Should You Combine Your Passion and Job or Separate Them?

How much truth is there to the saying, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life?”

Everyone knows that choosing a career path can be quite difficult. And the sad news is that the decision never becomes any easier as you grow older. Whether you’re fresh out of university or a 40-year-old realizing that it’s time to try something new, the idea of choosing which out of the many diverse paths in front of you to take can be very daunting. Luckily, some claim to have found the secret to making the decision easier and, consequently, the future less scary. Their advice is to choose what you love and profit off of it by figuring out how to make your passion your source of income. 

But should passion be the main factor you consider when deciding on a career path? This question has prompted a lot of debate in the past. And while I enjoyed watching both sides hash it out, popcorn in hand, I realized that, like many others, I want to find an answer to it. So, without further ado, let’s dive into both sides of the argument. Fingers crossed we’ll make it out on the other side alive! 


Why Some People Combine Passion and Career

It’s no surprise that when someone participates in an activity they love, they’re happier. And while this pursuit of happiness will impact you significantly in many aspects of your life, career-wise many link happiness and satisfaction to increased motivation. This could only then result in growth as you work hard and develop your skills, even when you don’t want to because you know that the love you have for your passion and the happiness that comes from pursuing it outweighs all the negative moments. 

Accordingly, individuals who pursue passion when it comes to working in search of happiness and fulfillment, prove that the saying, “Turn your passion into a job, and the money will follow”, can be true.


Why Some People Choose to Pursue Passion Outside of Work

Something that the quote mentioned above doesn’t take into consideration is that sometimes people can have more than one passion. And in some cases, an individual might discover their different passions at a certain period of their lives, while at other times, they can discover two passions years apart. For that reason, some choose to pursue their passion outside of work in the hope of not regretting limiting themselves to one love but allowing the chance to explore many things, something that can be pretty difficult to do if you have to worry about your finances.

Another misconception about passions is that one has to be great and master what they’re passionate about. While true in some cases, as passion pushes you to learn more about a particular activity or craft, one can be passionate about dancing but not necessarily good at it. For them, the most important thing is to enjoy what they’re passionate about to the fullest, regardless of their skill level.


So, Which Path Should You Choose?

At the end of the day, deciding whether to make a career out of your passion all comes to you and what your passion is.

Maybe the risk of your passion, this thing that you love doing, evolving into a burden is something that you cannot bear. Perhaps then you could redefine the question “How can I make a career out of my passion?” to “Why am I so passionate about this particular thing or activity, and what industry/jobs will allow me to find some of the enjoyment I get when pursuing my passion?” 

For instance, if you’re very passionate about art and love painting, then perhaps you could choose a career or job that won’t consume your life and will allow you to have time after work to paint. You could also look for a job that requires lots of movement, change, and problem-solving because, as all artists know, creating art never goes as planned. That way, you’ll be able to pursue your passion outside of work, free from the restraints of trying to profit from it, while still finding a job you enjoy.

Maybe your passion will be the necessary fuel that’ll guide you to work your hardest and achieve the best, and without it, you can’t get out of bed. If that’s the case, it’s important to be patient with yourself through all the mistakes, failures, and lessons that’ll come from them. Remember that it won’t be all fun, sunshine, and rainbows. There will be tasks you won’t enjoy and things you must do to turn your passion into your income that won’t necessarily interest you. 

Additionally, your passion may take on different dimensions as it evolves, grows, and changes. And while this is something that can make many fearful of tying their livelihood to their passion, it’s only natural as we too, must evolve, grow, and change. So, let yourself and your passion transform as you encourage and embrace the change and the new opportunities that’ll come with it.


Final Thoughts

One thing many forget when engaged in this heated debate about passion and career is that very few individuals, often considered ‘the lucky ones’, actually know what their passion is. Some spend their entire lives searching for this one thing, or maybe several things that they love doing, never finding it, while it seems that others were just born knowing. 

And while getting asked the question “What are you passionate about?” can be nerve-wracking as you rake your brain for an answer, words refusing to form, let me let you in on a little secret that’ll help make you one of those few ‘lucky ones.’ Try. Try. Try. Try everything, whether that’s a new dish or a new work experience. And even if you try a million things and don’t manage to find what you do love, you’ll come to know what you don’t like. These discoveries can be just as important as finding what you’re passionate about.


Photo: Look Studio/Shutterstock


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