'Follow your passion:' Good advice or bad advice?

Five articles about the pros and cons of pursuing your passion as a career.

by Taylor, published 02/14/2014

Career advice: Follow your passion?

"Follow your passion," is common advice when it comes to deciding on a career path. But, is it good advice? In honor of Valentine's Day, this week's roundup is bringing you five articles about passion and love in your career.

  • Work Toward Finding the Job You Love (Even if You Don’t Know What That Is Yet). Brazen Careerist: “Diversify your career portfolio. Developing several talents and building multiple income streams provides insurance. You don’t have to put all your career eggs in one basket. It’s just like diversifying risk in your investment portfolio. One stock or bond might not do so well this year, but you can always count on another. It’s the same with your career. Try something else on the side of your full-time gig to expand your skill set and build career insurance.”
  • Why Letting Go Of What You Hate Is Essential To Building A Career You LoveForbes: “In researching how women overcome professional crisis and move out of work they hate towards work they love, I’ve observed that letting go of the thinking, patterns and behaviors that keep you stuck and of performing functions and roles you dislike intensely  is essential. The vast majority of us can’t ‘just quit’ our jobs or careers, and I’m not suggesting leaping. But we CAN look at our jobs, work and careers in a fresh new ways. We can begin to understand what we do fantastically well, and love engaging in, and identify new opportunities to be of use in ways we love — even at our current jobs.”
  • When did Passion for Your Work Become Passé? Art Petty: “While the business pundits may have declared the term passion as passé, it never goes out of style in the workplace. The boss sees it. Your customers see it, your colleagues see it, and if you take the time to look in the mirror, you’ll see it on your own face. And yes, it’s another cliché, but when you love elements of what you are doing, it doesn’t feel like work.”
  • Cal Newport: "Follow Your Passion" Is Bad Advice. 99u: “American culture is obsessed with the idea that we need to find our “passion” in order to be happy and successful. But there’s a problem: “It’s an astonishingly bad piece of advice,” says best-selling author Cal Newport. We have no pre-existing passion. Instead, passion is found by first building a rare and valuable talent and using it to take control of your career path. In other words, be so good and work so hard that no one can ignore you.”
  • The Secrets To Career Contentment: Don't Follow Your Passion. Fast Company: "It seems that one of the most important factors in career contentment is simply experience. In a job satisfaction survey of college administrative assistants — work traditionally considered repetitive or 'boring' — a third of respondents considered their position a 'job,' merely a way to pay the bills. Another third deemed it a 'career,' or a path towards something better. The final third, though--incidentally, also those who’d spent the most time doing this type of work — considered it their calling or an integral part of their life and identity.”
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