Should I pick a sensible job or follow my passion and try to make a career out of it? You’re not the only professional out there asking themselves this tricky question.
Most people believe that it’s our passions that make life worth living, but things look a little differently when it comes to choosing a career path. Sometimes following a passion means you’ll be taking a huge career risk or setting yourself back for several years at the time in your life that you should be using for career growth.
Is it possible to combine passion and pragmatism when choosing your career? I believe it is – but only if you’re smart about it.
Here are 6 essential tips to help you get to the bottom of the problem and choose a career that perfectly reflects your life priorities.
1. Define your passion.
If you already know what your passion is, you can take the first step to start looking for a career that could potentially combine your passion with a reasonable salary.
Take a good look at your passion of choice.
For example, if you just love music, it doesn’t mean that your enthusiasm should lead you exclusively to one career type like a rock star. Analyze your passion in detail to see what exactly it is that you like about it most.
Sometimes these aspects can be translated into different contexts and points you toward a potential career path that is far more pragmatic than your initial idea.
So take a broader look at your passion and check whether the thing that makes you love it could be refined to fit a sensible career.
2. Get another source of income.
Some people are lucky enough to find the source of income that allows them to follow their passions. Having another source of income could put you in the right position to start realizing your dreams and potentially transform your passion into a job.
There are many things you can try to find an extra source of income.
Trading is one good example. It’s something you can do from home in your spare time. Moreover, you can learn how to trade using a multitude of resources on the Internet.
3. Ask yourself and others: What am I good at?
Ask your family and friends to tell you what they think you’re good at. That doesn’t mean you should automatically follow their suggestions, but asking people you trust about your talents may point you in a direction you never expected.
We are generally passionate about the things we’re good at.
That’s because they give us a sense of accomplishment and build our identity. If you build your career on your talent, you’ll be in the unique position for combining passion and pragmatism in your professional life.
4. Think about it personally.
You can follow your passion at any stage of your career. Each of us follows a different path in our lives. So instead of looking at other people, look deep into yourself to understand what following your passion would mean about your other needs.
For example, if you feel secure and ready for exploration, you can do that right now instead of settling down first. Other people may prefer to gain some financial standing first and then give themselves space to explore. Others yet prefer to have a regular job and spend their free time doing what they love.
Analyze your passion and other preferences to see where your two interests come together.
5. What do your friends do?
Have a look at your social circle to check what kind of careers your friends are pursuing. People with whom we spend time tend to rub off on us.
Analyze the careers of your friends and decide which job perks matter to you most. That will help you understand your needs and preferences better.
For example, if you’d like to follow your passion and have the same career is one of your friends, ask them about the reality of the job. You might find out that while some aspects of your dream career are fantastic, others don’t sound so convincing.
6. Weigh your risks and prepare a plan B.
We like to believe that passion breeds success. But the truth is that it takes a while to get there.
Naturally, you need to support yourself in the meantime. If that thought is enough to paralyze you with fear, start working on a plan B to regain confidence and pursue your dreams.
If your dream is to become a musician, you can choose to study music teaching to provide you with the safety cushion in case your rock star career never takes off.
Weigh your risks carefully and don’t jump into a field just because you’re passionate about it. Research your dream career and make a conscious choice about pursuing it.
And finally, stop seeing passion and pragmatism as mutually exclusive. Use these 6 tips to take full advantage of your passions to build a potential career path for yourself.
About The Author
Meagan Weekes works at Bizset as a Content Manager. She enjoys sharing career tips and her broad work experience. She specializes in developing business ideas, career advancement and networking.