“Follow your passion when you look up for a job.”

There are two different responses people usually give upon hearing this advice. Jobseekers and fresh graduates with more ideals and less work experiences are more likely to accept and follow the idea. Meanwhile, those who have been in the workforce long enough might be rolling their eyes when hearing the same advice.

Then the question pops up: is following your passion a bad advice? What about working following our skills? Is it better?

Before judging whether it is right or wrong, let’s see what passion and skill actually are:

Passion is something that you love doing or spend time doing it.

Probably you are wondering why your friends can work in a prestigious company with flashy job title and it seems that they really enjoy their jobs, despite the fact that the job does not match their true passion. But believe it or not, there are chances that they might feel restless inside as if something is ‘missing’ from them.

Needless to say, working while following your passion gives you more satisfaction and happiness because you really love what you are doing ‘at that time’. Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, believed that passion is the key to satisfaction. He also mentioned that we need to pursue our passion first but never settle. When you find a job you are passionate about, you feel amazing and satisfied but after long months of dealing with the same routine, you might feel tired and want something new.

Another downside of working according to your passion is that it might get you nowhere because it limits your choice. For instance, you are interested in literature, it is easy to think that being a writer will give you a satisfying career, and thus you ignore other options such as being an accountant or teacher. That being said, rather than having a single passion, you can be more than what you expected to be because your interest grows from time to time.

Skill is an ability that you can acquire or learn after lots of practice or hard work.

Focusing on your skill can give you a rewarding career given that skilled talents are highly sought-after. Yet, it might feel like you are lack of happiness when the job does not suit your interests. You can receive fat paycheck for the skills that you contribute to the job, but is that all you want? No satisfaction or happiness in your job?

For example, you are working as a writer because you have great communication and English skills. However, you do not find any meaning or pleasure in your job. In this case, you might consider to choose passion over skill when it comes to finding a job.

All in all, you can see that passion and skill occupy different parts of your life. You can find a professional work according to your skills, but you can also explore your passion freely if it gives you satisfaction in the workforce. Caro F., a team leader for Tech Companies 3YOURMIND and a coach, suggests that instead of giving confusion to yourself whether you should follow your passion or skill, you can answer these questions to help clearing the confusion.

  • What do you want out of job?
  • Do you want financial security to travel the world or maybe you want provide for your family?
  • Do you want a challenge, something that makes you grow? Or something that comes easily to you, routinely and that you can predict?
  • Do you value working environment as a contributing factor for your happiness, working with amazing people? Or do you value own space or progression more?

In conclusion, there is no right or wrong in choosing your career path because it is all up to you. Just the same as when you go to career advisors, they will only give you options and you need to choose one. The best thing you can do now is explore which one is the most suitable for your own career personality and characteristics.

Next read: Got an Interview? Get Rid of These 9 Behaviours

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