost decade that was even more painful. And for those of you who are just starting out your careers, this one was a hell of a lot more important than the S&P 500′s storm. According to a recent Census report, between 2000 and 2009, the inflation-adjusted median income of American households dropped 4.8%. (Hat tip to the WSJ.)

Furthermore, the income of employees starting in a down economy can be negatively affected for many years to come.  So, what can we do about it?

Above all else, be good at what you do.  It is easier to be good at what you do when your work and your passions align.  Fortuitously, you’ll also be happier doing something you love – and that seems like an important factor in spending the majority of your waking hours.  Better yet, most of us don’t have an only thing that we enjoy.   That brings us to the line that pushed me to post:

 “Do what you love” is smart advice. But, if you’re a normal human, you probably have many interests. Pick the interest that offers the brightest future.

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