Why “Do What You Love” May Not Be the Best Advice

By Madison Jeffery

We’ve all heard the age old adage: “Do what you love and you won’t work a day in your life”. As nice as that sounds, it’s not entirely true. And it’s not really great advice either.

Even if you love your job, some days are going to feel like work. It’s inevitable. There are always those tasks we don’t really like to do, but we still need to keep trucking and get them done. There are also those days where you’d really just prefer to sit in bed with your dog, keep your pj’s on for the rest of your life, and spiral into a deep dark hole of Netflix shows.

It’s also true that pursuing your dreams and choosing a job you get joy out of is super important. But before you go off and chase rainbows because you love them, you should ask yourself some key questions to make sure it’ll all work out.

1. Is there an actual job that will allow you to do it?

As I mentioned before, if you love finding rainbows, it may not be advisable to quit your current job and dive in because there are probably no jobs out there with “chase rainbows” as the main duty (unless you become a rainbow photographer which would be super cool).

Make sure there’s an actual job behind what you love. If your favorite thing in the world is reading books, look into publishing. If you love dogs, look into training or rescue organizations. There are lots of possibilities, you just have to find the right one.

A good way to see what’s out there? Hop on LinkedIn and find someone who is already doing it. They’ll likely be happy to chat with you about the pros and cons of the position.

But what if there isn’t a job out there? Well, in that case, you should probably continue to do what you love as a hobby or find a way to make it a side gig.

2. Does it pay enough?

Another thing people often hear is that it’s okay to leave your well-paid position to pursue something you love. Making that kind of decision also takes some thought.

The reality is: you have to get paid to pay for things (I know, it’s a revolutionary idea). If you put together all the numbers (rent, car payment, cell phone, gym membership you never use, etc.) and can make them work on a low salary, go for it. But make sure you keep your lifestyle wants and needs in mind when you’re thinking about going for a job with a lower salary than you make now.

If the new paycheck won’t cover the bills, stick with your current gig or find something that will pay you around the same amount.

3. Are you good at it?

This is a question you really need to be honest about with yourself.

For example, I’m from New England and I really love hockey (go Bruins!). Unfortunately, I’m not very good at actually playing it. Don’t get me wrong, I can ice skate and take a pretty mean slap shot, but I’m certainly not good enough to warrant making money off of my skills.

If your passion isn’t something you’re super good at, make sure you work to hone your skills and get better before you think about making it your full-time job (or get real, like I did, and realize that you’re never going to be a professional hockey player).

It’s certainly important to be in a job that makes you happy and if it also incorporates a passion of yours, you’ve pretty much hit the jackpot. So pursue what you love, whether it’s your full-time job or your side gig, you’ll be glad you did!

Thanks for reading this article on Paper Trail by Corporate Brokers! If you’re really looking for a dream job, we’re chock full of ’em. You can see them here. Oh, and don’t forget to click on that little green heart and recommend this post to others.

Madison Jeffery is Corporate Brokers’ Junior Marketing Associate. She handles everything branding, marketing, and communications. When she’s not at work, you can find her with her nose in a book or stopping to pet every dog she sees on the street. Check her out on LinkedIn!

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