Jim’s method for finding a happy career path:
Step 1: Note the things you choose to do, even when you’re not being paid to do them.
Step 2: Figure out how to get paid to do one or more of the things you noted in Step 1.
Step 3: Enjoy your life.
If you can make enough scratch to feed, clothe and house yourself, forget salary level. Forget sunk costs. Forget what other people think regarding the status of your field. Those are extrinsic factors and won’t make you happy for the long haul. People who follow this kind of career rarely retire early. In fact they often continue working into their 70’s.