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Is finding your 'passion' in a career a lie? Watch

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    I finished up my Masters about 5 years ago, initially wanted to enter into clinical psychology. I began preparing myself in terms of getting the right experience. Along the way, I spent a long time in clinical research rubbing shoulders with different professions within healthcare and being exposed to the healthcare machine as I would perhaps come to realise it had I followed my original plan. I ditched my original career aspirations as I didn’t think they would satisfy me for what I was sacrificing myself for in terms of gaining experience over half a decade - this could not be made up with the slow progression and mediocre pay; not to mention the changing and depleting landscape of the NHS’s mental health sphere.

    I recently quit my permanent job in research earlier this year - it was a dead end position where the only way up was getting a PhD and most likely being clueless at the end of it with poor pay and job security. Not to mention I decided against academia since what I’ve experienced so far to be a complete waste of time and egotistical driven most of which is fluff and actually has very little impact in ‘contribution’.

    I am now 5 year post-graduation without a career planned out and very confused with the idea of following one’s ‘passion’ or ‘interests’. After lots of discussion with people, I’ve concluded that most people aren’t actually happy with the work they do, but perhaps with the perks, salary and the fact they have a job at all masks their internal dissatisfaction with their own lives and usually don’t want to talk about how their aspiration and ambitions in life are no longer feasible to pursue.

    One thing I do feel I need to be part of is a real and direct positive impact to society. I’ve flirted with the idea of medicine for a few years now, and I have all the relevant experience to pursue it, BUT I don’t know whether it will bring me fulfilment and contentment. I’ve been told that it’s selfish to want to have fillings of satisfaction after being altruistic with my time via profession or donation - but isn’t that the human condition?

    One interesting theory I came across earlier is that people become passionate about their jobs after spending time doing it and becoming better at it. But I can’t see how I can just randomly pick out a position I think might work and actively ‘love’ my job in the hope that it will do the same back.

    In conclusion, I could do what everyone else is doing, find a decent job with progression, sell myself and make the company money, dislike my work life (but not talk about it), then eventually die and wonder why I didn't 'follow my dreams' - what ever that mean.
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    It’s a difficult one. Whilst I am very happy with my current career path, I wouldn’t say it my passion. My passion would have been to become an astronaut, but realistically that was never going to happen.

    I have come to conclusion that whilst some are fortunate to truly follow their dreams, the vast majority of people settle into a career path that they don’t dislike and are satisfied with but aren’t truly “in love” with
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    (Original post by del1rious)
    It’s a difficult one. Whilst I am very happy with my current career path, I wouldn’t say it my passion. My passion would have been to become an astronaut, but realistically that was never going to happen.

    I have come to conclusion that whilst some are fortunate to truly follow their dreams, the vast majority of people settle into a career path that they don’t dislike and are satisfied with but aren’t truly “in love” with
    This idea of dislike is what's interesting. I would say most people won't dislike a position if it pays reasonably well, has some stimulation, and avoids discomfort. And I suspect this is where many individuals settle into jobs that offer just that, but they know they aren't happy, but equally don't want to, or can't do anything about it. It's also interesting to explore the idea of whether its the cognitive dissonance that's causing them to simply not dislike it, instead of being honest with themselves and saying they hate it because it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

    I can probably try really hard to get onto a graduate scheme and work for a large corp and get everything to make me not hate my job, but not jump out of bed every morning either; but that also means selling myself and really not being a benefit to society.

    Isn't the goal of life to try and get paid for what we individually consider playing?
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    (Original post by J1mmy)
    This idea of dislike is what's interesting. I would say most people won't dislike a position if it pays reasonably well, has some stimulation, and avoids discomfort. And I suspect this is where many individuals settle into jobs that offer just that, but they know they aren't happy, but equally don't want to, or can't do anything about it. It's also interesting to explore the idea of whether its the cognitive dissonance that's causing them to simply not dislike it, instead of being honest with themselves and saying they hate it because it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

    I can probably try really hard to get onto a graduate scheme and work for a large corp and get everything to make me not hate my job, but not jump out of bed every morning either; but that also means selling myself and really not being a benefit to society.

    Isn't the goal of life to try and get paid for what we individually consider playing?
    Yes, you summarised it better than I did I think! I don’t have any advice I am afraid except for just follow your gut instinct. Like I said, my life dream was (and still is!) to be an astronaut, my gut told me I would never do it- I don’t have the dedication it would take, so I have now got a job in the local planning office pursuing something I do really enjoy but is not a “dream job”
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    In my experience enjoying work has a number of requirements, sometimes competing.

