Thursday, November 07, 2002

Work, Money and HSPs

There seems to be a trend (in terms of work) that plagues many HSP-- that of being "chronically underemployed." In the HSP Workbook, Elaine Aron mentions the fact that HSPs often gravitate towards fields/careers that are uncommonly poorly compensated-- such as art, writing, music, library science, etc. I know that I certainly fit into one of those categories (or several). Whenever I haven't labored in retail (well-compensated, I grant you, when I was a business owner), I have always "known" that I wanted to be a writer. Yet, I have never been able to earn much of a living wage from writing-- except when "selling out" to be a technical writer for hire.

At the same time, there is much "wisdom" out there, to the effect of "Do what you love, the money will follow." I am just wondering if we-- as HSPs-- have greater difficulty getting "the money to follow" than the rest of the world, given the particular kinds of things we "love?" And because we so often gravitate towards work that doesn't pay a whole lot-- we have very little to "fall back on" while trying to build up whatever vocation is our dream; our calling.

As an example, I used to run the aforementioned business-- which fit my personality very poorly. Lots of stress and anxiety, felt like a misfit, but I was very well paid. Now I am a writer, which I love. However, I have traded the stress of constant cacophony and "go! go! GO!" for the stress of not knowing how I'll pay for next month's rent. It is still stress.

My answer is increasingly becoming one that I notice other HSPs follow: Simplification. A smaller, less expensive lifestyle that is sustainable at the income level generated by whatever professions allow us to follow our bliss.

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