Our Moral Compass: Having A Career vs. Having A Life

“Don’t confuse having a career with having a life. They are not the same.”

-Hillary Rodham Clinton

     When we look towards our own moral compass it is used as a guide to help us in making morally appropriate decisions about things that happen in our lives. It comes down to a certain belief system. Each of our own belief systems will most likely be different when it comes down to debating certain topics of discussion and today’s quote by Hillary Rodham Clinton is no different.

Is having a career the same as having a life? Hillary Rodham Clinton says they are not and I am not here to say that it is or isn’t. All I can do is present both sides and let you come to your own conclusion.

A career is defined as having an occupation which is an undertaking for a certain period of time in a person’s life that allows for opportunities of progress. This progress can be within the profession itself or progression/growth within the person themselves. The best example I can give is my own. I’m an educator and am currently in my 23rd year. I started off as an intern in a kindergarten classroom and started my career in a K-2nd grade classroom. From there I taught grades in 3rd through 5th, was a math coach and then a math specialist for my district supporting schools in Kindergarten-12th grade followed by my current role as an assistant principal. When I look back at each of these experiences in my career, I have progressed professionally in my knowledge of education itself in areas such as curriculum knowledge and educational policies knowledge.

Being an educator has also helped me grow personally by becoming more confident in public speaking, increasing my social awareness and relationship skills with the various people I encounter on a daily basis (school staff, students and their families) and in making responsible decisions that can impact the lives of others. For me, my career is a part of my life and has significantly contributed to making me who I am today and helps me to have a life financially to take care of myself and my family. However, it does not stand alone and solely make me have a life.

Having a life is also through the experiences I have outside of my career. It are those moments of interaction with my family and friends. Those moments contribute to me having a life too. I cannot just have a career alone as I need the things outside of my career to occur in order to truly consider having a complete and wholesome life.  Where does your opinion lie in this debate? Is having a career and having a life one in the same or not? Why?

What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards defining/refining your own moral compass?

 

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