Is “Follow your passion” the Crappiest Career Advice?

follow your passion

The most common advice that any student gets in his career advancement is “Follow your passion”. However, this standard career advice might be steering you in the wrong direction.

When you are finally a college graduate (now that you’ve thrown your cap in the air), you will be bombarded with various bits of advice. The advice that you take will affect your career in a remarkable way.

If you ask your parents, they will surely tell you to get a decent and well-paying job (whatsoever, but don’t move back into my house) or something similar to that. But if you consider advice from your mentor or friends, most of them will be ready with the “Follow your passion” speech.

And when you get that from them, it might seem like a good advice, which is totally harmless and should be implemented by everyone. But if you dig in, you will find the problems associated with following your passion.

Why is “Follow your passion” a trashy advice?

First and foremost issue with the whole following your passion thing is that - not everyone has a passion that can earn them a paycheck. Suppose you are passionate about cat grooming, but what if there are not enough jobs available for that? Or even if there are jobs, do you think it will help you earn enough money to support yourself?

So, what to do about it? Search for another skill that you possess, or something else that you’re passionate about, which can help you earn reasonable money. The logic applied here is simple – get a well-paying job and then groom as many cats as you want in your free time.

Secondly, the “follow your dream” is sort of confusing. Most of the people are passionate about almost a dozen of things and this increases the confusion of which passion should be converted to a career. All the passions don't make the same amount of money, some passions turn out to be a better career option than others. You may be like "Pick the passion that makes the highest money". Well, that can be done, but how would you know that you’re going to be good at making that passion a career? Also, how would you know which passion will earn you highest paycheck? You don’t get to know all of that, unless and until you try each of them as a career. (And I suppose you don’t have time for that!)

Lastly, the standard career advice of following your passion assumes that our passions are fixed and don’t change with time. Let’s be real, are you still passionate about the things that you were as a kid? No way. Passions change with time, age, and experience. As you come across new things, you might develop a passion for different things, but if you choose one of your passions as a career, you don’t have the option to change your career with time.

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