At some point in time when you were a twenty-something youth, on the cusp of adulthood and tottering on that in between years between graduating from school and entering the workforce, you were probably told:
“Follow your passion and you will be happy!”
“Only do what you love and nothing else!”
Sorry to break it to you, but for the majority of us, these two things will never happen.
And you know what? That is okay.
What is not okay is scores of youths going out into the workforce determined to find a job they are passionate about or love and feeling sorely disappointed that it never usually turns out to be that way.
Why these are such bad pieces of advice
Here are 3 reasons why having such beliefs is just bad advice:
Doing what you are passionate about or love is really down to luck
People who usually get to do what they love tend to fall in the minority, not the majority.
For the majority of people, work is tolerable, they may even like it abit, but it’s mostly just tolerable. It’s where you go to get paid for your time/skills so you can pay the bills, put food on the table or pay for that expensive dinner and watercolour classes.
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with this.
For another group of people though, work is painful, unbearable and they are downright unhappy in their jobs. Your job is to avoid falling in this group – though it can be difficult, considering how unpredictable jobs can be.
For many MANY people, work is just an exchange of one’s time and energy for money – to put food on the table and pay the bills. Some may argue you don’t have to love your job to get paid – and I tend to agree with that sentiment.
Many passions do not pay the bills
Lots of passions do not line up with the job market. I am passionate about writing and coaching. But there are very few jobs out there that will pay me to write whatever I want all day long or offer life advice to people. This is why I run this as a side hustle, and do it on the side.
You may be passionate about art, painting, salsa etc, but there aren’t that many jobs in the market that pay well for these professions, firstly. And second, there aren’t that many jobs out there that involve salsa or painting.
Some passions and dream jobs do not start out as such
Having been through so many rounds of interviews and job offers, working in different companies over the years, it is incredibly difficult to tell from a JD and even through the interviews that the role you are taking up is going to be a dream role.
You do not really know that til you are in the role and doing the work as a part of the organisation. Many clients usually tell me that they are so excited to be taking up their dream job – usually based off what they read in the JD or what their interviewers told them.
I always think to myself – “don’t be so sure”. Many interviewers or recruiters tend to package the role in a certain way, some will even outright lie to you or omit information just to get you on board.
There is also alot of fantasy and projection at this stage as you’ve really not got a clue how things really are like, and the JD is the only thing you have to go off on.
Lots of people grow into their passions and dreams. They are usually doing something one day and realise they really love it.
Struggling with figuring the right job or career for you? Navigating a toxic situation at work and unsure what should your next move be? I can help! I can guide you through the situation by helping you unpack your beliefs, stories and mindsets around your career. I can also read your energy, pull tarot cards for you and tell you what isn’t working and what your next steps should be. Not ready for that yet? Then check out my free resources here! Topics include personal growth, career, relationships, business and more!
What to do instead
- Be clear about what you want do not want to see in a job: This could be the type of culture you like, the types of people you want to be surrounded by at work, the type of work you like doing
- Be clear about what kind of pay package/benefits you are comfortable accepting: Do not lowball yourself and do not be afraid to ask for what you want (provided it is not some really outfield figure)
- Use interviews as an information gathering session: It’s still quite surprising to see not many people using interviews as a way to find out what sort of company is attempting to hire them. Yes, it’s mostly the employer asking you the questions but should and must ask questions of your own. Many still do not know what to ask or what responses to look out for, or how to interpret those responses.
Some of these things take a while or a few jobs to really figure out. But with each step into your career, you will gain better insight into what you are looking for
Passions are great but for most of us, they usually will not come in the form of a well-paying job.