When it comes to career choices, conventional wisdom would have you to follow a path of least resistance. Steps that are the most logical, predictable and safe. Young adults will quite often pursue a vocation based upon factors such as prestige, financial gain, parental or peer influence without much four-thought beyond their immediate objectives.
I must admit that upon graduating from college, I stumbled into the corporate tax profession. It was never a prior consideration or desire. I earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and the position somehow landed in my lap during my job search, and I followed that course for the next 20 years. At which point my interest began to wane and my passion diverted to other endeavors. There came a point when I knew it was time to chart a difference course.
A Wall Street Journal survey revealed that 80% of the general working population are dissatisfied with their jobs. The survey also revealed that 50% of corporate executives in high paying positions were dissatisfied with their jobs. These results indicate that most people have settled for the status quo. Few are breaking the mold and pursuing their heart’s desires.
For some of us, there comes a point of indecision in our careers when we must decide between convenience and satisfaction. For some that defining moment comes at the beginning of our career. Fresh out of college, we choose to embark upon the path of our dreams. However, that is not the case for the majority of us. Many of us are drawn to a particular profession by the allure of financial benefits or some other tangible reward. At some point, we can either become exhausted by the climb toward our goal or we cross the finish line and realize the victory isn’t as sweet as we had imagined. Likewise, some of us allow others to steer us in a direction that they feel is best for us, while we hide behind a façade of contentment … but deep inside, we’re miserable.
In the prime of my life—earning a six-figure income, living a stable and comfortable lifestyle—it took a lot of courage for me to resign my corporate job to launch a business in an entirely different field. I was moved by a passion and a dream. By most people’s standards I was successful, yet I wasn’t satisfied. I kept thinking, “This can’t be as good as it gets.”
Are you pursuing your passion or have you settled for the convenient path? By no means were we all destined to become business owners. The purpose of this article is to help you make the best choice when you come face-to-face with your moment of indecision. Let your passion be your guide to a life of significance or what really matters to you the most. Perhaps the embers of your passion have been extinguished by the cares of life. I challenge you to re-ignite the flames of your passion. You may be pursuing a profession that has no meaning or fulfillment. Whenever you’re at a crossroads, let your passion be that guiding force to true contentment.
Will you be among the 80% rank and file status quo or even those who have raced to the pinnacle of their profession only to find that their view from the top was of little significance?
Let me be clear, I am not suggesting that pursing your passion will be a bed of roses where there are no challenges. What I am saying is that when you’re following your passion, your life takes on a whole new meaning. You’re not motivated by money. No one has to pump you up to do it; it naturally drives you. You can do it for hours on end without getting bored. Although it can be exhausting at times, you go to bed at night fulfilled. There is a feeling of fulfillment that comes over you when you achieve a sense of belonging in your career and personal life.