Should I Pursue My Passion in My Next Career Move?

Thinking of following your passion down another career path? Here are 3 things to consider first.

You’ve probably heard countless, well-meaning advice from others about following your dreams or doing what you love. Unfortunately, the well-intended advice may not be so helpful and can potentially be damaging. 

In a paper published in Psychological Science, researchers Gregory Walton, Carol S. Dweck and Paul A.O Keefe pointed out that by “urging people to find their passion may lead them to put all their eggs in one basket, but then drop that basket when it becomes difficult to carry.”

That’s not the only reason. In fact, here are three questions to consider if you want to seriously pursue your passion. 

1. Would chasing after your passion restrict you?

In the same Psychological Science study, researchers delved more into the belief systems that led people to succeed or fail. Throughout the experiment, the 470 participants read articles and watched videos on topics they were interested in and those they were not.  The results showed that participants who were engrossed in one topic were less likely to complete and understand the materials. Researchers concluded that those who followed their interests were more likely to give up when encountering a hurdle. 

It was also discovered that focusing on one passion would restrict the person’s potential new areas of interest – which is detrimental in today’s interconnected world.  “If you are overly narrow and committed to one area, that could prevent you from developing interests and expertise that you need to that bridging work,” Stanford psychologist Gregory Walton said.

To avoid becoming restricted, nurture a growth mindset. People with such a mindset often believe that interests will develop overtime

Image credit: Ian Schneider on Unsplash

2. Are you sure your passions won’t change over time?

At Columbia University’s commencement in 2015, speaker Ben Horowitz dispensed some unexpected advice to the audience. “What you’re passionate about at 21 is not necessarily what you’re going to be passionate about at 40,” the co-founder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz said. 

Boost your competitive advantage by increasing your marketability through developing different skills and gaining various experiences. You might discover your strengths that can help you accomplish more at work. Unsure of where your strengths lie? Try out Workforce Singapore’s Career Matching Services, where professional career coaching is offered. With their assessments, you can find out what areas you are good in and what sectors to enter. 

3. Will turning your hobby into your everyday job become too much?  

Just like any other job, there are some pros and cons when you turn your passion into a career.  The difference is that the interest you once loved can quickly turn into something you hate. Ong Chih Ching, executive chairman of real estate group KOP Ltd, revealed that her initial passion was not property. It was watches and yachts. But after starting up businesses based on her interests, she quickly lost steam.

“If you convert passion into business that you have face every day, you risk getting sick of it after a while. I often say having too much passion kills the business,” she says.  So, what can you do to remain passionate about your hobbies?  Computer Science professor Cal Newport suggests focusing more on becoming exceptional in your current career rather than switching jobs to pursue to your passion. 

One way is to develop your skills through workshops. Workshops helps keep you updated on the current trends and exposes you to new ways of problem-solving. Workforce Singapore’s Professional Conversion Programmes offer workshops from digital marketing to computer science can help boost your career.

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