How to Balance Your Passion with Your Paycheck
Start writing a post

How to Balance Your Passion with Your Paycheck

Because you can't just hire yourself for that dream job you want.

How to Balance Your Passion with Your Paycheck

There's a good chance you won't land your dream job right out of college. Assuming your passions don't change and you keep working toward the same career goals, you won't land that perfect opportunity until at least 5-10 years out. Meanwhile, bills and student loans exist and you literally can't afford to reject every gig that doesn't perfectly align with your career goals.

Just because you have to take a job you're not super passionate about to make ends meet, doesn't mean you have to abandon your dreams. Once you clock out, how you spend your time is up to you. This is awesome because it means you can focus on the activities that matter to you and more importantly, it means you can develop the skills necessary to qualify for a job you really want.

If you're thinking ahead, you realize that means putting in hours of (often unpaid) work outside of your day job. There's a reason why it seems like every waitress in LA is "just doing this until my acting career takes off". Judge if you want, but these starry-eyed thespians understand that they need to hone their craft in their own time if they ever want to ditch the diner and take the stage. Whether you want to be a professional swing dancer, learn how to code, or become the next YouTube sensation, what you focus on outside of work can have a much bigger impact on your future career. You have to put in hundreds of hours of extra work into these endeavors before you can start to see the fruits of your labor. Matthew Patrick, the creator of the popular YouTube channel The Game Theorists, worked on his videos past midnight every night after working 10-12 hour shifts at his day job. He did this for months until his passion for internet video could take over as his primary source of income.

If you're like me, you start freaking out when you realize how little sleep Matthew Patrick was getting during his climb. How do you prevent burnout or keep from turning into a hermit? Self-imposed boundaries will ensure that you don't over-extend yourself. Moreso than time management, be strategic in how you spend your energy each day. I run a video game culture website and I found that after work I was too mentally exhausted to write. So now I write from 5-7am before I go to work while my creative energy is fresh for the day. I go to bed earlier in the evening to make sure I get enough sleep. I'm an early bird so this works well for me, but invest in finding that time/place/ritual that makes you feel the most motivated.

Understand that you have to make sacrifices if you want to convert your passions into a career. Whether it's sleep, your social life, or tending to your spice garden, something has to give. For me, I won't sacrifice sleep and I want exercise to be integrated into my busy schedule, so I lose out in the social department. All this means is that I've learned to only say yes to the people I really want to spend time with and no to the rest.

People who know me from college and are familiar with my mantra "Work smarter, not harder" will be surprised to hear that I'm putting in over 70 hours of work a week with a regular 9-5, a part-time weekend gig, and managing Top Shelf Gaming. However, with the guardrails I've set in place for myself, I am able to manage it and actually have a richer social life than I have in the past year. I'm far from a superhuman or a machine; most days I am a potato. At best, I'm just a recent graduate with a dream, who is working on making that dream come true.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Peter Truong

If you still have not figured out what you want to cook on Thanksgiving, baked macaroni and cheese is something worth considering. It is simple, affordable, and delicious. I have had many different types of baked mac and cheese and most are dry. I do not like a dry mac and cheese, it just does not seem appealing to me. If you like the creamy cheesy essence of mac and cheese, look no further, this recipe is for you.


Keep Reading... Show less

As a first-year college student, I've been doing a lot of meeting and introducing myself to people, often with the classic format of "name, hometown, major".

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

This Simple 7-Step DIY Face Mask Combines Safety — And Sustainability

Instead of studying like I intended on doing today, I made a face mask for some reason and thought I'd share how I did.


If you were looking for a simple way to make a mask, I am happy to share how I personally make them. I have a pretty small face in general, so I prefer having my homemade ones so they fit better. This is also a great alternative to just throwing away any clothes! Before starting, you will need to make sure you have fabric, thread, a needle, and pins; if you have a sewing machine, you obviously could use that instead of hand sewing it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

6 Ways To Handle The Stress Of Earning Your Degree From Your Childhood Bedroom

Oh so this was the room where I snuck cookies upstairs past my bedtime and stole R-Rated movies to watch when my parents were asleep and now I'm expected to earn my degree in this very same room?

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

It's definitely not easy, but it's something so many kids are struggling with right now.

Keep Reading... Show less

November is such an underrated month. With all the excitement that comes with Halloween ending and the holiday season around the corner, some people skip over it and go straight to their Christmas playlist. For me though, November is the perfect time to compile a playlist of songs that bring on major nostalgia which I think is perfect for this time of year. If you're looking for something to get you in that thankful spirit before you head into the Christmas spirit or something to play while you enjoy Friendsgiving, here are some go-to songs to add to your November playlist.

Keep Reading... Show less

Taylor Swift is famous for her Easter eggs on social media that hint at what is coming next for her. Over the past few days, fans noticed a change in Swift's hair when she was accepting her win as Apple's songwriter of the year that was reminiscent of the "Red" era. Of course, this has caused widespread speculation that Swift has begun to re-record her masters.

Keep Reading... Show less

While joyful, the holiday season can also be stressful for many and that's A-O.K. Plus, with the added tension that is 2020, this year's holiday season is a lot, to put it simply.

This is your reminder to put yourself first and listen to what you're yearning for. Deep down, you know what you need to thrive and I know that you can get there.

Keep Reading... Show less

25 'Open When' Topics And Ideas For That Special Someone In Your Life

Open When Letters are letters you can give to your special someone.

Lauren McCally

Stuck on what to get the person you love the most?

And, well, let's be honest, is hard to shop for? Well then, why not send them some Open When Letters?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments