Drive. Motivation. Passion.
“Find your passion, then do it. If your passion is your job, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Oh, baloney. You are going to work, no matter how much you love your job. There are going to be days you dread going into the office, or workplace, regardless of how much overall satisfaction your career provides you. There are going to be parts of your job that annoy and dismay you.
I believe in finding a job you care about and can do well. That isn’t always easy to figure out. For that matter, those perimeters can change as you age and grow. Then there’s always those factors over which you have little control: your boss’s style of management, your company’s business standards and ethics, the economy and its effect on your chosen profession.
Sometimes you have to take a really crummy job to make ends meet, to fulfill your obligations to yourself and your family. Following your passion doesn’t necessarily pay the bills, so you’d better figure out how you’re going to do that as well.
I’m a creative person. Typically, creative jobs don’t pay top dollar. Yes, there are exceptions, and God bless those who can make a fortune with them. But for the most part, even in the creative fields, you don’t make as much if you’re doing the actual creating. The jobs that bring a measurable amount of income to the company get the big bucks.
If your passion is in social services, and that’s a field that has a lot of passionate people in it, you can make a decent living, but don’t expect to get rich. And do factor in a lot of pain and frustration as you face red tape and roadblocks in your efforts to change your corner of the world.
Here’s the payoff, though: if you’re creative, chances are you can do a lot of things for yourself that may otherwise cost a lot of money. I sew all of my dresses, and even factoring in the projects that don’t work out, I save tons there and have some really cute clothes to boot. I make my own curtains, throw pillows and any number of other home accessories for a lot less, too. And my home is nicely decorated.
If you care about helping people, your job can change someone’s life. The woman who, until a recent job change, ran the local Head Start program, made some major differences in meeting nutritional needs for my poorest neighbors.
She tells a story of two little girls whose mother had a job doing housekeeping for a local fleabag motel. Part of her compensation was a room for the small family. There wasn’t too much of a paycheck after that was deducted from her earnings. As a result, the girls, who got two meals a day when in school, didn’t eat at all over the weekend. At all. Nothing.
Their mother was eligible for food stamps, but didn’t have transportation to make it to the local DHS office, or any of the food banks. Besides, she had to work seven days a week from 7 in the morning to 6 at night. Illegal, yes, but she wasn’t going to complain and lose the only job she’d been able to find.
So Brenda went to local businesses and came up with a program that gives these children at least some food to take home on the weekend. It might not be the most nutritional fare, but it’s reasonable enough. It’s food that doesn’t require electricity to prepare, because a lot of these families don’t have power in their homes.
That’s a job worth having. It’s frustrating, demanding and comes with a lot of criticism no matter what you accomplish. But you do accomplish something, some days, so your drive and motivation to accomplish more is fed enough to survive.
Pithy sayings such as “Find your passion and do it” have their value, but life is more complicated than a six-word quote. Still, there is truth in them. Consider the reality and then, find your passion. Do it.