This is a popular subject, that can lead to much debate. Some say that we should strive to work for something that we are passionate about, and that is the only way to go. There is some logic to that. To succeed, you must put a lot of energy into your work. And it may be harder to be so dedicated to your work and your success if you don’t like your job.
On the other hand, I have known quite a few persons that failed professionally exactly because they want to do what they love. They are so passionate that they are ready to work almost for free, and accept any job, project or contract possible that relates to their passion. They negotiate to please their heart, not to maximize their pay. Their pay seems to be more the pleasure they get from the activity than the money.
If you don’t find a way to make money doing what you love, then it is just a hobby, not a job or a business. And unless you are financially independent, it should then always just be treated as a hobby.
A job, your business, your professional life, should make you money. It should add value for your clients, and in return they should be motivated to pay for this added value.
I think the sentence can go both way: you have to do what you love, and also be wise enough to love what you do. We can always choose our emotions. Some seem hard to please; others seem to find pleasure in anything. Work is always work, and to succeed you will always have to do what you have to do, whether you like it or not. You may like the subject in general, but you will like more some tasks than others. But to succeed you have to do them all.
You must definitely identify the key skills and strengths you would like to develop, and then focus on continuous learning, and maximizing the value you can get from those skills. That does not mean loving every single thing you do. On this subject, see this article we published recently on Developing your strengths.
Again, if you cannot be paid for those skills, then it is a hobby. Hobbies are important in your life, but until you are financially independent, let’s not confuse hobby and work.
Finally, here’s an article on the opposite: how to make choices that will make sure you dislike your career! On the subject of career, the website careerealism is an excellent source of information.
5 Surefire Ways To End Up With A Career You Hate
I spend a lot of time sharing information on how to love your career. I talk about making thoughtful decisions, establishing a path and actively managing your goals.
But, equally important, is avoiding those roads that will lead to inevitable career unhappiness. Sometimes, they’re hard to spot. But I’ve found five that are clear, unmistakable danger zones. Take a look below and make every effort to avoid these traps.
Michel Dion, PMP, CPA
Founder and Developer of Project-Aria
Discover my book:
Leadership Toolbox for Project Managers: Achieve Better Results in a Dynamic World