Tuesday, April 14, 2015

201101883 HyojeongShim/For A Successful Career, Don’t Follow Your Passion/Thu1-3pm

For A Successful Career, Don't Follow Your Passion

             Are you passionate about your job? Do you think finding and pursuing your passion is the best idea for your career? We've long heard the platitude of following one's passion, and while it comes from good intentions, this is a completely irresponsible advice that leaves out thousands of people who are hustling hard with their work and makes them feel unimportant not having found one strong passion. I am a very passionate person and behind a lot of what I have accomplished is my deep-rooted passion, so it might sound disingenuous to say that "follow your passion" is a horrible advice. I'm all for following your passion, but the problem is that a lot of people have misconception on what a worthy passion is. Instead of just trying to follow what your heart tells you, it is safer to cultivate, rather than follow, your passion. To do so, you need to know a valid concept of passion that leads to success, put in long hours of work and effort to find one true passion in the end, and keep a balance between what you love to do and what you are good at.

             Passion can mislead you to think that you have a one true calling and that you have to dedicate your whole life to discover and follow it, and your working life will not be fantastic otherwise. The problem is that most people don't have passion that was preexisted inside themselves. Passion is not something that exists naturally waiting to be discovered. It takes hard work and planning to develop. It does not just come out. You need to be able to cultivate your passion rather than waiting for it to suddenly pop up one day. You should focus down on a small number of things to start the process of looking for what your passion is.

             People often times get excited about an idea of passion, but they quickly lose steam. An issue here is that we rarely talk about what true passion feels like. The sensation of excitement about a particular idea is a different sensation than the type of deep passion that drives people into a fulfilling career. Excitement comes and goes. True passion arises after you put in the long hours to really become an expert in your area and can then make an impact out of your career, to gain autonomy on your occupation and daily routine.

             There needs to be a balance between what you are passionate about and what you are good at. If you focus just on passion you might end up nowhere and if you focus only what you are good at without being passionate about it feeling bored all the time. Remember even if we see a lot of people on media that gained success by following their passion, most of the time only the ones who succeeded get the attention. Hundreds of other people have failed. What is more important than following uncertain passion which is likely to go away in a short period of time is trying to get involved in as many and diverse areas as possible and gaining insight on how you integrate your passion to what you are good at.

             Know what a passion is, consume your hard work and energy into experiencing various types of work, and figure out what it is that you love to do and what you are good at and how you can balance them. If you ask me once again, "Should I follow my passion?" then I would absolutely say yes but to do so in realistic and practical terms. There is nothing wrong with experimenting but never let your pursuit of passion turn into nothing more than a fantasy or a never-ending chore. Ultimately, it is all about being passionate not about your work but about your journey toward being successful. 

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