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  • Writer's pictureJoshua Soloway

Career Paths and Passions: Are they the same?


a man frustrated holding his glasses off his face and pressing on his eyes

This might be a contrary opinion, but career paths don't always have to align with your passions. Here is my thought on it, the things you do to feed yourself, put a roof over your head, and pay your bills sometimes are not what you love to do.


Does that mean you should not try to make them align? No, but it is not always in the cards.


I am really good at the job I do currently to pay my bills, but sadly it doesn’t align with what I love to do, Art. Would I kill to have my art pay my bills? Hell Yes! Who knows, maybe it will.


I was having this discussion recently with some friends about this topic. I think it is important to have a stable base and grow your skills and abilities in something that will keep you in a stable economic standing. But make sure to give yourself a proper work/life balance. It is called a “job” for a reason. There is a phrase: if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. I severely disagree with this thought. I would rephrase it to, if you are doing what you love, the work, effort, blood, sweat, tears, anxiety attacks, the feelings of rejection, the anger, papercuts, broken iPads, expenses, and everything else that come with it don’t feel like a job.


I have spent almost every morning and most of my weekends working on this website, my art, and growing my skills. Have I missed sleeping in and doing nothing on weekends? No. Every new trick I teach myself feels like one step further in making me better for me.


Most of my career, I spent my life cultivating knowledge and skills to better my company and not to further myself, only really motivated by money and ego. This can only gets you so far. At the end of the day, you control what you do with your time and it took me way too damn long to find that out.


Here are my tidbits:

  • What is your passion?

    • Step back and figure out what makes your brain spark

  • Who are you if you strip your job from your life?

    • Do you identify yourself with what you do for a living?

      • Knowing who you are as a human is a major key

  • Examine your current life:

    • Do you find yourself getting frustrated at your job and you just feel unfulfilled?

      • This is typically a sign you have a passion inside that doesn’t coincide with what you are doing.

      • I will speak from only my POV, but a promotion, an increase in pay, etc will not change this feeling above.

    • Have you created time for yourself?

      • Have you set boundaries with your job to have a personal life?

        • This is SUPER important. Establishing the thought that you are not your job and that you are only there to do the work given to you within a certain time period is major. You are not married to your company. It is not your company you just work there.

    • Once you have time, have you dedicated time to better yourself?

      • This is your true self I am speaking about. This could be taking classes, watching a shit ton of tutorials, picking up that pen, brush, keyboard, and practicing again.

      • This also means looking at what is distracting you?

        • Toxic friends

        • Tv

        • Slacking off

        • Etc


Now with some of those tidbits and questions, you might be saying, I LOVE WHAT I DO? Great, I am so very happy for you. You might be exactly where you need to be. I will also say I truly enjoy the job I have, but at the end of the day if I were to choose my art or my current job to take care of me economically then I would choose my art every time.


These two thoughts above are not mutually exclusive. You can enjoy your time at work and absolutely have an alternative passion that is so far from what you do. All I am posing to you all is are you truly happy with what you are doing and who you are?



Last thought, (thank you for reading this far) YOUR PASSION DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A BUSINESS. Your passion could be cooking, your family, being a great friend, taking vacations, etc. Your passion doesn’t have to pay you but if your identity is wrapped up in a career then you are avoiding the bottom line item that makes you happy.


The pursuit of being content with your life is a hard one and it can take some major mindshifts to accomplish it.


I love this topic so much, I hope you enjoyed this brain dump.


Much Love,

-Josh



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