Job: What You Like or What You’re Good At?

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When I had to choose what to study I was nineteen and had no idea. I didn’t know myself good enough, so I had no clue what direction my future career should take. How ironic that we live with ourselves the whole life and still struggle understanding our needs, wishes, talents and skills. And not only that, we even doubt about what we like and don’t like.

I knew very well what I didn’t want. I was too stupid for architecture or medicine, and many other studies sounded sooo boring. I didn’t know what I really liked, though. So I studied what I was good at: languages. Teacher or translator? Translator. The choice has been made, the die was cast.

Was I good at it? Yes.  Did I like it? Not really. Am I still translating? Nope.

What if you have to choose between something you know well but bores you and something you find intriguing but you’re still not good at it? 

Very often the thing you master well is the thing you love doing. And that’s a perfect match! If that’s your case, you’re lucky and should follow this track. But what if you have to choose between something you know well but bores you and something you find intriguing but you’re still not good at it?

Pragmatically speaking you go for what gives you money.

You’re good at accounting but you’re passionate about music? Most people will advise you to stick to accounting and take music as a hobby. Why? Because accounting is easier to monetise than music. In theory.

You’re good at music but you’re passionate about accounting? You’re joking! But let’s imagine it’s true: again, you’d probably be told to do accounting… and you’d become a great accounting specialist because you love it!

In the first example you do what you’re not passionate about and what people expect you to do. The consequence may be that you end up hating it.

The second example leads you to choose what you love doing plus you’re likely to make a living: great!

If you love what you do a setback is a challenge. If you don’t love what you do a setback is 100% frustration. 

Getting back to the first example where you’re good at something but don’t like it… This is where I was with translation. I couldn’t do it anymore. It bored me, the smallest setbacks frustrated me, it was annoying.

If you love what you do a setback is a challenge. If you don’t love what you do a setback is 100% frustration with a high probability you quit.

That’s why it’s so important to bear in mind what you like. Everything at work is easier to handle if you’re passionate about your work.

Very often we encounter obstacles in doing what we love. Let’s finish this article having a look at the most important ones and see what you could do about them.

Obstacle #1: I don’t know what I like doing.

This happens more often than you think. Most people really don’t know what they’re passionate about. Maybe you struggle with this one as well. I would recommend you to take a paper and a pen and start dreaming big. It’s not easy if you’re a down-to-earth Capricorn as me, but give it a try! 🙂  Write down everything that comes to your mind. See if you can answer these questions:

What is it that I would do for free?

What did I love as a child? (Every silly answer counts.)

What would be my ideal working day?

What job do I envy others for?

If this doesn’t help, have a look at my articles related to this topic: I Don’t Know What to Do In Life and Clarity Comes from Action 

See if something cool comes up. Perhaps you have it already but can’t see a way how to make money – just look at the second obstacle.

Obstacle #2: What I like doesn’t generate money.

Super frequent concern, and totally understandable. Especially if we speak about fine arts, music, spending time with animals and other hobby-like passions it often seems impossible to earn money with it. However, today it’s way easier than it used to be. In times where you can find all information for free and online, where you can learn how to promote yourself, connect with anyone and learn many skills with free courses and videos it’s not that difficult as it seems. Of course, you have to invest a lot of time and effort, but the rewards are huge. Inspire yourself looking up stories of other people that converted their hobby into a job! At the end it’s a question of perseverance, enthusiasm and the ability to cope with setbacks.

Obstacle #3: To change my job is too risky.

Many people have been working at the same thing for many years and are very anxious about change. Leaving a stable, well-paid but boring or frustrating job for a passion may be seen as crazy, unreasonable and risky. It depends on the case, but this kind of change can bring so much fresh air into your life. You don’t quit your job from one day to the next and jump into a new thing. This can and ideally should be done progressively, with a plan in mind. Many people do both things at the same time until the secondary thing becomes the primary. Again, it’s all about how much you want it!