Career vs Job: How to Find Your Passion

A career versus a job, there is a difference. A job is what you do to earn money. A career is earning money while doing what you love, your passion. Think of Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg they turned their passion into a career. The question is, how do find your passion? Larry Smith and Deena Varshavskaya offer two different perspectives on finding your passion.

The Excuses

Excuses, we're all guilty of them, and economist Larry Smith delivers a cynical, but honest TED talk on why you fail to have a great career because of your excuses. Smith says he often hears:

  • "Great careers are a matter of luck. I'm going to try to be lucky, and if I'm lucky, I'll have a great career."
  • "There are special people who pursue their passions, but they are geniuses. I'm not a genius."
  • "Mommy and Daddy told me if I work hard, I'd have a good career." But, Smith points out, "You talked yourself into thinking if you work really hard you'll have a great career. You want to work really hard; the world will give you the opportunity to work really hard."
  • "I want to be a great friend, spouse, and parent. I won't sacrifice that for accomplishments." He asks, "When your kid comes to you with their dream, what are you going to say?" "I had a dream once but then you were born." "When you could have said, 'Go for it kid, just like I did!'"

Excuses boil down to one thing, fear. Fear of failure, fear of mistakes, fear of ridicule, and so forth. The first step in discovering your passion is overcoming your fear and letting go of the excuses. Today's innovators are not successful because they are lucky, they are no more a genius than you are, and they balance relationships and work too. You are going to work hard; it is best you work hard at something you love.

Deena Varshavskaya's 4 Practical Ways to Find Your Life's Passion and a Career You Love

Deena Varshavskaya, CEO, and founder of Wanelo, an online mall where people can find, search, and purchase products, suggests:

  • When You Know It's Not Working, Quit Fast Sticking with a job you do not enjoy will not help you find the career you will love. Leaving without an immediate plan makes you pursue other opportunities faster because it has become a necessity.
  • Follow Your Curiosity Following your curiosity will help you discover who you are and your creativity. For example, Steve Jobs curiosity for typefaces led him to attend a class on typography and to develop his design sensibility. This sensibility became an essential part of Apple computers and Apples core differentiator in the marketplace.
  • Don't Make Money Your Primary Consideration If you focus on the money, you will limit your options, and you will struggle to do what you love. However, if you pursue your curiosity first, you will be in a positon of power, and one day earn money on your terms.
  • Do Not Set An Artificial Ceiling For Yourself It is your choice how high or how low you go. Do not limit yourself or wait for someone else to empower you.

Thanks to technology, the possibilities are endless, and people make careers out of their passions from all over the world. If there was ever a time to pursue your passion that time is now.