On Not Following Your Passion

“Follow your passion” is an often-heard piece of career advice.  Television host Mike Rowe has a different take on it.

“Never follow your passion but always take it with you”

Watch Mike’s video here:

I think there is a lot to be learnt from Mike’s words.  Following your passion if it brings you your definition of happiness and success is great.  But whether you achieve happiness and success will have more to do than just whether you followed your passion or not.  We know how many influences there are on an individual’s career; personal attributes, education, location, interests, family circumstances, political climate etc all influence our career choices and outcomes.  Passion is just one factor.

2 thoughts on “On Not Following Your Passion

  1. What a breath of fresh air. Thank you for posting this. I think the advice to follow your passion puts a huge burden on many people to find that one, magic thing, and for many of us, there is no one, magic thing. We are interested (passionate) about many things and often they change during the course of our lives. Suggesting, particularly to young people or those of us reinventing our careers due to mobility, that there is just one key to success is unhelpful and often prevents us from moving forward.

  2. I’m so glad this resonated with you as well Judy. I felt relieved when I saw it the first time because I agree it’s a burden to find that one thing or feel that if you know what that one things is and you don’t have a career built around it that you have fallen short. Passion (or interest) is only one influence on a person’s career and it’s unrealistic (as the video points out) to expect that it alone can determine your career choices. There are so many different influences on our career and those influences will change over time in terms of their presence and degree of influence.

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