    1. Larger employers may pay better and have a career structure but it is harder to "own" what you do and therefore additional earnings, once you have had them for a while, can diminish in importance, they can stop satisfying like crisps; with a large bag by the end they are not as good as the first ones.

    2. Smaller employers may pay less, there may be no formal progression, though large leaps to near the top are possible if you make a real contribution, you can easily be noticed. However slogging along on low pay with little ownership doing repetitive tasks can dull the glow that greater "ownership" might bring.

    It is sometimes small cog in big wheel or bigger cog in small wheel syndrome.

    Now I personally went route 2, however there is a lot to be said for starting on route 1 (in my case accountancy) and moving down once your training is cemented, what you learn re formal work process in the early years stays with you your whole career (Or it can)

    Sometimes work grows on you (or you on it), I have been working a long time (32 years since finishing formal study, but in total now 41 years) and I have only had one position that was only 6 months when I have not enjoyed myself.

    Another way to grow is to try to learn something new every day, or deal with something different, not always easy, the curve flattens over time, but if you can leave work thinking, I achieved x, changed y, learned z ,in my opinion you get to enjoy what you do,

    And passion, well I never thought age 22-23 I would end up in accountancy, (Humanities first degree) but over time I grew to enjoy it, and all its facets, be they business finance, accounting itself or taxes (especially taxes), even learning stuff outwith the traditional role like health and safety, staff issues, legal issues-the key is a position with variety, it is this that gets me leaving the house not really having a clue what the day will bring.
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    I'm boxing off a PhD and teaching and some of it - not all - is stuff I might say I'm passionate about. So to me it works in degrees. I love the contact time and I love teaching, but some of the stuff I teach I find dull and tedious. Then once a year I get to teach a module on 'my' stuff, which I couldn't love any more. it balances itself out for me. I'd say I am doing something I'm passionate about... Mostly. Of course, a lot of academia now isn't very secure, but I'll take that as it comes.

    I went back to uni late so I worked full time for years before doing the whole academia thing, and I have done some jobs I hated with every fibre of my being. Never going back to that again, whatever the money is.
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    (Original post by J1mmy)
    I finished up my Masters about 5 years ago, initially wanted to enter into clinical psychology. I began preparing myself in terms of getting the right experience. Along the way, I spent a long time in clinical research rubbing shoulders with different professions within healthcare and being exposed to the healthcare machine as I would perhaps come to realise it had I followed my original plan. I ditched my original career aspirations as I didn’t think they would satisfy me for what I was sacrificing myself for in terms of gaining experience over half a decade - this could not be made up with the slow progression and mediocre pay; not to mention the changing and depleting landscape of the NHS’s mental health sphere.

    I recently quit my permanent job in research earlier this year - it was a dead end position where the only way up was getting a PhD and most likely being clueless at the end of it with poor pay and job security. Not to mention I decided against academia since what I’ve experienced so far to be a complete waste of time and egotistical driven most of which is fluff and actually has very little impact in ‘contribution’.

    I am now 5 year post-graduation without a career planned out and very confused with the idea of following one’s ‘passion’ or ‘interests’. After lots of discussion with people, I’ve concluded that most people aren’t actually happy with the work they do, but perhaps with the perks, salary and the fact they have a job at all masks their internal dissatisfaction with their own lives and usually don’t want to talk about how their aspiration and ambitions in life are no longer feasible to pursue.

    One thing I do feel I need to be part of is a real and direct positive impact to society. I’ve flirted with the idea of medicine for a few years now, and I have all the relevant experience to pursue it, BUT I don’t know whether it will bring me fulfilment and contentment. I’ve been told that it’s selfish to want to have fillings of satisfaction after being altruistic with my time via profession or donation - but isn’t that the human condition?

    One interesting theory I came across earlier is that people become passionate about their jobs after spending time doing it and becoming better at it. But I can’t see how I can just randomly pick out a position I think might work and actively ‘love’ my job in the hope that it will do the same back.

