Why _Follow Your Passion_ is the Worst Career Advice-1

Every day I see articles and career coaches encouraging people to “follow their passion” and if you do this or do that, “you will never have to work a day in your life”.  In my opinion, these people although probably coming from a good place, are offering unrealistic advice and are setting up today’s younger and more impressionable workers for failure. By propagating the myth that following your passions will make you happy and successful, we are cultivating a whole generation of individuals who are seeking something that is, for the most part, unattainable. Furthermore, by continuing to plant the seeds of unrealistic expectations, we are creating a frustrated and discontented workforce whose misplaced attitudes toward work will ultimately reflect poorly on their performance.

Why do we work?

We work to put a roof over our head, food on the table and to be able to support ourselves and our families. Additionally, we work so that we can earn enough to hopefully one day, afford to do the things we want to do and maybe even buy the extras that we want to buy. It’s pretty simple to me that ‘work is work’- that is why we get paid. According to the dictionary, the definition of work is an “activity involving mental or physical effort done to achieve a purpose or result.” AND “a task or tasks to be undertaken; something a person or thing has to do.” Even Edison alluded to this when he said, “genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration”. This statement alone tells us something about how work/success takes effort (meaning that it’s hard), even for someone who was extremely successful but was also able to follow their passion.

In summary, work takes effort, is something that you have to do, and can be hard/challenging. The reality for most of us is that you will have to work at something that isn’t necessarily one of your passions.  However, if you are lucky enough to be a part of a reputable organization with a good boss, good teammates and growth potential, you just might find that work has become one of your passions!


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