Our kids are in high school and we know we need to have them get serious and answer this question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” As parents, it’s our responsibility to guide our kids in thinking about what they like to do. We may start searching the internet and read articles with titles like “The Best High Paying Jobs for the Future” or “High Paying Jobs Without a College Degree.” The lure of a high salary can be a driving factor but, like any job, there are pros and cons. It makes me think of thephrase “nothing in life is for free.” The same applies here. The job may pay ahigh salary but there is a reason for that high salary.

An air traffic controller’s annual salary is $122,000. On the surface, it sounds great. $122,000 a year to sit in a room and direct places where to go. Yet, being an air traffic controller has been named one of the most stressful jobs to have. Why? Because air traffic controllers have the responsibility of juggling various planes landing, taxing and taking off at the airport. One wrong move puts people’s lives on the line. Bad weather adds to the complexity and stress of the job. For some people, they would see these challenges as invigorating. While others are thinking the stress is not worth the money.

Are the highest paying jobs the best path to success

My friend, Sam, became a lawyer. The average lawyer makes $118,000 a year. The salary and excitement of being in a courtroom and defending people for their rights is what drove him to this career. While he did enjoy the salary, what he didn’t realize is that lawyers actually spend very little time in the courtroom. Most of the work a lawyer does is mundane tasks such as researching and preparing legal documents. Also, most lawyers make themselves available to their client 24/7. Because of the mundane work and overtime, the salary was not worth it to him and he changed careers.

There are many jobs out there that pay well but have downsides. You might enjoy reading this article: “You Will Hate These Jobs But Love the Money.” There are jobs in this article that I never knew existed. For example, a Deer Urine Farmer. I bet you can guess why someone would hate that job but also why it’s one of the highest paying jobs.

As your kids identify potential careers, encourage them to make a pros and cons list. What parts will they like about the job? And what parts of the job will they not like? They can search the internet for the pros and cons. Encourage them to talk to people in the field. If the cons outweigh the pros, then the career might not be a good fit and not a good investment of your money for education.

Have you changed careers? What were the downsides, like my friend, Sam, that you didn’t realize until you were in it that forced you to make the change? Tell us in the comments.