If you’ve ever asked anyone for career advice, you’ve probably heard some version of “follow your passion.” Young people, in particular, are often told that they should figure out what career to pursue by building their work around whatever they’re passionate about. Allison Green at Money Magazine tells us why..
Most passions don’t line up well with paying careers. If you’re passionate about poetry or salsa dancing, you’re going to find very limited job opportunities for those things. And other people’s passions are their friends or their family, or homemaking or dogs, and again, there’s not much of a job market built around those things. Those are lovely passions to have, though—and often the best choice is to find a career that supports you enough to pursue those passions outside of work.
- Turning what you love into a career can ruin what you loved about it. You might love to bake, and your friends might regularly swoon over your cakes and tell you to open a bakeshop. But getting up at the crack of dawn every day, baking 100 cakes daily, and dealing with difficult customers and the stress and finances of running your own business might have nothing to do with what you love about baking—and might sap the joy right out of it.
- It leads students to study the wrong thing in college. Too many students pick their major without understanding what jobs it will (and, importantly, won’t) qualify them for once they graduate, and are then frustrated when they realize that the major hasn’t prepared them for the jobs they really want or are likely to be able to get. (To be clear, if you choose a major strictly for the love of it, with no expectation that it will help you get a job after you graduate, that’s one thing. The concern is with students who don’t realize how little their major will help them with employment, and who are frustrated after the fact.)