We hear a lot of talk about finding a passion in life, or that “one thing” that really gets us going.
“You should try to find your passion in life!”
“You should do what you love and get paid for it.”
These are common statements that you must have heard around you, and they certainly have merit to them. Everyone must try and find something they love to do because our passions motivate us to utilize our abilities to the fullest and constantly keep bettering ourselves. They help bring a greater purpose to our lives.
Sometimes though, we might go overboard thinking that choosing a career based on our passions and hobbies will solve all career-related issues. The illusion that work would not seem like work, or we won’t have to work a full 9-to-5, may add to our list of pros too.
Even though we must love our work, turning a passion into a full-fledged career may not be the best idea for everyone. There are several reality-checks that should be considered before turning your passion into your profession.
1. The career may not be in demand
You might like to think that if you are excellent at a skill or a hobby, or even passionate about a particular subject or task, the demand for it will automatically be created. But that is far from the truth.
In fact, some of our passions might have a low demand in the market and be unemployable. For example, you may be great at collecting coins but it does not mean that someone will pay you to do that.
So, if you are planning to get into a passion-driven career, make sure that it has ample demand. A little bit of time spent researching about market demand, on different job portals (LinkedIn Jobs, Naukri.com, Shine, Updazz, Times Jobs are a few good ones) and using platforms like LinkedIn or Quora to connect to people from your chosen field would help you get a fair bit of idea about the trending career options and market demand in the field you like.
Did You Know? The Mindler Career Library has well-researched and in-depth information on the career opportunities and scope for hundreds of career options.
2. The career may lose its charm
Ever heard the saying, “Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”?
We often think and have repeatedly heard that if we are able to turn our passion into a career, it will all seem very interesting and easy.
That work will not seem like work.
But the truth is that even our most passionate interests can seem tiring when they have to be done over and over again. It is one thing to do an activity when you feel like it, and another when someone else is asking you to do it. They work may feel start feeling like a compulsion, since there would be a certain set of responsibilities associated with it and would no longer be a choice.
Let us take an example. I counselled a student who was a trained magician and often performed magic shows for small audiences. He enjoyed learning and performing magic tricks, and was brilliant at it too. However, during the course of our discussions, he found that he couldn’t see himself performing magic every day for a living, and felt that it might lose its charm over time. Thus, we decided that turning that hobby into his career should not be his priority.
Recommended Read: 6 Pieces of Career Advice I Wish Someone Had Given Me in Class 12th
3. The career may not pay well
We expect that when we acquire a skill and really love indulging in it, it’s going to pay us really well somehow. And why not, we EXCEL at it! Unfortunately, things do not always work that way, especially in the job market.
All careers are not financially lucrative. It may be that the field doesn’t pay very well in general, or it may take many years to get established before the money starts coming in. You might also not be aware of how to turn your skill/talent into a financially-rewarding career.
A passion may seem very attractive to you, but it may not be so in terms of monetary prospects.
I once had a session with a student who was an excellent guitar player. He wanted to explore teaching guitar. Since he was really passionate for it, I recommended him to try it out first by joining a local institute, and see how it goes. In a few months, he realized that the money he earned was not that great; yet the effort required to teach that skill was tremendous. This led him to start disliking his passion for playing the guitar a little, and he decided not to go ahead with it full time.
Thus, it is very important to get the entire picture of your chosen field, market demand and monetary prospects included. You may still choose to enter the field if you are driven more by passion than money in your career. Nonetheless, you would be fully aware of what you are getting into.
4. The career may create increased expectations
When you pursue a career out of passion, you and the people around you have increased expectations about what you can achieve. One reason is that you chose this career because of your love for it, and another is that you chose it on your own.
For example, an individual who loves history of art and is really passionate about making a career as an art conservationist might face increased pressure to get a good job and earn well.
Because it’s an offbeat career, parents might be more anxious about settling down in a job, which again means high expectations. S/he might not realize this while taking up the career, but once they enter it, their expectations from themselves and the pressure they feel are bound to increase. It might also lead to a feeling of dissatisfaction with their work if the kind of work or money they get is not what they had imagined.
The best way to cope with such pressure in case it occurs, is to be really sure about the path you wish to tread on. Make sure you have done ample research on the career path and the future opportunities, and are realistic about your prospects. This will help avoid any disappointments later on.
5. The career has to create value and skill
Everyone gets into a profession with the intention of creating some value for him/herself. You work to excel and grow over time.
At the end of the day, a career where you cannot contribute and grow to the best of your ability is not going to add value to your life, however much passion you may have for it. This is where skills and aptitude come into the picture. Our modern day culture places too much emphasis on passion, yet not enough focus on skills and being adept at things.
Passion might fade, but skills remain ingrained within you. And that is why aptitude trumps passion any day in the quest for finding work you’ll love for a long period of time.
The right set of aptitudes and skills, coupled with interest (if not passion) is the best formula for success in a particular field. This is how you ensure that you grow, excel and earn money from your profession.
If you are not sure where your aptitudes lie, the Mindler career assessment is a great way to find them.
I hope this makes you think long and hard about your career choices and helps you make the right decision. Our goal here is not to discourage you to pursue a career that feels natural to you, but to make you consider the downsides of it too. It is a bitter pill to swallow at first, but we are sure it will cure you of your career woes in the long run!
If you still feel confused, our career coaches can help you figure out the best course of action or career paths to keep your passion alive throughout your life.
Are you really passionate about any particular field? Share with us in the comments.