Should You Make Your Passion Your Career?
You don’t need to make your passion your career – ya I said it.
It’s a popular myth that in order to be happy, your work also needs to be your passion. Sure of course we all want to have work that is meaningful, but meaningful can take many forms.
Meaningful can simply mean “I’m making money to support my life or my family” that’s pretty meaningful if you ask me! You may not have your dream job but at the same time it if it allows you to support yourself, what’s so wrong with that? You don’t necessarily have to wake up every day bright eyed and bushy tailed, completely stoked for your day of work ahead. That isn’t realistic and I want to remind you to not feel like you’re the one person who isn’t living their fantasy life.
I see a lot of articles and videos floating around on various social media sites showcasing people who claim to have an amazing, successful career doing their passion and claiming that every day is like walking on sunshine. This is a fun concept to fantasize about but I’m curious how much of these articles and videos are selling a fantasy that is rarely attainable.
When people start thinking they have to LOVE their job and have passion for it, that’s when the job they are at can suddenly seem far worse than they are. This is when people get into desperation mode and start thinking they need to make dramatic life changes- it doesn’t need to be so polarized. You can find meaning in your life through hobbies and your passions in life, and still have your current job which gives you financial support.
The idea that your passion can transition into a means to create income and also remain fulfilling can be a little lofty. Sure, there are some people who may have this, but from personal experience as well as conversations with other entrepreneurs and clients who have attempted to make their passion their career, it’s important to have a reality check before you take the plunge into quitting your current job and going all in on your passion. It’s important to remember that once you attach monetary pressure to your passion, it can switch from something fun you love, to your means for survival and the fun aspect can switch quickly to stress.
I will use an example of a friend of mine who loved yoga. Yoga was her true sanctuary from the world. It was a practice she valued to escape from the stress of life and bring her into a calm and centered state of mind. After many years in corporate America working her tail off in Tech sales she decided it was time to make a change. She decided to make her passion of yoga her profession. She made the plunge, trained rigorously and earned her teaching certification. Once she had her confidence and credentials she went onto the next step was finding clients. This in itself was a major task. As anyone can tell you who is an independent teacher- you have to grind it out and hustle client by client. It can be a slow journey that requires patience and hopefully a decent financial nest egg to rely on as money will be challenging early on.
Her client base grew with time, but not as fast as needed to make it financially sustainable long term. She decided the only way to make it viable to stay in her yoga profession was to open a studio, make the investment and start working with additional teachers to expand her clients base. After making the investment in the studio and creating the business plan among many other components of starting a small business, she quickly learned that loving to do yoga as a practice is not the same as running a yoga studio and business. What once was a personal practice and mental sanctuary had tuned into a full-on business with financial pressure to follow.
Here is what I’m saying – what about looking at your job as a means for financial stability, but filling your cup with passion and creativity by focusing on interests that give you joy without the pressure of your income attached to it. If you love to cook, you don’t need to quite your current job and go to culinary school to become a chef. Cooking and entertaining friends and family is different than being responsible for a restaurant, staff, inventory and all the moving parts going into that. There are plenty of ways to implement your passions into your life and use them as a form of creativity or self-expression. If you enjoy making jewelry for yourself, make an Etsy site and you can create your products and post them and there and if something sells- that’s a bonus but not a necessity! If you love to travel, document your journeys via video and photos, make informative blogs and postings about them and enjoy a fun and creative way to share with others and inspire!
Of course, if you have a passion that doesn’t stop itching you to act on it as a career, then by all means, try that out! I am simply saying that if money is a factor, or you’re not totally committed to a dramatic life change, just be aware that with any major shift will come sacrifices so set your life up in advance financially and mentally so you are prepared for the shifts you may face.
I wish all of you success in life and just want to remind you to not get down about your current job and feel as if you are the only person not making their passion their career. Feel free to shoot me an email if you have made your passion your career, I would love to hear about it and also if you have tried but had challenges along the way!