Today’s post is written by Alex Summers. Having spent long and arduous hours learning about business, marketing, and writing from respected minds while attending school, she now feels an obligation to spread the knowledge along with a fresh perspective.
When asking for career advice, many of us have probably been told by elders that it’s important to love what you do. Nothing ultimately matters as much as the satisfaction and contentment derived from an enjoyable, lifelong career. But this goal remains elusive for many. While all of us have passions and a desire (or at least a need) to maintain a stable income, it is often difficult to unify the two. We can find a well-paying, dependable job in a field that we can’t stand. We can live paycheck-to-paycheck in an industry we adore. But it’s often hard to find and maintain that middle ground.
If you’re in this position, it’s important to keep seeking your passions while simultaneously staying practical about your options and your career. Here are a 3 tips for working to accomplish this challenging task:
- Create a balance. Life is all about balance, and finding the right career is no exception. But how, on a literal level, can this be done? It usually is a matter of specializing when it matters: if you’re in a broad field that is practical but not enjoyable, try to find a specialty within that field that better suits your passions. On the other hand, if you are in an industry about which you are more passionate, look to take a job in one of the more practical and dependable focuses therein.
- Take time to explore. As a young professional, the best way to find that optimal career balance is to take some time to try out a wide variety of opportunities. You may find that your passions aren’t as exciting in reality and that some paths prove more enjoyable than you initially think. Along the way, hopefully, you’ll come across something that works well for you.
- Don’t assume your passions are impossible. There was once a time when the field of massage therapy represented a career that was high on passion and short on practicality. Massage therapists were poorly paid and few and far between. A person who was fascinated by the career, therefore, had little chance at employing themselves or maintaining a stable lifestyle. But that has all changed over the past decade: thanks to growing awareness, new backing from the medical community, and an aging population, massage therapy is now a lucrative field with growing demand. Certified professionals are in short supply even though massage therapy schools are regularly full. This all goes to show that your passions can become practical should you choose to stick with them.
These are just three tips to keep in mind when trying to find a career path that combines passion with practicality. While we would all jump to take a job that offers us equally large measures of both, this is not always a feasible option for young professionals today. But this does not mean that you should ever cede your goals – whether now or in the future.