If You’re Going to Make Less, Do Something You Love

Creativity is the key to a fulfilling job, regardless of pay

In all her years of coaching people on their career choices, not once has B.C.-based executive coach Ann Rice ever come across anyone wanting to do something less creative in their work.

“I’ve never had someone who is a prima ballerina saying I want to become a heart surgeon,” she says. “People are always saying they want to be more creative and do work that is more fulfilling, and we often think they want to be dancers or photographers or artists or in film. But what people get to realize is there’s a lot of creativity in what they do already.”

Rice, who works for Sterling Executive Coaching, has noticed a shift in those who have been working for decades and younger workers just starting their careers. The reality of the job market brings a growing realization among workers, from those in their 20s to those in their late 50s, that they’re not willing to settle for just any job. B.C.’s unemployment rate rose to seven per cent in March, compared to 6.3 per cent in February, with a net loss of 15,000 full-time jobs. In April 2012, the unemployment rate in B.C. was 6.2 per cent.

“What I hear from people is they feel dead from the knees up and they just can’t stay in a situation where, to balance economic realities, they have to pay for that with finding work that has a purpose and where they can use their skills and strengths,” Rice says. “It used to be that people would say, ‘I’ll do the job to pay the rent and do what I love after work.’ Something has shifted and people aren’t willing to do that any longer.”

Women Get Less

The difference in average hourly wage between men and women aged 15+, 2012

Alberta $6.04 B.C. $4.26 Saskatchewan $3.76 Newfoundland + Labrador $3.62 Ontario $3.33 Manitoba $2.64 Nova Scotia $2.51 Quebec $2.54 New Brunswick $2.35 P.E.I. $0.50 Canadian Average $3.15