We’ve all gotten the advice when trying to choose our careers to follow our passions. For some this can be great advice, but for the rest of us it is pretty lousy.
When considering what to do for a career exploring what you are passionate about could be a great place to start… if you are passionate about accounting, great, go be an accountant. But what if you are instead passionate about taking naps? or shoe shopping? These hobbies aren’t known for leading to the best career opportunities.
The closest thing I had to a passion coming out of high school and through college was playing soccer. If I would have followed my career counselor’s advice I would have ended up in a pretty crappy situation. I was good at soccer, but continuing with it after high school likely would have meant accepting a partial scholarship to a division III school (D-III schools don’t place players in the pros). Sounds like it could have been fun, except I got offered a full ride for academics to a top 10 public university as well. Accepting the partial soccer scholarship would have set me back much further; I would have had loads more student loan debt, no professional soccer prospects, and much less time to enjoy my college experience.
I made the better choice and took the free degree. I chose a major that allowed me to actually get a job. Now that I have a job that provides a decent living, I have plenty of time to pursue my passions outside of work. I often only have to work 4 days per week, which leaves plenty of time to still play in city soccer leagues, travel worldwide to attend big soccer matches, and if I wanted to, I even have time to coach a team.
So what does this mean for you?
If you aren’t passionate about anything feasible, choose a job you don’t hate that allows you to make a good living and leaves plenty of free time to pursue your passions outside of work.
If you are interested in traveling and seeing the world, you could consider becoming a flight attendant. Your passion may not be dealing with grouchy passengers and serving drinks, but this job could give you free flights anywhere you want to go. Read more about why being a flight attendant is sweet here.
Passionate about art but don’t think you could sell your paintings? Why not do something like pharmacy school first (there are programs where you can complete your undergrad as well as pharmacy school in 5 years) get a job paying over 100k and then take all of the art classes you want. Many pharmacists work part time and still get paid 60k a year. With a decent financial base you could try to start your art career without having to be homeless and starving. I have a friend who went through pharmacy school, got a high paying job, saved some money, and then switched his career to flipping houses full time with his savings.
If you are passionate about something, see if you can find a different unrelated job that allows your passion to flourish.
Convinced but still not sure what to study in college, more to come on which degrees are worth majoring in soon.