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The Problem with Following Your Passion: Building a Mission Instead

The Myth of Following Your Passion

Follow your passion – its a bit of advice that has been ingrained in us since we were children. Whether its choosing a college major or starting a new career, we are frequently told that passion is the key to success.

But is it really?

Challenging the Passion Thesis

While it is certainly true that finding meaning in your work is important, letting passion be the only guiding force in your career decisions can actually hinder your success in the long run. Critics argue that the follow your passion advice leaves out important factors such as market demand and personal fit.

Pursuing a passion blindly without taking into account other factors can lead to poor career choices, failed businesses, and financial struggles.

Passions Change and Develop

Additionally, it’s important to acknowledge that passions change and develop over time. What you feel passionate about when you start college may not translate to your career years later.

In fact, a survey by LinkedIn found that 75% of graduates end up in careers that are not related to their majors. Its not uncommon for people to make career changes or explore new interests as they go through life.

Personal experiences of changing passions can confirm this. For example, when Sarah started college, she was convinced she wanted to be a lawyer.

She dove into pre-law coursework and internships, believing it to be her true calling. But in her junior year, she realized she was more interested in writing and switched majors.

After graduation, she got a job as a copy editor, which further ignited her passion for writing. Today, she is a full-time freelance writer and couldnt be happier.

Building Skills, Networks, and Interests Over Time

Passion is also limiting in that it can blind us to growth opportunities that lie outside of our comfort zones. A key to success is to build skills, networks, and interests over time, even if they don’t fit into our narrow definition of passion.

Exposing ourselves to diverse experiences can lead to unexpected passions and open up new career paths. Take John, for example.

He was passionate about photography and applied to various photography jobs upon graduation. Unfortunately, he had no luck landing a job, which led him to take a job as a marketer for a small business.

While marketing was not his passion, he enjoyed learning new skills and collaborating with the team. Over time, John became an expert in digital marketing, which eventually became his new passion.

He later found ways to incorporate photography into his marketing roles, creating a unique skillset that set him apart from others in his industry. In conclusion, finding your passion is an important pursuit, but it’s important to remember that it shouldn’t be the only factor in making career decisions.

Passion is not always enough to guarantee success and fulfillment. Career success often comes from building upon skills, networks, and interests over time, recognizing that passions can change and evolve with experience.

So, don’t worry if you are feeling lost or unsure about your passion– you never know what opportunities and passions await you in the future. Passion Is Limiting: Not Everyone Has a Single, Burning Desire

The idea of finding your passion is romanticized in society.

We are often told that we need to have one single, all-consuming passion that leads us straight to our dream job. But for many people, this just is not the case.

Some people have a variety of interests and cant easily pinpoint one particular passion. In fact, having varied interests can be a great asset in any career.

In his book Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, David Epstein argues that a breadth of experiences can lead to a unique perspective and can provide valuable skills, especially in fields that are constantly shifting and evolving. Furthermore, the idea that work must be driven solely by passion ignores the larger purpose of work: contributing to society and improving the world around us.

For many people, the meaning of work does not come purely from what we are passionate about. Rather, it is about making a meaningful contribution to society and our communities.

Passion Is Limiting: Important Work Will Not Always Be Exciting

Even if we are lucky enough to have a singular passion, its important to remember that pursuing that passion will not always be exciting. The reality is, every job has its less-exciting tasks, and even the most stimulating jobs will have tedious, routine work.

Often, the most important work that we do is not the most exciting, but its still necessary. For example, think of a doctor.

A passion for medicine may have driven someone to become a doctor, but not every day is filled with groundbreaking medical advancements. Doctors must also do paperwork, attend meetings, and do other routine tasks that arent particularly exciting.

However, the less-exciting tasks allow the doctor to provide life-saving care, which ultimately gives them greater job satisfaction and motivation to continue their work. Build a Mission Instead: Importance of Useful Skills and Meaningful Impact

Rather than pursuing a passion as the sole motivator for work, it can be more useful to build a mission.

A mission is about finding useful skills and meaningful impact. The skills we learn can be used in various contexts, and the impact we make allows us to connect our work with the larger picture.

For example, a graphic designer may be passionate about design, but that passion alone may not lead them to a career that feels meaningful. By building a mission, the designer could focus on creating design work that helps small businesses stand out in their communities.

They could use the skills theyve developed to provide good design work that would allow these businesses to grow. This mission could give the designer a sense of achievement and satisfaction that aligns with their passion, while making an impact on the businesses they work with.

Build a Mission Instead: Contentment in Work Without Pinpointing a Dream Job

Building a mission allows for the pursuit of contentment, rather than a single, dream job. It’s a mindset shift from “If I’m not doing what I love, I won’t be happy” to “I will find meaning and satisfaction in my work, even if it’s not my ultimate passion.” The search for contentment in work means accepting that jobs have their ups and downs, but by focusing on the impact and value that can be created through work, we can find fulfillment in our careers.

Its important to note that building a mission doesnt mean ignoring our interests and passions altogether. Rather, it means understanding that we can find meaning and purpose in our work without having to limit ourselves to pursuing one dream job.

The ability to find contentment in different aspects of work can lead to a more balanced and sustainable approach to a career. In conclusion, building a mission provides a different approach to work that allows for a more balanced and sustainable approach to a career.

By focusing on developing useful skills and making meaningful impact, we can find contentment in different aspects of our work without having to pursue a singular passion. Remember, finding passion is not necessary to have a fulfilling career.

A career can be a combination of skills, interests, and making a positive impact through the work we do. In conclusion, relying solely on passion may not lead to career fulfillment.

Instead, it’s important to develop a mission that combines our interests, skills, and impact. Pursuing varied interests and building skills over time can lead to unique perspectives and valuable skills in a constantly evolving job market.

Similarly, recognizing that essential work may not always be exciting, but still pursuing it for its greater purpose can lead to greater job satisfaction. By focusing on a fulfilling mission rather than a singular passion, we can find contentment and balance in our work.

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