Five Realities to Consider Before Pursing your Passion

So, you want to do work you love and are passionate about.

Who doesn’t want that perfect job where every day is filled with purpose and meaning? 

As they say, if you do work you love you won’t have to work a day in your life. With all the talk about finding your dream career and following your passion, it seems like it should be an easy and effortless change.

The problem is, no one tells you that passion has a dark side. It’s not always going to be glamorous. 

There’s a harsh reality that comes with a commitment to follow your passion. The harsh reality is that to do work you love comes with sacrifice. 

Let me be clear. Work devoid of passion is sure to leave us burned out or even depressed, so I support you on your journey toward a passionate career. 

Just keep these five realities in mind before you decide to leave your secure job behind.

1. Skill and passion don’t always mix

Hopefully your passion and talent overlap, but that isn’t always the case.  Following your passion can come with unexpected growing pains and learning. Your passionate pursuit can include business or management skills you didn’t anticipate. Furthermore, just because you love doing something doesn’t mean you’re good enough to get paid for it. 

Remember to take an incremental approach to your passionate pursuit. Be willing to commit real time and energy to improve at your craft and learn the necessary skills. It’s fun to engage in our passion but it comes with serious effort and development to make  it a viable career. 

For example, if you want to work in the tech industry then you’ll need to have those skills or the ability to be taught those skills. The tech world is huge at the moment as it’s advancing at an alarming pace. Jumio’s Netverify is compatible with iOS devices which helps add extra layers of security and are key for businesses at the moment.

In order for you to be able to work in this field or any other one, you have to do what it takes to possess the talent and skills. 

2. Passion doesn’t always come with payment

Has anyone ever told you, “when you follow your passion the money will follow?” There’s some truth to this, but upfront and in the short-term, following your passion can come with a downward change in salary. If you worry about money be prepared and have a plan to cushion the blow. 

Depending on your passionate pursuit, you may have to start at the bottom of the  food chain and work your way up to a more substantial level of payment. Money isn’t everything but if you have a certain lifestyle you want to maintain and you don’t want to live on Ramen Noodles and Grilled Cheese, then plan ahead and find ways to create income to supplement your change in career.

Be resourceful and create other streams of income that can help you make this transition. Money can follow your passions but it may not be overnight. 

3. Passionate pursuits are time consuming

Changing careers or following your passion will obviously include a lot of work. You may have training, education, and studying. Or your time may be consumed with  practice, creative brainstorming, and production. For most people, this isn’t a bad thing, as they love to dedicate time to their passion, but just make sure you are prepared for the commitment. 

Before handing in your notice make sure to plan ahead and find the time needed to dedicate to your passionate pursuit. Between a full-time job and life responsibilities there will be plenty of competing commitments that get in the way.

In order to say “YES” to your passion, you will have to say “NO” to some of the things you’re doing now. The big question is, are you willing to say no to other commitments to prioritize your passion?

4. Passionate work, but a perilous job

Be careful not to confuse a job title with living passionately. Sometimes a job that we think we would love comes with familiar baggage. This could be related to a companies culture or the mundane requirements of a bureaucratic organization. 

You may like the work but hate the atmosphere or environment you work in. Or, you may love your job but be surrounded by difficult people and nasty co-workers. 

Regardless of how much you love the work you do, it can be hard to sustain a positive attitude in a toxic environment. For instance, a recent coaching client wanting to change his career, but after some consideration and reflection realized it wasn’t the job he had outgrown and started to resent, but it was the company. He loved his work but it was time for a change in scenery.

Before making a change, consider if your unhappiness is related to the actual work you’re doing, or the arrangement of the company you work for.

5. Passion can be blinding

Pursing our passion has become romanticized. The allure of living a life of freedom and playfulness can blind us from the reality that our passion comes with a cost. A career change can happen at any point in your life, so make sure it’s the right time and you do it for the right reason. 

It can be exhilarating to imagine your new life filled with euphoric purpose, but make sure that it aligns with your values and lifestyle. Beyond doing work you love, what else is important to you? 

Don’t let passion seduce you into thinking it will be easy. Before you jump careers to hop on the “follow your dreams” bandwagon, be aware of the effort it will take, the financial impact it will have, and if the time is right. 

Growing your passion has many payoffs, such as joy and the rewards of mastery, but be realistic about what it takes. Doing work your passionate about comes with sacrifice.

Are you willing to do what it takes?

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