The Career Trade-off Triangle is a Bad Tool for Making Choices

Fallacies in plain sight.

  • Doctor → High reward, high certainty, but NOT easy.
  • YouTuber → High reward, easy, but NOT certain. (everyone wants this)
  • “Normal” Job → Easy, certain, but LOW reward.
Career trade-off triangle

But, its wrong.

Certainty is Not a Choice

Unemployment rate

“I act with complete certainty. But this certainty is my own.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

Why Being a YouTuber Is More Certain a Job Than You Think

Photo by Jenny Ueberberg on Unsplash
  • it requires a lot of luck to get paid enough.
  • being successful on a social media platform is heavily reliant upon how the platform treats its users and creators.

Once you become successful on YouTube, it's difficult not to be successful elsewhere.

People recognize a creator whether or not they are on the platform they started on.

“Ease” is a Subjective Experience

Photo by Marten Newhall on Unsplash

one job isn’t as easy for one person as it is for another.

The apparent “difficulty” of a job is different for different people.

Know what you enjoy doing that is hard for everyone else. Hone in on that.

Making Better Career Progress

  1. certainty is NOT a choice.
  2. in some jobs, you can’t help succeeding more after succeeding once.
  3. job difficulty is different for different people.
Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

When choosing a career, choose a job that pays for your effort, not your time.


  1. Your job does not determine your value as a human being.
  2. Money is a tool for freedom, but most often is used to enslave.
  3. “Working hard” is important, but can be easily used to make you feel bad about relaxing. Learn to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
  4. Don’t use a triangle to help you decide which career path makes sense.



I skipped college, now I write for fun and not for grades.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store