I’ve heard this advice countless times over the past decade. At first, I was the one saying it in a sort of complaining tone, trying to convince myself and all the other cubicled prisoners that there was more to life than repetitive office work.
No one around me believed it, and I only hoped that it was true that each of us can and has the right to do what he or she loves.
Then I met a new round of people in the “creative” marketing sector. They were designers and brand conceivers, and their pie in the sky attitude was extremely appealing, though poorly grounded in the real world. I found myself loving the work… problem is I was working for free.
As noble and benevolent as that could sound, it was entirely not. I was simply doing an intern-like position in order to switch career paths.
Several web marketing agencies later, I began to realize that not every job posting was meant for me. I used to read through each ad and feel bad about myself for all the ways in which i did not qualify for said opportunity. How demoralizing.
Needless to say, I found within myself the ability to give the internal “no” to job ads that I wasn’t meant for. It’s a tough road, turning away from opportunities simply because they don’t fit. The “options” sure do slim down to a healthy and fearsome few once you’ve eliminated the bad fits and the no fits.
Finding a new job suddenly becomes a much more awesome task. One which cannot be made without some measure of divine prompting and positioning. After all, we can only do as much as we can do. We cannot forcefully change people’s minds or impose our will upon an HR specialist.
They will choose whom they deem most appropriate. You can do everything the experts tell you to do, but if your approach doesn’t match the interests of the person choosing, you are out of the race.
So doing what you love may seem a bit more complicated at times. So be it. But doing what you love may not mean that you instantly transition from thankless, loathsome job to perfect, fulfilling job. Doing what you love may mean doing what you love for free… at least for a time.
Example: I own several blogs. I write in them regularly (most of the time). I blog because I love to write. I am not a blogger by trade. I am a copywriter (and SEO and PR Consultant), but even with copywriting, I arrived here after doing it first for free.
Not everyone has the perfect industry connection. Sometimes you have to demonstrate your skill before anyone will take you seriously.
So here I am. Copywriting, SEO, social marketing, and reputation management aside, blogs/editorial columns are what I do best. I have opinions and I want to share them. So that is what I am doing.
Sure, I earn a little from advertising, but I intend to turn this into a very important part of my career.
The time will come, for you and for me. In the meantime, do what you love, and demonstrate your growing capabilities to the world.