I like to keep up on work and career/job blogs, and one of my biggest frustrations is finding advice that encourages people to “settle” or “be realistic.” I came across an article this evening that falls into that category.
I was intrigued by the title – 6 Career Myths You Shouldn’t Fall For and dug in deeper to see what the author had to say. The first myth… that a college degree will get you a job. Good so far. I agree. A college degree will NOT guarantee you a job. It may qualify you for a job, but it won’t guarantee you get one.
Then I hit myth #2… that money will come if you follow your passion. It’s possible to follow your passion and not make money, but here is the kicker that prompted me to respond:
“If you’re passionate about poetry or painting, you’re going to find very limited job opportunities for those things. In fact, the people who get to do what they love for a job are the lucky ones; they’re not the majority. A better goal is to find work that you can do reasonably happily; it doesn’t need to be your passion.”
So there you have it. Strive to be reasonably happy in your work. Does that sound good to you? I can’t wait to get up tomorrow and go do something that makes me reasonably happy.
How encouraging! Those people who love what they do…they are just lucky. You can’t make that a reality for you. Being really good at something won’t do the trick, being creative isn’t enough, you need luck – and if you don’t have that then just take the first thing that comes along that you at least like on some level. Yes, sometimes it is okay to do work you don’t love – but it those times should be part of a plan to achieve your goals (which hopefully include being happy!)
So what do you do if your passion is poetry or painting or something else that has a perceived lower value in the marketplace? The truth is that there are always more options. It isn’t always a choice between being a poor poet or rich and unhappy in a corporate job. Get creative. Try to come up with thirty things that you could do to make money at what you love. That could mean creating a product that uses your skill, or teaching others how to do it, or even a corporate job where you get to use your passion as part of your work. The possibilities are endless.
Last thought. Today’s economy values creativity and art more than it ever has in the past. These are the things that can’t be shipped overseas. They can’t be broken down into steps and replicated in a factory. Not only can you make money doing what you love, it may be the only way.
What do you think? Do you think it is okay to be reasonably happy in your job?