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Staying In Your Current Job vs. Following Your Passion

So I wanted to talk about this on the blog today, because it’s a question that has come up every time I’ve received questions for “Ask Claire.” It’s become a reoccurring question where people are saying something along the lines of – I’m not super passionate abut my current job. Should I stay or go into something I’m passionate about? I feel like now more than ever (partly due to social media), people feel like their job has to be this huge passion of theirs, so inevitably people are asking themselves this question more and more. I do think it’s great that we now live in a world where pursuing your passion or side-hustle is not only more accepted, but also easier to manifest with the (free) tools at our disposal. However, it doesn’t mean that if you aren’t in a job that is your “passion” that you’re doing something wrong. But it can be hard to feel like that isn’t the case when it seems like everywhere you look people are sharing their highlight reel, which includes having a job that is filled with passion and purpose.

Now, if you’re one of those people that feels genuinely fulfilled from their job, like it’s your “calling” or ultimate purpose in life, that’s great! But my point is, as a society we have kind of fallen into this expectation that if that isn’t the case, that you’re doing something wrong. So, today I want to talk to those of y’all that aren’t necessarily passionate about your current job and if it ultimately makes sense for you to stay or pursue something you’re passionate about.

I want to start with an excerpt from my recent “Ask Claire” because I think this sums up the major things to think about when asking yourself this question:

“I feel like there are two approaches to this (staying in your current job or following your passion). On the one hand, we spend so much time in our job that IMO it is hard to do something day in and day out that you don’t enjoy. But at the same time, not everyone is going to be obsessed (read: passionate) about their job and that’s okay. Let me rephrase that, it’s okay IF it affords you other things that you are passionate about or make you happy. For example, maybe you aren’t obsessed with your job but you have a great work-life balance, you like your co-workers, you have good PTO, and you have a great salary. So sure, you don’t necessarily love what you do, but the pros of your current job outweigh the cons. But if you’re in a position where you don’t feel like that is the case, I’d start making a list of what you like with your current job vs. what you don’t like (that will help narrow down where to start when you explore other careers/positions), and then start to think of areas you may enjoy working in and see if you can test them out through getting an online certification, taking a course, shadowing someone in the field, etc. For example, during the pandemic, Stephen took a ton of online courses in digital marketing, ended up really enjoying them, and then ended up applying to jobs in that space. Hopefully this gives you some idea of where to start and things to think of!”

So as you can see, IMO, there are several important factors to consider. You can have a job that on the surface you’re not necessarily obsessed with but at the end of the day the pros outweigh the cons – the pros allow you to live the kind of life you want in other areas. Because at the end of the day, you can be as passionate as can be about a job but if you are constantly struggling financially, you don’t have a great work-life balance, etc. then you’re going to feel less and less passionate (read: happy) doing that job. The stresses that come along with your passion may very well not outweigh the pro of working in your “passion itself.”

In order to see where you and your current job kind of fall on this, I would start making a pros and cons list of your current job. This will help you start to see your likes and dislikes and whether it makes sense to stay at your current job, stay within the same career/company but transfer to a new position that may be a better fit, or leave it altogether and pursue something you are more passionate about. If you ultimately feel like leaving and pursuing something else is the best choice and you know what you want to do, I have a blog post that talks about how to turn your side-hustle/passion into a full-time job and steps I took to get from nursing to blogging.

On the other hand, if you’re like, Claire, the pros of my current job do not outweigh the cons but I don’t know what the F I would do! Here is what I would suggest – again, make a list of your current job’s pros and cons. Seeing these will give you a good idea what to look for and NOT look for in your next job. Again, not all of us are going to have jobs that are “our calling” but our jobs take up a lot of hours of the day so it’s important that they check some of our boxes! Once you do this, I’d also make a list of topics/areas you are interested in and this doesn’t have to be super in-depth. For example, I love going to open houses in our area, driving through neighborhoods and browsing Zillow LOL. A few years ago I was super passionate about working out and nutrition, etc. Your interests may have changed over time and that’s okay – just start writing down some areas/topics you are interested in now. Then ask yourself – am I willing to go get a degree/back to school in an area if necessary? Or am I willing to get another certification or license? Again, these questions and answers will help you narrow down potential options. So for example, this was my answer to another “Ask Claire” question around what I would do if I wasn’t blogging. This is the conclusion I came to and how I came to it:

“I was recently thinking of what I would do if I wasn’t blogging and I think I would get my real estate license. This is the thought process I went through and hopefully in sharing it will help you think of where to start!
– would want to still work for myself to some degree/want to make my own hours to some extent
– don’t want a cap on my income
I really enjoy looking at houses/real estate and know the Raleigh area pretty well
– wouldn’t want to go back to school, but would go through getting a license or certification

Hopefully this thought process sheds some light on how you can answer some of these questions for yourself. And remember at the end of the day, if your job isn’t your passion per say, don’t let that make you feel like you are doing something wrong. Sometimes a job is just a job and that is okay!

does one of your girlfriends need to hear this? Share away…

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