Everyone may be telling you to follow your passion and your dreams. It’s not a course they typically teach in school and especially when you are trying to figure out what “major” you should study. You may not even know what options are available to you when it comes to choosing a career path but somehow it would be nice to do something you actually love AND be able to earn a living. With the college debt in the trillions of dollars, it’s no wonder you have a lot to worry about when choosing a career. Following your passion may be one thing, but if you are in debt up to your ears when you graduate, you may need to move towards choosing a career that helps you fuel your passions as well as pay your bills.
Just because you love being a forensic anthropologist or a writer, painter, artist, does not mean that you have to give up on your art or passions in order to make a living. There are many ways to have both when it comes to following your dreams. There is a balance between choosing a career that will fill your heart as well as your bank account. The pressure to earn money sometimes forces you to choose a job rather than a career. A job might help you pay your bills and your school debt but will make you happy and eager to head to work in the morning?
There is a happy medium when it comes to following your passion vs. following your paycheck. What they don’t teach you in school is that you can have both but you do have to be realistic about your career choices and your expectations on what the job market will pay if you are choosing between being a “creative” vs. a “professional”. Some jobs pay more out of school, like finance, accounting, legal, engineering, etc. but no doubt that does not mean you can’t build a lucrative career following more creative pursuits. You do have to do your homework and know what the job market values in terms of pay when it comes to focusing or choosing your major before you graduate and begin your job search.
Supply & demand is usually a good rule of thumb when it comes to choosing a career that will help you pay down your debt as well as help you live with yourself each and everyday you go to work. Jobs in finance, technology, accounting, sales are usually jobs that are in high demand. You may choose a job in a company or industry that is more creative or more likely to expose yourself to interests you like. So for instance maybe you are really great in math and choose to go into finance but love the film industry so instead of working in a bank or financial services, you may apply for jobs in entertainment, media or film. Say for instance you are a great writer but you have an aptitude for sales and marketing so you might find a job in an advertising agency or digital publishing company that marries your skills and interests in a new way.
No one wants you to be an unemployed or underpaid “artist” but knowing you have options when it comes to choosing a career that will pay you what you are worth and still find passion in a creative work environment may be the balance you need. Don’t give up on your dreams but start thinking creatively on how best to leverage your skills and assets that can make you money as well as will make you happy.
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