When Your Passion Isn’t Your Paycheck

Many of the Olympic competitors are not full-time, professional athletes. In fact, until the 1970s the Olympics used to be for amateur athletes only.

This means that most of the swimmers, runners, gymnasts, and the many other athletes competing in London do not earn a living doing what they do best. Most of them are students or working in job not related to their sport.

A recent Good Morning America/Yahoo! article profiled a few competitors from the United States and other countries who work as accountants, web designers, and garbage collectors.

Like many people, the job these athletes might not feel passionate about the jobs they go to everyday. Nevertheless, they have created a life for themselves that includes making a living and living out their passions.

What Does This Mean For You?

First, what is your career identity? Who are you?

  • What skill sets, knowledge or interests do you want to use?
  • What activities or interests help you feel fulfilled?
  • What do you want to give to your community or work environment?

Before you look for a job, or start a new hobby, you have to know yourself, and what it is you want to offer and employer or your community.

Ideally, you want a job that matches your passions and your career identity. The reality is that not everyone is hired to do what he or she love most. Others might find work related to their passion, but the job doesn’t pay enough, or the job is short term or part time.

Like the Olympic athletes, you can find ways to incorporate your passions into your life, even if you don’t get paid for them.

If sports are your passion, you could:

  • Coach a youth team at a park or community center
  • Play for an intramural sports league
  • Volunteer in the athletic department of a high school

If music is your passion, you could:

  • Play in a band in the evenings and weekends
  • Offer music lessons to children or adults
  • Organize concerts at senior centers or community centers
  • Volunteer with the symphony

Are you working in a job not related to your passion or true career identity? What are some ways you can incorporate what you love into your daily life?

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