The latest mantra that is taking over the professional world is ‘Follow your passion’. Follow your passion and you will not have to work a single day in your life, say many of those inspirational Facebook posts that appear on your newsfeed. They urge you to quit your dreary nine-to-five job and take up your hobby as your profession. It makes you star-struck when you hear of success stories of millionaires who did what they loved, and then you wish to emulate them. But this fascination with turning passions into professions is misplaced. Here are several reasons why you shouldn’t turn your hobby into a full-time job:
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When we do something we love, we expect the money to just follow. But in reality, many hobbies are unemployable, and the chances of getting a well-paying job are little to none. You will always be worried about making ends meet and will be stressed out living paycheck to paycheck.
Once you turn your hobby into a profession, it ceases to be your hobby anymore. We pursue hobbies because it’s an outlet to blow off some steam and get some relief after a gruelling work day. When that hobby becomes a job, it becomes too tedious and you will not enjoy it as much as you did when it was just a hobby. For example, a photography enthusiast may love shooting pictures occasionally, but constantly doing photoshoots and meeting clients’ demands might end up in him resenting photography.
If you don’t land a job in the field you want to, people suggest being your own boss. That way, you can pursue what you love and make your own rules. But what is usually forgotten is that in such cases, time is money. If you want to earn enough, you’ll have to invest that much time into it. To see results, you will have to slog into the night, and it might leave you with no time for anything else.
Steve Jobs once said, “You’ve got to find what you love. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And, the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” While his message is uplifting, you will notice that he speaks about ‘you’ a lot. This is not enough to get you anywhere. You have to sell your passion to your clients who will be paying you for it. You won’t be pursuing your hobby for yourself, which might mean that you may not even end up doing it as well as you did while it was just a hobby.
The lack of stability will increase the amount of pressure you put on yourself. Something that you once loved will become a source of anxiety for you. You will be hard pressed to be successful, and owing to immense pressure, you will not be satisfied with your work.
‘Follow your passion’ is a lofty ideal that can be followed only by the privileged. Others would rather have a job that pays their rent. People may not opt for many jobs that are available as they aren’t passionate about it. This idealistic notion about following your passion devalues all these jobs.
As Mike Rowe, host of the Discovery Channel TV series ‘Dirty Jobs’, says, “Don’t follow your passion. Always bring it with you.” You can bring your passion to the job you work at, which will give you satisfaction as well as financial stability. It will also give you enough time to pursue your hobbies, with no pressure to make money out of it.