To find work you’ll love, don’t follow your passion
Why do I say this?
Because I am sure…
You have probably at least once in your life thought about finding a career that’s worthwhile and fulfilling, right?
For most of us, this is one of the most daunting questions we face through our course in life.
For years, “Follow your passion” has become a construed piece of career advice for many young people.
In fact, a myriad of articles have been written in support of the “Passion Hypothesis”, this idea convinces people that somehow a great amount of success will come to you if you follow your bliss or passion.
However, the ugly truth they don’t tell you about following your passion is that this advice has resulted in too many failed businesses than all the recessions combined.
Contrary to popular belief, the hard truth is, the majority of people owning successful businesses today, did not end up doing so by following their passion.
Check this out:
Mainstream career advises people to apply the pithy phrase “Follow your passion” but this advice is dead wrong.
The real problem when looking at following your passion is looking at this analogy as though passions are something that lies within us waiting to be awakened and make us exceptionally wealthy.
But if the passion hypothesis is a mythical belief, how then should you find a job you’ll love?
Still not convinced?
okay, let’s dive in
According to Benjamin Todd in a talk, he delivered about how “To find work you love, don’t follow your passion”, if you are looking for a fulfilling career, do something valuable (something meaningful) instead.
How do you tell if you are doing something meaningful?
How to get started?
The first thing you need to have in mind when choosing a career is that you’re almost making a decision about what to become good at and not the other way around.
To get the most satisfaction in life, you should delve into doing something meaningful. And the best way to do something meaningful is to find something that you actually find meaningful yourself.
A meaningful job is a job that plays an impact/role as well as an important difference to the lives of others.
Doing something valuable means getting good at something that helps others.
At this point, you might be thinking “Okay, you make a good argument.
But I still don’t have a clue on how to be valuable” so, let’s delve into how you can genuinely help others and make the world a better place by being valuable.
How to do what’s Valuable:
Not all of us can do something we are passionate about, some of us are not clear about what we are passionate about, most of the things we are passionate about, change as we grow older.
Even if we are certain about what our passions are “Following your passion” can be a daunting area to satisfy.
This might be because the fields you are passionate about are likely to be the most competitive in the job market thus making it difficult to secure a good job.
Look for something that will make you do really good in the world and test yourself doing different things.
If you actually think about it, there are a myriad of opportunities waiting to be unraveled by focusing on doing what’s valuable.
Get good at flexible skills
To stay competitive and successful in the business world today, you have to be willing to conform to the latest standards on a virtually real-time basis.
Being flexible means being ready to respond to the changing expectations and circumstances of the present world.
By starting a new career in a new field, you can spend the first years of your career researching on what problems in the world you can contribute positively to, then work on establishing flexible and useful skills you can apply to the best of your ability to solve some problems that are most likely neglected by other people.
If you base your career on work that helps others and practice to be good at it, then you’ll become passionate and love what you do.
Dont stop there, keep reading…
Solve Pressing Problems
Doing something valuable does not translate to working for a charity or being a philanthropist.
It means identifying a pressing problem in the world be it climate change, human rights, poverty, or something else completely; after identifying a pressing problem in the world, work to contribute a solution for alleviating the problem.
This can be done through a myriad of ways (whether that’s by raising money, raising awareness about the problem or even research, or something else entirely.
You will find that by contributing to solving pressing problems in the world, you will find your job more fulfilling and you will generally be happier since you are contributing to something larger than yourself.
However, keep in mind that doing something valuable with your career will most likely not make a great impact immediately, it is bound to take time.
Do what’s valuable
Get good at your unique value.
You have probably heard this phrase from job hunting and personal branding.
But rather than your unique value being solely about the value you offer and who you are, it’s really about what you are here to do and how you can make a difference.
The first thing about finding your unique value is by identifying what you love to give so much, make it your mission you can’t help giving it.
Once you have established what that is, then make it your job to make other people care about it too.
Go further and show them why they should care and value that skill.
Do what is valuable, get good at doing something that you will help others and establish a career through it.
Instead of the mythical belief that you are more likely to be successful if you are doing something passionately.
This is because “Passion is not something you follow” instead, “Passion is something that will follow you as you put in the hard work to become valuable in the world”.
To answer our very first question on how to establish a fulfilling career; make a difference in society by focusing on other people and making the world a better place.
What’s stopping you?
I’d love to know your thoughts