Do you want to have a happy life? If so, you must have a happy career.

“It sucks but it pays the bills.”  Jerry said.  We were at a fundraiser in Greenwich, CT as he lamented that the thought of going to work that Monday was already bumming it out on Saturday. Most people wouldn’t feel sorry for Jerry.  He’s a multi-millionaire.  But I did.  He was hurting. Money not only isn’t everything but attachment to money is often the root of unhappiness.

My life work has essentially been helping people attain their goals. When I started my first education venture, the focus was on helping young people do well in school and get into college.  But the real goal was to help them ensure that they had happy lives.  Similarly, when I started Career Counseling Connecticut, the focus has been to help people find careers but as I now defined the goal as twofold: finding happiness and success.  Happiness is key. The unhappy success is a cliche.  Half of my law school classmates fit that pattern, as I saw at my 25th law school reunion.

The trouble for some, perhaps many, is resignation to a career that does not fit.  I certainly respect anyone paying the bills to support themselves and their family.  But those who are not yet tethered to a mortgage and multiple kids really ought to spend time and energy figuring out how to have a happy career.  And those that are in Jerry’s fortunate position really should readdress how they want to spend the one thing that money can’t buy: time.