July 26, 2012, 6:00 am

The Argument Against Following Your Passions (Yes There is One!)

by: MD    Category: Alternative Income
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Lately I’ve been pondering if you even need to enjoy your job. I mean, money is money, right? Shouldn’t your main priority be to put food on the table? Should you have to stress about how much you enjoy the actual work that you get paid to do?

Everyone is telling you that you must follow your passions these days. This seems to be the popular topic going around. You know the drill by now. It goes something like this:

  1. Quit your job.
  2. Follow your passions.
  3. Be passionate.
  4. Tell others to follow their passions.
  5. Go on Twitter and brag about how many emails you have.
  6. Brag when you get to “inbox zero.”
  7. Release random products.
  8. Repeat, while being passionate of course.

This seems to be the general follow your passions model that’s going around. Do you have to follow this process?

I don’t think so. As much as I love doing work that I enjoy, I definitely see the other side to the equation here. I understand why some folks don’t care about following their passions or pouring their heart into their work.

What’s the argument against following your passions?

Financial (aka we need money!).

If your current job pays you well and your hitting your financial goals, then what’s the problem? None. It would be nice to start an iguana grooming business that allows you to go rock climbing in Thailand, but it’s not mandatory. Sometimes you just want to make money to pay the bills, build your savings, and go on some trips in the process.

What about the freedom?

Being your own boss sucks.

I won’t lie. I love being my own boss, but it certainly has its downfalls. It really does suck compared to a regular job where you can just leave and not have to worry about anything else.

When I go to my part-time gig I love it. I put in my time and leave.

When you follow your passions you’re responsible for everything. You’re in charge of accounting, marketing, sales, content, communications, and anything else that you can imagine. For some this can be fun. For others this will feel like never ending torture.

You just want to put in your 8 hours.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to put in your 8 hours and then head home to do whatever you want to do. Some of us just want to put in our time at work and then forget about it. Not everyone wants to think about work all of the time. There are better things to focus on and keep you happy.

With your current job you can do your work and not have to worry about other departments or other areas.

This is the article for everyone out there that’s tired of being told to follow their passions. If you like your job, then stick with it. If you like reading personal finance advice, then keep on reading. Just ignore that articles that try to put you down for having a real job.

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I actually think the whole “follow your passion” issue leads to a lot of discontent in people. I’ll be honest – I used to love my job. Now, I’m dying to get out. What changed? Well, two things. My job was restructured, and my actual scope of work shifted to something I don’t really enjoy that much, but I also started thinking about what I’d “love” to do. I need to learn to love my paycheque, and do what I love during my time off!

I think iit depends on the person and the passion. If the passion pays well and the person can handle being self employed it has potential to work well but if those two items aren’t there and you have a successful day job that isn’t killing you I’d say keep your day job. Passion following isn’t for the weak.

by: Jay McConnell | July 26th, 2012 (8:29 pm)

What does self-employed have to do with passion? If I work for someone else, can I not be passionate? Or if I work for myself, can I not be miserable?

I actually agree to a certain point, Mike. I think people need to evaluate both sides of the fence and see what works for them. I don’t believe that it has to be one or the other.

[…] week we looked at the dark side of following your passions. Today’s all about quitting and getting out of a job that you can’t […]