Or alternatively, do you feel that your current career is fine but you’re somehow not using everything you’ve got
You’re not alone!
The real question is, “Will incorporate an interest into your career, keep it as a sideline, or use it for cross-training?”
From Passion To Career
We’ve all read the stories: An artist pursues his love of painting until friends start to buy his pictures. Soon he has a lucrative full-time career and he’s abandoned his day job in banking.
These career paths happen. But once you transform a labor of love into a commercial enterprise, something happens. You now spend ore time marketing and dealing with the business side with less time on the art. A successful author once wrote, “I spend my days dealing with the business side; that’s my new day job.”
Still, for some people, that’s the right choice. Marsha Sinetar’s book, Do What You Love And The Money Will Follow, provides a realistic, sobering road map to anyone who follows this path. .
Some people develop interests into a lucrative (or not so lucrative) sideline. Michael Lewis worked as a journalist during his days at Salomon Brothers. A college professor earns a significant income as a musician in a Greek band (and enjoys many adventures along the way). Many people develop side businesses as a Plan B job insurance policy. A corporate executive teaches Pilates and nutrition on weekends.
Finally, you may choose to keep some creative interests in your life as a way to cross-train your brain, with or without compensation. Many people find their career benefits immensely from their non-career pursuits. For some people, non-career might include involvement with family and friends. It’s not scientific but so many times people enjoy career success right after they get engaged.
Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state, is an accomplished piano player who participates in a chamber group. Members of musical choirs often come from backgrounds from machinists to medicine. In my own improv classes I’ve met insurance analysts, nurses, bank executives and more. You’ll find a similar mix in art classes and creative writing groups.
Do you have to choose?
When you follow my Build On Serendipity System, you keep options open and then make a choice, or let a choice evolve. When you choose a career that’s a strong fit, and make a commitment, you almost always find you fill multiple roles as part of your professional life. Alternatively, you find that you have energy, space and motivation to pursue your interests outside your career.
Make a strong choice and follow your commitment. For example, Cal Newport faced three career choices early in his career: get a PhD from a top school, accept a lucrative corporate position, or build his career as a professional writer. Last fall, he concluded that the best career strategy is, “Don’t Follow Your Passion: Let Your Passion Follow You.” Read the article here.
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