jumpI could have sworn that I’ve written about this before, but can’t, for the life of me, find where. So, I guess I must have talked about it so much I just assumed I’d actually put it out there in to cyber space for a larger audience to be aware of.

It’s true. No one is going to pay you to do what you love. Well, I guess it’s true… sort of. There are some people who really are lucky enough to love and be passionate about the work they are involved in, and actually do leap out of bed in the morning all too excited to FINALLY get to work after having been away from it all night whilst sleeping. They do exist. I’ve heard of them, and I actually am one of them myself. AND let me tell you, it’s rare.

No one is going to pay you to fulfill your passion – well, probably at least not in the way YOU want to fulfill it. I’ll explain:

Let’s say you love to take pictures. Being behind the lens is where you feel alive, connected, in your flow, or whatever the latest jargon is for loving what you do for work. So, you decide to turn your passion for photography into a job. You go to photography school and spend 20k or whatever astronomical price it is these days, and you come out raring to go and can’t wait to get started on getting paid to take pictures. But wait. It soon becomes clear that in order to put food on the table as a professional photographer you not only have to be a small business savvy-marketing -and-networking-guru, you also have to take whatever photo snapping job you can get, and usually people aren’t going to pay you to take the pictures you want to take, just the ones they want you to take. Humph.

I’m not saying you can’t still enjoy this as a vocation, but it might not be the passion fulfilling, key to your happiness, connection to your soul you thought it would be. And to be honest, as I said before: the vast majority of jobs will not be. SO, I say this not to discourage but rather prevent you from experiencing major disappointment and confusion when you hap upon this realization after being told that you need to find a job you are forever impassioned with or there’s really no point. Not to fear though, there is a way through this.

As a clinical counsellor who has done a lot of career counselling, I say that the much more realistic and actually quite satisfying and fulfilling alternative to all this is to find a job you like. Find a career path that works well enough and that you mostly enjoy: a job you feel relatively good about the majority of the time and that seems to be a pretty good fit. There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s actually much more healthy and balanced than setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment with not being able to find that one thing that they tell you is out there and will make all your dreams come true. And then, pursue your passions in your free time. Keep your passions pure and unadulterated from pressure, expectation, and having to do the parts of it that are actually not at all enjoyable in order to keep a roof over your head. Enjoy your passion to its fullest exactly how you want to experience it.

If you are one of the rare and lucky ones who does get paid to fulfill your passion, great for you! If not, don’t worry about it. It’s really not nearly as common or realistic as theysay. And I really don’t know where this whole indoctrinated expectation that they came up with came from: tis simply not right.