Forget Your Passion; Find a Job You’re Good At

Is PASSION all that it is cracked up to be?

There comes a time in everyone’s life where he or she will struggle with the following question: “What should I do with my life?” While there are many possible answers, there’s one that always seems to come up when one seeks this type of advice: Follow your passion.

This might seem like a sound source of direction, but it turns out that this little idea can cause more harm than good. Sure, you should like your job, but it’s very rare to turn your true passion into a fulfilling, diverse and lucrative career. Just ask the fiction writer who’s plunking out advertising copy, or the professional dancer who brews coffee all day long: It’s not as romantic as it seems.

If you feel as though you’ve fallen into the passion trap – or if you want to avoid doing so – read on to find out just how to find a career that meets at the balance of head and heart.

Give It Time

Many of us have grandiose ideas of what a first job will be like, so an entry-level position can feel a bit like a letdown. Over time, though, many workers find that these types of jobs can become more rewarding and fulfilling. This might be because they start to get better at what they’re doing, and, therefore, feel more accomplished.

It might also be because, over time, the job starts to become a part of who the person is; by working in a certain place for a long time, it becomes a piece of one’s identity. So, if you’re struggling to feel committed to, say, a position that’s in administration, stick to it. With time, you might just find yourself enjoying it more and more.

There’s also the element of income.  You won’t get a senior software engineer salary when you’re just starting out.  Be patient, and the financial rewards will come.

Build Your Skillset

One way to ensure that you’re great at your job is to build as many special skills as you can. These will set you apart from the competition, which means you’re more likely to climb the ladder in your field. At the top, you’ll achieve autonomy and creative control, which contribute to higher career satisfaction, unlike a career based on a hobby or passion.

Take, for example, an aspiring organic farmer. Rather than dive right into the field, he could spend years studying horticulture and working with other experts before setting off on his own. Sure, many farmers might consider growing to be his or her passion, but what sets this story apart is that the protagonist spent time honing his craft in order to set himself apart. In other words, he made himself become great at his job.

Try Something New

So, your job isn’t quite in line with the vision you have for yourself. That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself. In fact, many people find success when they break free from their comfort zones; in a way, your passion-centric mentality might be holding you back.

Take, for example, the skincare line created by Anthony Logistics for Men. The brand’s founder, Anthony Sosnick, noticed that there were countless products on the market tailored to women’s grooming, but for the opposite sex? Not so many. He found an opportunity – a new area of expertise outside of the box – and expanded into it to create a well-loved and widely used line of men’s skin and body care products. Stepping outside of the confines of your comfort zone has its benefits, clearly.

Be Good at It

A focus on your passions and interests can be detrimental to your workplace happiness. That’s because you’ll be so focused on what your job isn’t giving you that you won’t realize the opportunity that you have. Many experts suggest that those in these types of situations should take on a craftsman’s mindset, rather than a passionate one. Craftsmen know that the most important thing about their work is the quality of it.

As you focus on the job that you’re doing – and not on what you’re missing out on – you might find yourself feeling much more satisfied and fulfilled.

Savannah Hemmings

Savannah Hemmings is a personal stylist and personal finance wiz kid. She graduated from Tulane University with a degree in Journalism and uses it to right witty and delightful articles on her blog, SincerelySavannah. Connect wit her on Twitter: @savhemmings

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