“Do something you love, and you will never work a day in your life” – we’ve all heard this saying many times, and for the longest time I believed it to be the complete truth. But recently, I have come to the conclusion that while it is true in some sense, this motto shouldn’t dictate my career choices. We all have a passion – that one hobby or pastime that we love beyond anything else. Sometimes, the lucky ones (e.g., artists, authors, or actors) can turn their passions into a stable career. However, the rest of us who can’t monetize our greatest passions in life can feel like we’ve failed and begin to resent other career options. While it is important to enjoy our work, this doesn’t have to mean turning our passions into our careers. I was recently discussing this concept with my father when he had a very interesting perspective: sometimes a job is just a job.
Speaking of my father, let’s use him as an example. As a young boy, my dad always wanted to be a landscaper. He loved gardening and designing and believed that this career path would be a perfect way to turn his favorite hobby into his job. However, after years of working as a landscaper he experienced many obstacles: he had a hard time finding work, he was forced to create boring, unimaginative landscaping for government owned properties he worked on, and the fun was squeezed out of his favorite pastime. While he was a fantastic gardener, my dad was also good with cars. He eventually left his landscaping career and instead used his skills to become a mechanic; what he still does to this day. When I asked him whether he was disappointed in the direction his career path took, he told me that it couldn’t have gone better. He believed that sticking with landscaping would have eventually made him resent it. While he does enjoy his job as a mechanic, he is now able to spend his free time landscaping and gardening his own property whichever way he likes. In fact, becoming a mechanic allowed him to work a steady job for decent money, giving him the free time and savings to pursue his gardening passions.
This story always gives me comfort, to know that I am not a failure if I am unable to turn my passion into a career. In fact, it may just be the smarter path to take. By monetizing our passions/hobbies, we might find that they are no longer enjoyable, because they become intertwined with work. While we should find careers that we enjoy, maybe it is just better to keep our work life separate from the things we do that make us the happiest. Because sometimes a job is just a job, perhaps we should just seek to find one that provides stability, financial security, and fulfillment. If we accept that work can just be work, whether that means working in an office, in sales, or as a mechanic, maybe we can enjoy our work life, while simultaneously pursuing our passions in our free time.
1 : If you can turn your passion (e.g., favorite hobby) into a career, consider yourself lucky.
2 : Monetizing your passion might make it less enjoying because now it becomes “work”.
3 : Perhaps it’s best to keep your passions and your work separate.Category: Work/Career / Subcategory: Is it Your Passion?
Tags: Career, Work, Passion, Job, Hobby, Pastime, Failure