Top Myths About Passion and Career, Busted!

Last Updated Aug 3, 2010 6:17 AM EDT

The subject of careers and passion makes people, well, passionate. Some will insist all day long that the only formula for long-term career satisfaction is to love your work. Others argue just as vehemently that the whole notion of "do what you love" is bunk, and the belief that you should have strong feelings for your job will just drive you crazy with perpetual dissatisfaction.

Among my young and career-oriented friends, the scales seem to tip towards the latter view with many feeling a nagging inadequacy that their job is just a job and that if they could just find their true calling all their career woes would disappear. Forget it, argues blog CAREEREALISM. If you're always longing for some magic revelation, you've fallen prey to one the common myths that cloud our thinking about passion and careers, and it's high time we busted them.
  • Myth 1: I'm not making enough money, so clearly I'm not on the right path. Reality: Passion does not equate with income. If you are lucky, you have a passionate interest that feeds your soul. But if you look outside yourself for affirmation or compensation for your passion, you may be in for disappointment.... Nearly every self-help book or website mentions turning your hobby into a career. Stories abound of people who did exactly that and made millions. Less often told, but exponentially more numerous, are the stories of people who tried to turn their hobbies into an income stream and things didn't work out the way they expected. The woodworker who stopped getting any joy out of his art because all of his commissions were boring pieces for clients with no imagination. The cooking enthusiast who never got to do any cooking because they spent 95 percent of their time dealing with the mundane business details involved in running a restaurant. More practical advice would be to "Find a Job that Pays Reasonably Well So You Can Afford to Follow Your Passions Outside of Work" â€" but that wouldn't be a very sexy book title.
  • Myth 2: 'Following your passion' is doing work that has meaning instead of being a mindless worker ant. Reality: All work has meaning â€" even the boring stuff. Stop approaching passion as if it were something that you can "find," like the perfect lifestyle accessory, or something you "do," like saving the world. Start thinking of passion as a way of being a quality you can and must cultivate. When it comes to our work, we choose to be passionate. Or not. We choose to be actively engaged. Or not. We choose to be conscientious. Or not. We choose to treat customers and colleagues with courtesy and consideration. Or not. We choose to give more than is expected. Or not. We choose to see ourselves as part of the big picture. Or not.
Read More on BNET: (Image of will work for love sign by eddiedangerous, CC 2.0)
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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.