Passion, Reality, and Job-Search

There is a lot to be said for following your passion when it comes to work and many ‘experts’ who write and discuss such matters will say to give up everything to chase your dreams and follow your passions.

While I think that advice is good in practice there has to be some sort of intersection with reality. Consider the following:

  • I am passionate about soccer and would give up my left pinky toe to have a succesful career playing the sport that I love.
    • The reality: If I made a go at a pro soccer career I would be jobless within the second because no one would pay me to play.
    • The solution: I play in an adult soccer league (and very regularly with my kids in our yard) and PRETEND that I am a highly tuned instrument of soccer destruction.
  • I am passionate about music and would love to be able to make a living expressing myself through song.
    • The reality: I don’t even sound good singing in the shower and I am about as tone-deaf as they come.
    • The solution: Still working out the details here, but no talent is still no talent at the end of the day so being really good at listening to music has to work for now.

Although I love both soccer and music I would be the really, really bad person who auditions on American Idol if I were to try professionally at either. So what do you do to have your passions satisfied while still being able to make a living?

One of my favorite examples comes from my good friend Bill Karlson (check him out – great author and SME on job-search) who once told the story of a woman who was an accountant that had an absolute passion for the opera. So what did she do? Found a job with an opera company doing their books.

Also consider my much better half Christina. She originally came to Nashville (where we live) to go to school and become the next big thing in country music. Life happened and now we have three kids and although she has a great voice trying to make it as a singer would be a bit difficult.

Her solution? She is very active in singing in the children’s ministry of our Church. It’s not making her rich and famous but she gets to do one of the things she loves the most on a very regular basis.

What say you – how do you balance your passion and your work? Look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments!

Until next time – good hunting and good luck!


One response to “Passion, Reality, and Job-Search

  1. Matt,

    Thanks for the kind words, as well as clear message on blending motivated skills and job option reality. I’ll also suggest investing the time to think through how your goals may have changed. I’ve had out of work traveling sales folks tell me their top priority is being there for their new baby. And then they interview for another sales job with extensive travel.

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