    In conclusion, I could do what everyone else is doing, find a decent job with progression, sell myself and make the company money, dislike my work life (but not talk about it), then eventually die and wonder why I didn't 'follow my dreams' - what ever that mean.
    I don't think passion in a career is a lie but you can't really know what you are passionate about until you start doing it. People who say 'oh I am passionate about X' but havent done it yet arent passionate about it, they think they will be from what they have been told/read about that thing but reading about something and actually doing it are two completely different things so a lot of the time people then get to their passion, try it and find it is nothing like what they read about.

    All you can really do is pick something you think you might like and try it (preferably you would already have some exposure to it meaning you know to an extent what it is like).

    I would find a decent job for now and then continue looking for your passion, trying lots of things in your free time as best you can and then when you find it, start making choices that lead you to doing that thing full time. That is how I found what I think will be my passion anyway

    Edit - Also you probably still wont enjoy every aspect of whatever it is that you are passionate about, most things have a part that we dont want to do but you just have to work through that
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    You have to find a job you hate the least, basically. :lol: Very few are lucky enough to do something they absolutely love, or their hobby, as their career. If you left your field and worked in an entirely different one where you had little interest in (assuming you studied psychology because you were interested in it), you'd likely not be very happy and prefer your previous job.

    (Original post by J1mmy)
    I finished up my Masters about 5 years ago, initially wanted to enter into clinical psychology. I began preparing myself in terms of getting the right experience. Along the way, I spent a long time in clinical research rubbing shoulders with different professions within healthcare and being exposed to the healthcare machine as I would perhaps come to realise it had I followed my original plan. I ditched my original career aspirations as I didn’t think they would satisfy me for what I was sacrificing myself for in terms of gaining experience over half a decade - this could not be made up with the slow progression and mediocre pay; not to mention the changing and depleting landscape of the NHS’s mental health sphere.

    I recently quit my permanent job in research earlier this year - it was a dead end position where the only way up was getting a PhD and most likely being clueless at the end of it with poor pay and job security. Not to mention I decided against academia since what I’ve experienced so far to be a complete waste of time and egotistical driven most of which is fluff and actually has very little impact in ‘contribution’.

    I am now 5 year post-graduation without a career planned out and very confused with the idea of following one’s ‘passion’ or ‘interests’. After lots of discussion with people, I’ve concluded that most people aren’t actually happy with the work they do, but perhaps with the perks, salary and the fact they have a job at all masks their internal dissatisfaction with their own lives and usually don’t want to talk about how their aspiration and ambitions in life are no longer feasible to pursue.

    One thing I do feel I need to be part of is a real and direct positive impact to society. I’ve flirted with the idea of medicine for a few years now, and I have all the relevant experience to pursue it, BUT I don’t know whether it will bring me fulfilment and contentment. I’ve been told that it’s selfish to want to have fillings of satisfaction after being altruistic with my time via profession or donation - but isn’t that the human condition?

    One interesting theory I came across earlier is that people become passionate about their jobs after spending time doing it and becoming better at it. But I can’t see how I can just randomly pick out a position I think might work and actively ‘love’ my job in the hope that it will do the same back.

    In conclusion, I could do what everyone else is doing, find a decent job with progression, sell myself and make the company money, dislike my work life (but not talk about it), then eventually die and wonder why I didn't 'follow my dreams' - what ever that mean.
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    (Original post by hannxm)
    You have to find a job you hate the least, basically. :lol: Very few are lucky enough to do something they absolutely love, or their hobby, as their career. If you left your field and worked in an entirely different one where you had little interest in (assuming you studied psychology because you were interested in it), you'd likely not be very happy and prefer your previous job.
    This is the exact reason why people dont get a job they love, they just make excuses like that person just got lucky* etc. If you actually know what your dream career is (note I am not talking about 'oh I read about this and it sounds like it would be amazing' I mean you have actually tried that or something similar and found you love it) then there is no reason why you cant get to the stage where you can work in that career**. People just dont want to make the sacrifices that need to be made to get there for the most part

    * - I dont mean careers like famous singer, astronaut etc where 1 in 100 million people get there, more like doctor, painter, actor/actress where the skill is just hard to learn and the career is difficult to break into but is still realistic to get into

    ** - exception to this is if you have a disability that physically prevents you from performing the skills required to do that job
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    I have found voluntary work a valuable experience, you gain an insight into various positions. Without committing yourself to a contract as such !
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    a complete lie
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    (Original post by J1mmy)
    In conclusion, I could do what everyone else is doing, find a decent job with progression, sell myself and make the company money, dislike my work life (but not talk about it), then eventually die and wonder why I didn't 'follow my dreams' - what ever that mean.
    How depressing.
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    Thanks for the comments.

