Stop Glorifying Passion As A Career Choice
Career Development

'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.

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

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.

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

Being a pharmacy technician never held as many risks as it does now. Exposure too hazardous conditions were little to none, and garbing up was only conducted in IV compounding. But, now, in order to give nurses the medications they need to help their patients, they need us, pharmacy technicians.

Keep Reading... Show less

Epic Activewear Deals Every Leggings-Lover Needs To Know About From Nordstrom's Biggest Sale

Wearing my pleather Alo leggings till someone physically removes them from my body.

I'll be the first to admit I'm not an athletic person, at all. Since junior high school, I've been happily cheering my friends on at their football games and soccer matches from the sidelines as long as I could go home to my yoga mat and spend Sunday mornings at Pilates with my mom's friends.

Weekends are often spent in my casual wear, from the second I throw them on for morning meditation through running errands and evening walks. No, I won't be running a marathon or joining my friend's volleyball league anytime soon.

Keep Reading... Show less

I've always been a huge Disney villain fan — whether it was for their cryptic one-liners, enviable outfits, or sidekick banter. Some of the most iconic lines from cinematic history have been said by the characters we love to hate and occasionally dress up as once a year.

The fear-mongering Gaston I now find hilariously cringe-worthy is now charming and oftentimes considered by fans as rightfully justified in his actions. Die-hard fans of the Disney villain fan club claim alternate egos in their favorite evil characters, adopting their hilarious witticisms into everyday life.

Keep Reading... Show less

TikTok was banned by the president, but Instagram is here with its newest feature called Reel. Many of us are still wondering why TikTok was being banned in the first place. Was it all the dangerous TikTok trends? It was because of a security concern, but not in the way you might think.

TikTok is owned by Dancebyte, which is a China-owned company. Basically, just like any other app, TikTok collects the user's data. The main question to ask yourself when investing in any app or marketing tools who will be owning my data? So yes, China currently owns all the TikTok user's data worldwide.

Keep Reading... Show less

Anyone who goes to Panera Bread will tell you that their mac and cheese is to die for. If you're a huge fan of their mac and cheese, you won't believe the new recipe they're coming out with!

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Reasons To Put The Damn Mask On, And Stop Fussing With It

COVID-19 is real people, do your part to protect yourself and others.

Ilana Stein

With the ever-changing reality of our world due to COVID-19, there has been one constant throughout these past unforeseen months, masks. Ever since coronavirus hit the ground running in the US, the CDC has been recommending social distancing and mask-wearing to stop the rapid spread.

Many people have been great about adhering to these policies, mandates, and suggested uses, but others, not so much.

Keep Reading... Show less

I Asked My Boyfriend His Opinion On Liking Other Girls’ Pictures, And, Spoiler Alert, It's Cheating

"When you get into a relationship and you're in love, you have to realize that liking photos is for the single lifestyle."

Ladies, listen up. If you are in a relationship with a guy and he is liking other girls' pictures on social media, then it's a red flag. A man who can look at someone else and show interest by liking it means he doesn't care about your feelings AT ALL.

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been an athlete my entire life. I love movement and I've been jumping, kicking, swimming, dancing, throwing, you name it since I was in diapers. I'm also pretty competitive and probably went through a few sore loser phases. What can I say? I like to win, and losing can sometimes feel like I've failed. Especially, when your competitor is your best friend or someone that you worked all year long to defeat.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

Picture this, we're settling into our date, the conversation is flowing, we're ordering drinks, laughing, and then it happens... the job convo.

Him: "So what do you do?"
Me: "I'm a dating and relationships editor."

Keep Reading... Show less

- I have extremely sensitive skin, which is why I have always resorted to a plant-based organic beauty line such as Radha Beauty.

- Radha Beauty won me over years ago when I was looking for organic skincare brands.

- I was so excited to see they launched a new line incorporating USDA organic rosehip oil, so when their PR team sent me some, I could not have been more thrilled.

- After a week of using the products, my face felt as smooth as a baby's, looked more glowy than ever, and even cured some of my summer sunburn.

Radha Beauty isn't just a best-selling beauty brand on Amazon — it's a USDA-certified organic beauty brand I live by, and anyone who knows me knows I am all about holistic wellness.

Typically, it only takes three days for me to tell if a skin product is working or not because I have extremely sensitive skin. It's also why I have always stuck by plant-based organic beauty lines such as Radha Beauty.

Keep Reading... Show less

I have definitely had my fair share of breakups. I broke up with my high school sweetheart my second semester of college (he was cheating on me), I had a breakup with another guy I thought I was going to marry, and others in between. Regardless of whether you're the one doing the dumping or being dumped, breakups can HURT.

Keep Reading... Show less

Social media is something many of us have been addicted to (whether we want to believe it or not) since the moment we got it. I remember getting Facebook at 10. Instantly I was hooked. I loved being able to share my life with people, a little too much in my opinion, and I loved being able to see how/what other people were doing all the time.

Keep Reading... Show less

I am not in any way any sort of medical expert. These are just some tricks that work for me and have worked for others who also suffer from anxiety. These may not work for everyone, but I do hope these help some people in their fight against anxiety.

Keep Reading... Show less

-Having struggled with acne prone skin for years, I was cautious to try a new serum on top of the other products I've come to trust.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments