Stop Glorifying Passion As A Career Choice

'Follow Your Passion' Is Terrible Career Advice, Regardless Of The Intent

It's time to stop glamorizing careers and start telling the truth about working in the real world.


This probably sounds like an unpopular opinion, but hear me out. From a very young age, society tells us that we should pursue a job that we're passionate about. This way of thinking is dangerous and unreasonable, and here are a few reasons why.
This whole idea that we should all have this one passion that gives us the will to live is false. Many, many things can pique our interest and get us excited, and we often create new passions by working hard and becoming good at something. People like Mark Cuban and Scott Galloway agree that the idea of "following your passion" is completely backward.

And then there's the problem that not every passion can be turned into a livable income — or if it can, it only happens for a lucky few. Society wouldn't function if we all decided to be professional songwriters or photographers. There are jobs that are very necessary, and pay well, but aren't exactly seen as passion-worthy. It feels as if society puts a judgment on people who are working in a job they don't absolutely love, when in reality, they're just trying to build a life for themselves, and they're contributing to society too.

As a sophomore, I realized the career path I was on wasn't the greatest return on investment, and I wanted to change majors while I still could. I went to my college's career services and talked to an advisor. She had me take a quick test and looked over the results. She concluded that a particular career (that I won't name here) was a "great fit" for me. She gave me a few resources to learn more about the major and sent me on my way. What she failed to discuss with me, however, is median salary, projected job demand, and level of education needed.

After looking it up myself, I found that the median salary is relatively low, especially considering that I'd need an expensive graduate degree to find a decent job in the field. Without knowing any of these things, I had supposedly found my perfect job with the help of a professional Career Advisor. This is why the system needs to change.

As someone who has seen firsthand how a lack of financial stability can bring drastic devastation, stress, and fear upon families, I strongly believe that we need to improve our message to young people about what a job really is.
We need to remind high schoolers that yes, it's important to study what you want to study in college, but you need to keep in mind that just any degree is not a magic guarantee of success. We need to talk about what it costs to live in the real world and how disproportional some careers pay over others, and the differences in job growth and demand. These things are brushed aside because we're told that the most important factor in choosing a career is passion.

Unfortunately, things aren't looking great financially for millennials. Home prices and tuition rates have skyrocketed since our parents were our age, and we're forced into a high cost of living — likely with roommates — while paying off enormous amounts of student debt for decades on end. All things considered, is it really that important to make sure we're following our passion at our jobs?

In my opinion, it's enough to like the people you work with and approve of your company's goals and values. It's enough to have a job that doesn't eat into your personal time, keep you up at night, or literally make you miserable. It's okay to have a job that's not super glamorous or Instagram-worthy.

At a time like this, millennials as a population can't afford to all be "starving artists' or whatever else we're told to pursue that won't make a sustainable living. Rather, what's important is that we make enough to be able to build a strong foundation for our adult lives. It's important to not live paycheck to paycheck. It's important to have the option to travel, get married, buy a house, start a family, and whatever else we want to do with our lives that costs money (i.e. everything). Having a secure, profitable job means potentially having these options and more.

Of course, it's important to be happy. Actually, in my opinion, it's the MOST important thing in life. But happiness comes from a lot of areas in our lives, not just from our job. And yet, financial stability can be a huge source of stress for many Americans. Not having enough money can affect our wellbeing in so many ways. Money problems can destroy friendships, relationships, and close family bonds. Money problems can leave us in dire straits after an emergency. Money problems can force us to make unnecessary sacrifices or make us do ugly things. So if following our passion means taking a low-wage job, is it worth it?

The more we acknowledge the truth, the easier it'll be for us young people to accept and adapt to our lives. Tell your friends: it's okay if you're not following your passion at work. Do your research before jumping into a career path, and prioritize your long-term security and wellbeing. And don't feel guilty about it.

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Health Care Professionals And Tattoos

In the health care professional field, most employee handbooks have a designated section regarding tattoos and piercings.

Tattoos are really awesome, and there are so many different types of tattoos as well as styles of tattoos. It's a form of personal expression for some people, and for some a funny drunk story. In the United States of America at least 45% (and rising) of Americans are tattooed. However to some people tattoos seem offensive or unprofessional. People have been denied a position or a promotion just because of the ink their skin. Maybe it was due to an official policy against tattoos in the workplace or perhaps it was someone’s personal views on their appearance. Patients have refused to be treated by a healthcare professional because their skull tattoo is either offensive or just too scary looking.

In the health care professional field, most employee handbooks have a designated section regarding tattoos and piercings. In very rare cases, certain hospital positions are only available to people who have no tattoos. In general, however, most medical facilities apply minor restrictions that only prohibit excessive and/or offensive tattoos. Usually they would want you to cover open tattoos with clothing.

While tattoos are becoming accepted more widely, it’s also true that not every employer welcomes their presence. Prejudices still exist and the law is undoubtedly on the side of the employer.