    I suppose there isn't really an answer for the challenge of knowing what to do with one's life. Having read some of the replies, it does appear that our 'interests', things we are pleased to get in involved with and spending our time doing, are things which we, as people, have a genuine curiosity about which combines with genuine interest which then manifests in what should be an ideal job.

    I have also read that contribution plays a big part of satisfaction these days - in the Western world of increasing anti-social tendencies and the rise of the Goliath that is technology whose aim it is to disconnect us from one another as people. But as soon as you introduce this idea, the philosophers jump up and down and say altruism in itself is selfish as we're just out to make ourselves feel better - and that leaves us confused once again.

    Through a lot of rumination, I have come to realise what might form as ingredients towards supplementing contentment as a being (because work isn't the only thing to bring satisfaction in our lives). Some of these are pursuing continuous personal growth and having a real life outside work, and when it comes to choosing a career or job, I think the best formula is to pursue something that is as close to the ideal career or job you want to do, and aim to be the best at it. And I think through the proactive love for the job, you may forget that you ever had an ideal job at all, because you'll soon realise that you're now in it and it's taking you to heights that you didn't first think possible when first starting out.
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    In an ideal world, I'd rather not work at all. :lol: I was interested in working with animals but due to my health, I realised I couldn't do a physically strenuous job, with long hours and little pay, for the rest of my life. I certainly didn't wish to do a degree for a job that would only ever pay me £27K at most.
    My second interest is psychology so I'm doing a degree in that and psychologists can start on £32K and work up to £45k (yes, earnings are really important to me.)
    What I meant in what I said is that I've seen people who literally do their hobby, but also get paid for it. They're often in jobs that are one in a million and their role is what their hobby is. Psychology isn't my hobby, it's an interest and a means to survive in life. My hobbies are gaming, cross stitching and doing art. Not many people get to get paid to game or do art to the point it's financially sustainable, but there are those out there who do!
    I'd love to be an underwater photographer for the Blue Planet but those jobs are one in a million and those people love their jobs because they get to do what they love, as well as meet all sorts of animals and travel the world!

    (Original post by madmadmax321)
    This is the exact reason why people dont get a job they love, they just make excuses like that person just got lucky* etc. If you actually know what your dream career is (note I am not talking about 'oh I read about this and it sounds like it would be amazing' I mean you have actually tried that or something similar and found you love it) then there is no reason why you cant get to the stage where you can work in that career**. People just dont want to make the sacrifices that need to be made to get there for the most part

    * - I dont mean careers like famous singer, astronaut etc where 1 in 100 million people get there, more like doctor, painter, actor/actress where the skill is just hard to learn and the career is difficult to break into but is still realistic to get into

    ** - exception to this is if you have a disability that physically prevents you from performing the skills required to do that job
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    (Original post by hannxm)
    In an ideal world, I'd rather not work at all. :lol: I was interested in working with animals but due to my health, I realised I couldn't do a physically strenuous job, with long hours and little pay, for the rest of my life. I certainly didn't wish to do a degree for a job that would only ever pay me £27K at most.
    My second interest is psychology so I'm doing a degree in that and psychologists can start on £32K and work up to £45k (yes, earnings are really important to me.)
    What I meant in what I said is that I've seen people who literally do their hobby, but also get paid for it. They're often in jobs that are one in a million and their role is what their hobby is. Psychology isn't my hobby, it's an interest and a means to survive in life. My hobbies are gaming, cross stitching and doing art. Not many people get to get paid to game or do art to the point it's financially sustainable, but there are those out there who do!
    I'd love to be an underwater photographer for the Blue Planet but those jobs are one in a million and those people love their jobs because they get to do what they love, as well as meet all sorts of animals and travel the world!
    Hmm I feel like you more proved my point than anything else about getting your ideal job

    1. You named a few jobs/hobbies that are 1 in a million etc
    2. you had a health condition that prevented you from doing one (this was one of my * comments of things actually stop someone)
    3. you want a high wage from the get go so arent willing to make that sacrifice of a lower wage and for the case of a art based career (which are a lot more common than you think) put in the additional time outside to build up your skills, portfolio and (if needed) build a client base by starting as a part time artist in your spare time (well I may be wrong on that assumption but very few people who want a career in art actually are willing to put the time in to get it)
 
 
 
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