Is it better to be an average worker at the harder job or a pro on an easier job?

I've been studying programming for a year at an university, it is said to be the best in my country that teaches programming, but after a year I decided to quit it, not because of how hard it was, but how strict in some cases the evaluation system is and how little some teachers cared about your effort. Imagine failing a whole subject just because you wrote the teachers name wrong, yeah. So again, not that I couldn't cope with the hard work, but how demotivating and depressing the whole experience was. Then I decided that I will go to college and again study programming because by talking to others who studied at the college, I came to a conclusion that it was way easier than university. But now I started to think, I'm okay with studying programming, I'm not bad at it but not talented either, I'm average, I don't feel passionate about it and I feel that if I chose this career path, I would be an average worker with above average salary. I'm wondering maybe I should choose an easier career that I feel more passionate about? For example I love cooking, and maybe I should become a chef? Yes it would be harder to get a job, to get paid as much as a programmer but I would enjoy being a chef way more than a programmer, even tho I would be more proud of being a programmer because it is seen as a "cooler" job. Any advice that would help me decide which path should I choose?

3 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago
    Favourite answer

    The old saying goes "Find something that you love and you'll never work a day in your life". (I'm paraphrasing). 

    But basically, it means that if you love your job, it'll never feel like work. Based on what you've written, you would enjoy being a chef more than a programmer. Running a kitchen is hard work and a lot of work...but if you love it, and if it's your thing, it might not bother you.

    On the surface, the goal is work life is to always work smarter and not harder as you get older. So between your two options, a pro job that's easier is definitely better than an average worker at a harder job.

    And never care about what's "cooler" to other people. If YOU think being a chef is "cooler" then that's what's important. You dictate your life. Not others.

    Having said all that, have you ever tried working in a kitchen before as a chef? You may enjoy doing it more but do you actually have the skill? If you don't have the skills, you may end up hating being a chef because it's not what you expected. So I wouldn't quite give up on programming quite yet until you have given working in a kitchen a try.

    Start by taking classes on cooking and running a kitchen. Start small. Host a few friends at your home and experiment with some meals. If they're excited about your food, take the next step and try out some college classes (if there's some around you). Get a job in a kitchen as a sous-chef. You won't run a kitchen right away but it'll give you an idea what it's like in a busy restaurant kitchen.

    After that, if you still love it, then yeah...go for being a chef.

    But don't give up on programming. Just set it aside for a year while you explore this chef thing. If you're not in love with being a chef in a year, go back to programming.

    After all, an average worker at a harder job is better than a job you're just okay at in a busy environment.

  • 3 weeks ago

    If both jobs pay enough (however much you need), then it's better to do the job that you enjoy.  If one of the jobs pays too little, then it's better to do the job that pays enough.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Jobs are hard or easy depending on the skills required.

    I'm a lawyer and find it interesting and not that hard (on most days), but challenging enough. I would guess that lawyer is considered a 'harder' job.

    Conversely, when I've been a church youth advisor, dealing with middle schoolers, I've found that to be really hard, even though it's a volunteer job that supposed to be 'easy' and enjoyable.  But for me it's hard, since I don't like dealing with interpersonal issues.

    So be a pro on an easier job: that shows that it's a good match for one's skills.

    If you're not crazy about programming, you won't last too long doing it.  Do something else.

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