Keep a Steady Paycheck or Chase Your Passion?

Feb 24, 2014

National wellness statistics in the United Kingdom indicate that money doesn’t buy happiness, according to the Guardian. Residents from most of the richest boroughs in London scored low on the happiness charts, while residents from most of the poorest boroughs exceeded national happiness averages. If you are unhappily locked in a boring job but are afraid to jump into a passion-filled career, let these stats be your invitation.

However, keep in mind that you don’t have to choose between money and happiness. There are ways to leave your boring post behind, without going completely broke.

What Do You Love?

Many folks experience professional complacency for so long that they don’t even know what they love to do. The first step to a passion-filled career is identifying your passion and figuring out how to monetize it. Can you turn your love for shopping into a personal shopper business? Can you walk out of the cubicle and open a video game store? Is it time to pick back up the violin and offer lessons?

If you don’t have a hobby that’s crying out for your attention, look at the bits of your current job that you love and brainstorm a few careers that rely on those skills. If you love running your company’s social media accounts, ditch the rest of your duties and market yourself as a social media expert. If you love interfacing with clients, leave behind the paperwork and pursue a job like sales, social work, or childcare that puts you in direct contact with people.

Do What You Love, or Not?

Once you have identified what you love, you need to think carefully about whether or not you will love to do it all day everyday. A popular adage says that if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. However, Forbes puts forward another idea to consider: “Your bliss can become hell once it becomes a job.” Cooking at home isn’t the same as running a busy restaurant kitchen. Running a video game store isn’t the same as spending the weekend finishing the newest Call of Duty game.

Before jumping into what you love, test the waters. Shadow someone in your industry and learn about the trials and tribulations they face everyday. Schedule informational interviews with hiring managers in your most-loved industry. Read blogs by people who are doing what you love. The more you learn before ditching your current post, the better you will fare. If you decide that pursuing a passion-filled career will ruin your hobby, take this advice from the Onion and do what you love on the weekends and in between commitments.

Circumnavigate the Obstacles

Unfortunately, there are often obstacles to doing what you love. The more responsibilities you have, the harder it can seem to circumnavigate those obstacles. For instance, if you want to be a vet, the idea of putting your life on hold for eight years while you go to school can be impossible. When faced with a roadblock like that, online college Penn Foster suggests taking baby steps. Instead of becoming a veterinarian, train to be a vet tech. Instead of getting a teaching degree, get a childcare certificate.

Service: The Key to Happiness

Study after study reports money doesn’t buy happiness. If you know you are unhappy but have no idea what to do about it on a professional level, try helping people. You can start with volunteer work and transition into a helpful career. According to research from the University of Chicago, the happiest workers are those who help people. If you serve or teach people, you should be able to mine happiness that simply isn’t available in other jobs, no matter how well they pay.