This doesn't mean that people with tattoos do not have the needed experience and qualifications to do their job. And this is very important to understand. Personally, I'd trust someone with a whole body of tattoos, if they have the experience that they need to have, if they know what they are doing --- I'd trust them to treat me medically. Some don't, some people refuse to be treated by a medical professional that has tattoos, but has all the qualifications to treat them and that's just a sad reality but it's there and it is what it is.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an employer can establish a dress code and appearance policies as long as they don’t discriminate against a person on the basis of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. You may be denied a healthcare job opportunity if the employer believes your tattoo violates their internal appearance policies.

So there isn't really any implicated nationally recognized policies around to protect us and our jobs if we have or get tattoos that we cannot hide properly or if we want to get tattoos that we cant hide as easily, like sleeve tattoos, facial, neck and hand. Each workplace is different, and as tattoos are becoming more popular -- usually the rules can gear towards being more flexible, like tattoos that cannot be seen in normal workplace appropriate clothing is okay.

So what the bottom line is, if you wish to work for a hospital or medical management -- make sure you understand their policies. Hospitals are changing policies very slowly but surely, but some may not change their policy at all, it is up to them solely.

Put your medical career first. it is what it is. When choosing a tattoo, chose wisely about the size and placement of it. Can you conceal the tattoo without extraordinary measures? Do you need to wear a sweater? These things matter.

You have to remember that not only are you representing yourself, but you are also going to be representing the hospital as a professional healthcare worker, when they hire you. People will look at you, and how you carry yourself is how people will see the hospital or clinic that they are being treated in. For some people how you look is how they think they will be treated. Even if you aren't working at a hospital right now, it's good to keep in mind.

Ultimately, you and you alone get to decide how to live your life, and what tattoos to pick to get and where to put them. Working in the medical field with tattoos is no trouble as long as you’re mindful of requirements and expectations, of that establishment. I'm going through the process of becoming a health care professional, hopefully a doctor. My path is a unique one but it is a path I am taking.

However I plan on getting tattoos, but I also need to keep in mind of the rules that have been put in place in many hospitals. So I'll get any kind of tattoos that I can get, as long as I can hide them under my scrubs without having to wear a long sleeve shirt, or heavy cover-up. But that's my decision, I choose my career over my tattoos.

Cover Image Credit: Medium

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To Be Honest, Business Attire Is Almost Never Necessary, And It Shouldn't Be Required For Everyone

No matter how you spin it, all of the reasons to wear business clothes to work are for the sake of appearances. Isn't it time to move past such a superficial matter and just let us wear what we want?


When I express my contempt for wearing business clothes, I am often met with disagreement. People have told me that they quite like wearing button downs and slacks and lookin' dapper every day. To that, I say, "Great!" If you like business clothes, by all means, go ahead and wear what you want. But don't force such an antiquated work norm on me and everyone, regardless of whether we like it.

We're starting to see a lot of trendy startups abandon a handful of norms such as business attire, but most existing companies are still in the past when it comes to clothing. That is, many office spaces generally mandate business attire ranging from casual to formal (with intermittent exceptions like Halloween or Casual Friday). I find this custom both irritating and superfluous.

Of course, reasonable dress codes are highly important. I'm not saying we should just let people come to work in offensive clothing or obviously inappropriate outfits. There's a huge middle ground between that and traditional work clothes. I'm saying that it's unfortunate that many workers are prohibited from wearing what they would normally wear on a daily basis. For example, why are simple sneakers and tee shirts looked down upon in the office?

What I want to know is, does it really matter what we wear when we work?

I would argue that any mature person would be able to perform their job tasks regardless of their clothing. Yet, we are led to believe that business attire is important because it reminds employees that they are in a formal setting, establishing a sense of professionalism in the workplace. We're told that wearing different clothes to work helps distinguish professional matters from personal ones. I'm sorry, but I thought adults had the ability to know how to act in different environments without having to look down and see what type of pants they're wearing.

You may be wondering why I so strongly dislike business attire in the first place. There are several reasons. Business clothes can be expensive. They can be extremely uncomfortable and therefore distracting at work. Business clothes can require time-consuming maintenance, like dry cleaning and constant ironing. Lastly, they can be immensely impractical. Do you know how hard it is to find women's trousers or slacks with usable pockets? Or reasonably-priced "work shoes" that are both stylish and comfortable?

But the issue goes beyond the clothes themselves. It's the fact that we simply ignore the rule "don't judge a book by its cover" when it comes to professionals. It's the fact that it's not enough to simply judge a worker by the quality of their work.

It's the fact that, in a place where productivity is the main goal, formality is prioritized over comfort.

If the whole idea of business attire was suddenly abolished, would work performance and productivity drastically drop? Uh, no. You cannot argue that the reasons for business attire are not fundamentally superficial. And if there are people like me, who would much prefer to just wear my regular, comfortable (and unoffensive) clothes and shoes to work, then I think it's time we reevaluate the need for business attire in the modern workplace.

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