‘People who do the most worthwhile jobs rarely receive the best financial rewards.’ To what extent is this true in your society?

Question analysis- Definition of Key Terms

Most worthwhile jobs: occupations that are mostly serving the needs of the people for a very humanitarian and altruistic purpose. Such instances would be social workers, nurses, teachers, counselors, social entrepreneurs

Best financial rewards: In terms of monetary recognition, status and power in society.

Assumption: Jobs that are the most rewarding to one’s soul and conscience are not regarded highly in Singapore Society as people expect them to do it from their hearts, rather than to get a monetary reward for their good and charitable acts.

To do well for this question, students need to expand the scope of what it means to do ‘worthwhile jobs’. Could certain jobs that pay very highly not be seen to be worthwhile such as entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers and even accountants? Are these jobs just regarded to be a ‘money-making’ occupation? Students should consider a variety of occupations and see how each and every single occupation is actually worthwhile in terms of their impact to society. No jobs should be seen to be above another just because it pays higher in terms of monetary value. That would be too narrow a perspective to take, since not every job contribution can be measured in a tangible manner.

Yes they rarely receive the best financial rewards:

  • Jobs that tend to have a social impact in society are regarded lowly and viewed by locals to be charitable and should not be monetized as much. The ‘pureness’ of these jobs would be lost if money comes into place, since the individual could be tainted by monetary needs rather than the original aim of serving the larger community. For instance, jobs like counseling should be from the heart and empathy should be the driving force of why an individual would like to pursue this career rather than for the monetary incentive. Such jobs would only be able to attract the best and those who are the purest in intent to serve if monetary incentive is not present as a huge driving force.
  • It is difficult to put an economic value or even to monetize all the skills needed for jobs that tend to be very people centric and focus. Certain things that a teacher does in her job would be hard to put a consistent monetary value on it. For instance, a teacher’s impact on a child’s development could be lifelong and this impact varies according to each child. It would be unreasonable to put an economic value on this impact since the impact can only be seen in the longer future or even after the teacher has retired from her profession.

No they receive the best financial rewards:

1) Some of the most rewarding jobs in terms of making a large contribution to society to save lives and to uphold justice pay and reward one handsomely in Singapore’ society. Doctors, lawyers and accountants are paid very highly here largely due to the demand and direction of the economy and the technical expertise needed for these jobs. It is not so much because these jobs are seen to be less altruistic or lesser in impact in serving the needs of the people. These jobs have to be paid highly in order to ensure the advancement of the sectors involved, so that their impact can be on a larger scale. For instance, doctors have to be paid highly so that the medical industry can attract the best and the brightest to serve the needs of the people, and to continually innovate and research for the best medicine to save lives. Medical technologies are expensive and it would only make sense if doctors are paid highly enough for them to want to improve the existing system.

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