Since we were little, we’ve heard this phrase all the time. “Do what you love”. Follow your passion. If you do what you like, you’ll never work a day in your life. But as we grow up and begin our careers, we realize that sometimes our passion doesn’t equal a comfortable income. A lot of people have a passion for music for example, and there is a music industry. But everybody also knows that making a comfortable living in the music industry is rare. A lot of people also have a passion for sports, but very few people will become professional athletes or sports agents, really the only well paying sports positions.
So what should you do if your passion doesn’t equal a good income? If the thing you love isn’t the thing you can make a living on? Should you take a job that will provide you with a comfortable living but may not be your most favorite job? This is a tough question that most people have to face, unless of course you’re blessed enough to be able to practice your passion while living comfortably. Let’s look at the advantages of both pursuing your passion and getting a steady job.
Let’s say that you are fresh out of school (high school or college) and decide to completely pursue your passion. You decide to create and produce an album, or you decide to try and make it big in Hollywood. Obviously there are really only two outcomes that can come from pursuing your passion head on. Either you will succeed greatly and make a good income (possibly a fortune) while having fun doing what you love, or you will fail. If you fail, you may still end up with a good job, but you may feel like a failure for not achieving your dreams that you set out to pursue. That would be a heavy burden to carry for the rest of your career, and could affect your happiness. On the other end, you may not even get a good job and may have to settle for a low paying job where you can’t make a good income.
Now let’s look at the other end of the spectrum. Let’s say you’re fresh out of school and decide to get a good job that is steady and will pay well, but this job is not exactly what you’re passionate about. A lot of people choose this route, and for good reason too. It is easily the safest choice, as you will receive a steady income and the job is for the most part stable. But the obvious downside is that you may be miserable at your job and regret not pursuing your passion. You may spend your days at the office wondering if you really could have made it if you just tried out for that professional basketball team or if you tried to be an actor at Hollywood. Regret from not pursuing your dream can be heavy and can weigh on a person for their entire career.
So which route should you take? For that, I have no specific answer. It is completely up to you and what you value more. If you value going after your passion and not caring about the risks, then by all means go for it. If you value a steady income and providing for others, then getting a steady job may be the route to go. You can also pursue your passions outside of your job. This is what hobbies and recreation are for, and can provide a balance between passion and income. Whatever you choose though, go after it with full force and don’t look back!