You should have a job you want to get out of bed for. You should be doing something that’s going to inspire you, reward you and challenge you for the next 50 years – or even longer than that. After all, we don’t study hard throughout school, then spend three or more years at university, our noses to the grindstone, so that we can do something we don’t like for the rest of our lives.
But is it actually possible to get paid for something you really enjoy? Surely work is called ‘work’ for a reason? We can’t all be living the dream, and with a suffering job market, the challenge of being able to follow a career path in an area you are truly passionate about can seem insuperable. So what kind of jobs are out therefor those who really want to follow their passions? And is it possible to follow your dreams without venturing too far from conventional career paths? Charlie certainly thinks so. He combined his degree in History with many happy hours spent watching football in the pub and now works as a sports consultant in London.
Of course, getting there didn’t happen all at once. “Initially, I didn’t pursue my passion”, Charlie explains. “I joined a field – management consultancy – that was broad enough for me to gain experience of different industries and types of work. It was a case of keeping my options open rather than committing straight away and it was only after a wide variety of experiences, both good and bad, that I decided to pursue my interest in sport.”
For Charlie, this career change wasn’t a decision he made lightly. It was the result of careful consideration from a professional perspective as well as a personal preference. “While I love working in sport, I think it’s much more important to be interested in the job you do on a day to day basis than work in a business that is your passion”, he explains.
“A passion or interest doesn’t always translate well into a job. Fortunately in the type of work I do, I find the job itself interesting and
the subject matter of what I do is an added bonus.” And what advice would Charlie give to people committed to trying to combine their work and interest? “My main piece of advice for students would be to separate the personal from the professional. I speak to a lot of people who want to work in the business side of sport more because they are interested in sport rather than the business of sport. While you may love watching football, unfortunately that isn’t the day to day life of people working in the industry (apart from the very lucky few!)”
Like every 20 something on the brink of graduation,unknowingly about to walk the plank, out of the educational cotton wool into the murky waters of real actual life, real actual jobs, ones that actually supposedly mean something, I was none the wiser of what it was I was going to be or become. A journalist-writer-presenter producer I was not.
Like many students I had studied a course that prepared me for a real career in the same way a McDonald’s happy meal prepares you for child birth. My career came out of a passion of not knowing, and writing all about it on a blog www.lillyl ovelett.com,
(I know what you’re thinking another one of these blogged my way to success stories) I’m not one of them, my blog is small, and humble but those that read it like it and it has proved to be a stepping stone in my career as a journalist in print television and on the radio. It gave me a voice.
It allowed me to build relationships with brands, and taught me marginally about making money, or more (not making money) off your online presence. It gave me something unique to reference when making new links, and opportunities.
Have I turned my passion for people, talking, writing, and listening into a career? I guess I have. How have I done it? Mostly by doing all of the above, getting it wrong, to get it right. It’s been all about trying, again and again, until someone says yes. A Friendly smile and nice attitude is also really helpful. After all the world is full of idiots.
Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple (the father of the iPhone, iPad and others) founded his company at the age of 21, became a multimillionaire at 30 and still managed to be fired by Apple before seriously questioning his career. Needless to say, Mr. Apple did not remain long without a job. His speech to the 2005 graduates of Stanford is more relevant than ever:
“You have to find what you love…Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”