Work Zen of The Week: Why Follow Your Passion is Overrated Career Advice - Black Enterprise

Work Zen of The Week: Why Follow Your Passion is Overrated Career Advice

Get Ahead At Work,
(Image: iStock/John Sommer)

While “follow your passion” is a popular career catchphrase, take note. If you’re looking to advance at your job or make money in your business—people don’t pay for your passion they pay you to solve their problems. Another thing to understand is your passion doesn’t always feel good. There will be days when you’ll feel frustrated, tired, and overwhelmed simply because every career comes with its own series of headaches. So, how bad do you want it? If you want to excel in pursuing your passion, you’ll need to understand a few things:

Define your passion 

What’s the industry that your passion falls under? What’s the lifestyle, expectations, and work standards? Find a few people who work in the industry and ask them about a typical day, challenges, and outlook for the field. What strengths are required? How do you want to feel every day? Who are the ideal people that you’d like to surround yourself with? Answering these questions can help you develop realistic expectations for your career journey? If your passion is not tied to a specific role within a career, focus on surrounding yourself with like-minded people who are fearlessly creating their own opportunities or trying out new things.

Focus on a problem or underserved need

To convince people that they should hire you for your “passion,” you’ll have to sell your passion in such a way that people think you’re the perfect person to delight them, alleviate stress, or save them time and money.

Focus on being of service and putting people at the core of what you do

Sure, it’s your career, but it’s really not about you. Someone once said the fastest way to achieve success is to first help others succeed. These are true words to live by as success is often measured by how you’ve contributed to other people’s lives—whether it’s business or personal.

Commit to a daily process and master it

Nowadays social media makes success look way too easy. But if you’ve followed Black Enterprise for some time, you’d know that behind every successful professional is one incredible story of determination and grit. So keep your eyes more on the process instead of the results.