Early Career Advice: ‘Follow your passion’ is just not practical guidance

Published: February 13, 2013

PAVI TOOR
VANCOUVER DESI

Seinfeld clip

In one Seinfeld episode, Jerry helps George work through various employment “possibilities” after George quits his job without another one lined up. Screengrab/NBC

I still remember when I was in high school sitting at the back of the class looking outside at the gorgeous sunny day. Thinking only one more year to go and then I was going to be out of here.

“Pavi, you need to pay attention to what I am saying,” yelled my teacher. “The courses you will be selecting next year will determine your career path.”

“But I don’t know what I want to do after high school so how should I pick my classes?” I replied. I wasn’t the only thinking this as there was an eerie silence in the classroom.

“Do something you are passionate about because you will be doing it for the rest of your life,” my teacher replied and moved on. If hearing that isn’t depressing, I don’t know what is. I have heard this advice given to a lot of high school and university students and I have never been able to fully understand it. If I had to sit down with a career coach at the age of 17 and explain what I was passionate about, it would be similar to this Seinfeld clip (courtesy of NBC) where Jerry Seinfield asks George Costanza what he wants to do with his life.

I follow Mark Cuban’s blog regularly. For those of you who don’t know him, Mark is a billionaire who owns several businesses, including the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA. He openly states that “Follow your passion” is easily the worst advice you could ever give or get. He’s not the only one to think this. Do What You Love and Starve is a very detailed article by Martin Nemko, author and career coach. I highly recommend you read this article. There is not much more I can add to Martin’s article, he nailed it.

While it is important for students and their parents to realize that you can’t turn your passion into a career that can pay the bills right away, the day may come when you focus on that passion again and make a living off it. That someday might be when you have more work/life experience and some equity.

Instead of passion I recommend students first start with the process of elimination and identify where they are weak. Once they have done that it will give them a better idea of their strengths. I myself was terrible in my shop and science classes in high school. I knew early on that I would not succeed in those fields no matter how much time and effort I put into them. I honestly couldn’t hammer a nail if my life depended on it and don’t get me started on chemistry and biology. It was during a high school work experience term at Walmart I discovered my interest and strengths were in business. From there I discovered that I enjoyed and was actually good (I think anyway) at Human Resources.

Once you know your strengths, take the time to figure out which careers are lucrative and in demand that match up with your strengths.

I can’t believe how many young people I come across that are strong in math but won’t purse career opportunities in that field. Some say it’s not their passion. According to the Change the Equation website, the past three years, unemployed people outnumbered online job postings by more than three to one. Yet for people who had a strong background in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), job postings outnumbered unemployed people by almost two to one. That’s right, there were two jobs available for every qualified candidate. So if math is one of your strengths but your passion is sports, stick to math and buy season tickets to your favourite sports team.

Pavi Toor is a Human Resources Manager and operates the site www.careersafterschool.com He can be reached at pavi@careersafterschool.com


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

BOLLYWOOD HOLLYWOOD

Salman Khan’s secret is out: A cameo in Fast and Furious 7

HINDUSTAN TIMES While we were all raving about Ali Fazal’s three-scene cameo in Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson-starrer Fast & Furious 7, here’s the baap of…
Continue Reading »

TK

“People are very, very frightened”: Mounties on scene after shots fired from car in Surrey

VANCOUVER DESI AND SURREY NOW Shots were fired in Surrey just before the lunch hour Wednesday. Surrey RCMP received several reports of shots fired from…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver Desi dance harvest spring

City of Bhangra Festival puts emphasis on women

ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI Women will headline Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration (VIBC) Society’s 10-day City of Bhangra Festival this year. VIBC will bring together hundreds…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Canadian tourism industry wants to direct more marketing money to the U.S.

THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER — Canada is expanding its tourism focus towards the United States 14 years after 9/11 chilled American travel northward. Tourism Minister…
Continue Reading »

Canadian tourism industry wants to direct more marketing money to the U.S.

THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER — Canada is redirecting its tourism focus towards the United States 14 years after 9/11 chilled American travel northward. Tourism Minister…
Continue Reading »

TK

“People are very, very frightened”: Mounties on scene after shots fired from car in Surrey

VANCOUVER DESI AND SURREY NOW Shots were fired in Surrey just before the lunch hour Wednesday. Surrey RCMP received several reports of shots fired from…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Ganesha's wife-Ganpati-elephant god

Indian baby born with a trunk is being worshipped as Hindu deity Ganesha’s wife

HINDUSTAN TIMES A baby girl born with a ‘trunk’ has become a big attraction in Aligarh, where people are flocking to worship her. They believe…
Continue Reading »

racial attack

Video shows Sikh man thrashed in suspected racial attack in Birmingham

IANS London – In a suspected racial attack, police in Britain have come across footage posted online in which a Sikh man is seen being…
Continue Reading »

Aditi Arya, Aafreen Vaz and Vartika Singh

Gallery: Miss India 2015 beauty queens

VANCOUVER DESI While Aditi Arya was crowned Femina Miss India 2015, the first and second runners-up were Aafreen Rachel Vaz and Vartika Singh. The trio…
Continue Reading »

desi alcoholic

Courage To Come Back: Andy Bhatti makes it his life’s work to help young victims of sex abuse

SUSAN LAZARUK VANCOUVER DESI This is the first of six profiles on recipients of the 2015 Courage To Come Back Awards, presented by Coast Mental…
Continue Reading »

India-Canada-Vancouver Desi

Indian PM Narendra Modi to visit Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa in April

VANCOUVER DESI Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is coming to Canada in April, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Wednesday. Modi will be visiting Toronto, Ottawa…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

BOLLYWOOD HOLLYWOOD

Salman Khan’s secret is out: A cameo in Fast and Furious 7

HINDUSTAN TIMES While we were all raving about Ali Fazal’s three-scene cameo in Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson-starrer Fast & Furious 7, here’s the baap of…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood-desi-boobs-sex-porn

Sunny Leone would like to be reborn as Salman Khan

HINDUSTAN TIMES The relatively new cast of Ek Paheli Leela — Sunny Leone, Rajniesh Duggall and Jay Bhanushali — is a mixed bag of emotions,…
Continue Reading »

Aishwarya Rai

Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan to do cameo in Aishwarya Rai’s comeback film

IANS Mumbai – Sanjay Gupta’s action film “Jazbaa” is special in many ways. It not only marks the comeback of actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, but…
Continue Reading »