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

Fallacies in plain sight.

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

But, its wrong.

There’s a level of clarity that is missing here, and it might lead you to make some irrational decisions.

Certainty is Not a Choice

The first red flag I noticed about the trade-off triangle was the idea that you can choose a path that is “certain”. This is a fallacy.

Unemployment rate

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

Certainty is something that resides in our minds, not reality.

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

How Money Works” explained that being a YouTuber isn’t a “certain” job, and I would have to agree. (in some ways)

Photo by Jenny Ueberberg on Unsplash
  • 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.

Once you succeed on one platform, your brand, voice, face, and other aspects of your content begin to persist across multiple platforms.

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

Most content-creators spread their wings to other platforms like Twitch, Twitter, Insta, TikTok, affiliate sites, and landing pages that generate income from their content.

“Ease” is a Subjective Experience

How Money Works” explained that being a doctor is the hardest job and a YouTuber, the easiest. A “normal” job falls somewhere in the middle.

Photo by Marten Newhall on Unsplash

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

For some, one job could be unbearable, while another, seeming harder to outsiders, is a job they enjoy doing.

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

In hindsight, this is obvious.

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

For you, being a YouTuber might be easy. Not everyone is tech savvy or camera ready.

Making Better Career Progress

So, now we have a few realizations under our belt…

  1. in some jobs, you can’t help succeeding more after succeeding once.
  2. 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.

I work in sales, so I don’t just get paid for my time. I get paid for efficiency.


I’d like to end with a few snippets of career knowledge people don’t hear often enough…

  1. Money is a tool for freedom, but most often is used to enslave.
  2. “Working hard” is important, but can be easily used to make you feel bad about relaxing. Learn to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
  3. 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