Your Passion – Make it the Basis of Your Career or at Least give it a Try
We’ve all known people who seem to be a perfect fit for their jobs or their careers. Not only are they successful but enjoy what they’re doing with a passion. Those situations could be a case where your passion and your job just might be a perfect match.
Many or maybe even most people are not in that favorable situation. I’ve known people who are successful but hate what they’re doing with a passion. Could that be you? Are you someone in an occupation you’re not so interested in, but it pays well?
I can tell you from experience (listening to others gripe) that it must be awful to be in a job for many years hating what you do. I’ve talked with some of them and they feel trapped in a situation they never intended. In my first part-time job, when I started college, I worked in the main Post Office in Chicago. There I worked with people who had been there 25 – 30 years or even longer.
I heard so many of them speak of how they hated their job. But were too old. Too old to quit. They made good money and had such good benefits. Because of that that they couldn’t quit. Right then and there I vowed that would never happen to me. Fortunately it hasn’t happened. That was back when I was eighteen.
That “too old” phrase sounds so familiar to me. Back in 1997 I started my last job. I was in my 50s. My job was a good programming job, but didn’t pay well because it was too far from Los Angeles. That’s where most of the higher paying programming jobs were.
After about a year I started looking for a new job so I could boost my salary. I wanted it back to my normal fairly high paying jobs I had in the past. Imagine, I looked for over 4 years to no avail. No job offer was forthcoming. I had only one in person interview and one phone interview. I’m sure my age had everything to do with me not getting a job offer.
Unlike my younger days, when I went on a job interview I almost always got a job offer. But then much older it was the opposite. Now I see how age can affect getting a job and probably your moral if you really need the money. Fortunately for me I enjoyed my job, even though the pay was low. When I say low, consider this. I was making $14/hr. less my last job compared to my jobs 11 – 15 years before where I was making over $35/hr. Both were senior programming analyst jobs.
What I Learned from Old Folks Stuck with Me My Whole Life
I am a well seasoned senior citizen now, and never had a job I hated. And I’ve has numerous jobs – way more than most people would ever have. Part of that liking all my jobs was probably luck, good luck. The other part was the lesson I learned from old folks when I was young just starting out.
Basically that was if you have a choice, take a job doing something you like. Don’t just do it for the money or convenience. That stuck with me throughout my whole life. I might add, and some will take offense with this, maybe many. Certain kinds of jobs, the Post Office for example and other government jobs pay very well and have very good benefits.
That’s especially true for many government jobs. However, once you have a lot of seniority in those jobs it is hard to find equivalent salaries and benefits in the private sector in the event you do want to leave.
Just like the post office job I initially had when I was a teenager, I see people nowadays in that same position as those older people I spoke to way back then. They hate their job and want to leave, but most cannot due to the high salary and good benefits.
That can be an untenable situation if you really hate your job. And in those kinds of jobs conditions can change, politics can make things difficult in higher positions and you can be miserable in spite of the high salary and good benefits.
I don’t know about you, but I’d hate to be stuck in a job I really didn’t like. If your prime motivation is the bottom line then maybe it doesn’t make any difference as long as you’re making money and providing for your family a desirable lifestyle.
But, if you long for a job or career you love and fits with your passion then it may put you in a difficult situation.
It’s Never too Late, to Discover your Passion
Some people just fall into their lifelong passion with little or no trouble at all. They are the lucky ones. Maybe they grew up in the family business, never knew anything else. If so, or never cared to learn anything else and found contentment in that family business. However, this is not the normal situation. Most of us want to try something different or haven’t “been born with a silver spoon in their mouth“.
It’s never too early, or late, to discover your passion and act on it. However, you must first determine what you’re passionate about. When you understand your own passion, and this may not be easy for some, a whole new world of possibilities opens up.
Step back and take a close look at where you are now and how you got there. You might make good money doing whatever you do, but if you’re not happy and dread going to work, then the money is not your motivating factor. If this is your situation, then you’re learning something about yourself already.
Look at your passion from all angles. If you were doing what you really like it could possibly open up new doors for you or create new friendships. You’ll never know the results of doing what you really have a passion for versus doing something to get by or even make big bucks as the case might be.
Do not Confuse Your Passion with Admiration
What you think your passion is could be just admiration of others who do what you think you would like to do. Would you like to become a writer but hate to sit down to a computer and write?
Do you admire a person who makes birdhouses for a living but you hate to be cooped up in a wood shop all day. Don’t confuse your passion with admiration. And be prepared for the realization that doing what you love will not always put bread on the table.
Realize that a bird in the hand is not always better than two in a bush. Sometimes you need to break out of the stagnant mold. Become a freethinker and seriously think of taking a chance in pursuing your passion.
You can bet people who are working at whatever their passion is spent long hours to get where they are today. But if it’s truly your passion, getting there will be a joy. Explore your passion whether it be a love of animals, gardening, photography or whatever, and take those passions to the next level.
Learn all you can about your passion. Take a class or a course, volunteer or intern in the field you love. See where the path leads. It could lead you right back to where you were in the first place. But you owe it to yourself to find out.
Even if you are in your later years or retired, it can pay you in sheer satisfaction to do some of the things you are passionate about. It’s a case of self improvement if you are doing something you really enjoy and it brings you satisfaction. Even if there is no monetary benefit to be derived from it. Enjoy the journey.
About the Author
Charles L Harmon is a senior citizen who has been online since about 2000. He has an unusual personal blog Yolky and several other sites. His new Wanderlust Quote site has lots of unusual quotes and images for you to enjoy. Additionally, if you’re interested in write-ups about all sorts of travel destinations visit his TravelESP site.