I often hear of how you should find your passion, pursue it to find happiness and earn a living from it. I agree with this statement and am following this advice, but there is a potential hazard in walking a fine line between earning a living from your passion and going broke trying to follow your passion.
I experienced this first-hand as I was on a mission to assist people who are struggling with anxiety, using techniques that I developed from my own experiences. I was so committed to the cause that I was relying on volunteer honorariums to survive for over a year because I was passionate about helping people and that was all that concerned me.
As great as it feels to assist others and make a difference, a random conversation at a coffee shop changed my direction and guided me towards a more sustainable future. The same principals can be applied to your job search or career change so I’ll share them with you here. The man in the coffee shop explained what happens during an airplane emergency and how the air masks come down. When this happens, you must secure your oxygen first, then you can assist others. He related this to my situation and raised the point that if I wasn’t making any money how could I assist others when I couldn’t take care of myself.
[quote style=”boxed”]Making this connection with your occupation is one of the key ingredients to being successful[/quote]
This perspective change was transformational because I was holding the belief that making money for helping people was negative and since it is my passion, I should do it to make a positive contribution. Okay, maybe this is an extreme example, but how many people under charge or worst yet give their services away in the name of following their passion. There is nothing wrong with charging for your services, what is wrong is if you don’t deliver value to your customers. I have never had a client that wasn’t happy with the results they achieved, so if I delivered value, then why should I feel bad? Thing is, I shouldn’t feel bad, the money charged validates the value of the service.
With this in mind, if you are looking for a career change, find something you’re passionate about, something that gives you energy. Consider this your starting point and then explore what opportunities are available to put you in a situation where you can earn a living from doing something that moves you toward satisfying your goals. Making this connection with your occupation is one of the key ingredients to being successful.
[quote style=”boxed”]Guiding your career into a full time occupation you are passionate about may require a step-by-step journey[/quote]
The reality of your passion may change once it becomes a job and frustration with work can set in. Maintaining your position and income level will take some of the pressure off. Guiding your career into a full time occupation you are passionate about may require a step-by-step journey if your new career choice will not be sustainable for full-time earnings. If this is the case, perhaps you should start with a part-time, volunteer position or as a self employed contractor. In this case, I suggest you try working at it while still employed, because this will give you the opportunity to test if you really want to pursue this full-time, while maintaining your income. If you are not currently working, try to find a job that leaves you with enough energy and time flexibility, or ability to work evenings, and earns you enough base income to pay the bills while you try working or volunteering in the occupation you are passionate about. I’m fortunate that I love what I do. That said, nothing is perfect, the preparation can be frustrating, but I am rewarded with the satisfaction of fulfilling my passion when I lead an audience to improve their business and work lives.
This is my strategy for earning a living from passion:
1. Identify your passion
2. Explore possible jobs that are directly related to your passion
3. Research the jobs and ask for information interviews where you find out more details on the industry and how these positions pay.
4. Decide here, if is can be a sustainable full-time, part-time or a volunteer position.
5. Find satisfaction in being involved with your passion and see where it goes. If employment in your area is not realistic in the short term, start researching and writing or blogging about it. Writing your thoughts is a great way to solidify your knowledge and think through alternative directions.
I hope you find it useful in your quest to earn a living from your passion.