The Pros And Cons Of Turning A Passion Into A Career

Passions come in many forms from cycling to rock music to knitting. Passions tend to be things we explore voluntarily in our free time. But what if you could turn your passion into a job? What if you could get paid to cycle, to play rock music or to knit? There are obvious benefits to this, but there are also drawbacks worth considering. This post weighs up the pros and cons to help you decide whether you should turn your passion into a career.

Pro: You can get paid to do something that you love

Many of us make money doing things that are tedious or unpleasant for the most part. Being able to make money doing tasks that you enjoy could allow you to spend more of your day having fun. The average person works over 35 hours per week. That’s a lot of hours to spend doing something you don’t want to do. Turning your passion into a job could bring more joy to each day – and you’ll be earning money while bringing yourself this joy. 

Con: There will always still be some ‘work’ involved

Every job involves a certain degree of guidelines and commitment, which typically forces you to do tasks you wouldn’t otherwise choose to do. Professional gamers for example don’t spend their day playing whatever game they want at whatever time – they typically have to put in certain hours of practice into certain modes on certain games. Similarly, professional artists don’t just get paid to sit around painting all day – they have to put effort into marketing their works and connecting with potential buyers if they want to make money. 

Pro: Building up experience and expertise is easier and more fun

Some jobs require you to learn a lot and to get a certain amount of experience. With some jobs, building up this experience and knowledge may not always be fun. With something you are already passionate about, you may not mind dedicating hours to research and voluntary work. For example, if you already have an interest in animals, taking a degree in zoology and getting some voluntary experience at a zoo could be something you get enjoyment out of (certainly more so than perhaps taking an accounting degree and getting accounting experience). 

Con: Such jobs could be oversubscribed and lower paid

Because jobs centred around passions are perceived as fun, you typically get a lot of people applying for them. You may also be expected to start on a lower wage, because employers don’t feel the need to offer attractive starting salaries. A good example is sports journalism – sports publications often get tons of people applying for writing positions and don’t pay much per article unless you are a senior staff member. All in all, you therefore must be willing to work hard to get the job while also being able to live frugally once you’ve achieved it.

Pro: You could experience less stress at work

Stress within a job can have many causes. Sometimes colleagues can be a source of stress or a long commute can cause stress. However, it’s likely that you will enjoy the duties a lot more if you get paid to do something that you have a passion for. This is likely to reduce some of the stress compared to doing a job that you have no real interest in – and in turn could be better for your physical and mental health. 

Con: You may have to find other ways to enjoy your downtime

Because you’re spending all your working hours engaging in your passion, you may find that you then don’t want to spend your free time engaging in this passion. Continuing to engage in your passion in your leisure time as well as your work time could lead to fatigue and you may even grow bored of your passion. Unless you can find another way to occupy your downtime, it therefore may not be a good idea to turn your passion into a career. This is why it can sometimes be better to explore careers that don’t necessarily tap into your passions but simply play to your personality. The likes of the Strong Interest Inventory Test promote this.

Should you turn your passion into a career?

Turning a passion into a career requires some sacrifices. But ultimately it could be worthwhile for your physical and mental wellbeing – so long as you can still find a way to fill your free time. Be prepared to put a lot of preparation into applying for the job, including building up your knowledge and experience. This could be a fun process, but you also need to be patient not to start applying for jobs early when you may be underqualified. 

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