"Do the job you love, and never work a day in your life."
How many times have you heard that phrase and dismissed it because you thought it was too late, you're too old and stuck in this job? Perhaps you have tried doing what you love but were disappointed because that dream job didn't pay the bills?
Fret not. If you're still in a 9 to 5 while you'd rather be doing something else, don't fire yourself yet!
1. Pay the Bills First and Get More Money
Need a change of career?
In our dreams, some of us are doing something else for a living rather than the salaried office workers we are. Dream jobs range from ice-cream maker, singer, professional golfer, video game designer, model, travel writer, etc.
If you haven't got the proper qualifications and/or confidence to pursue the dream, don't quit that job yet.
Start small. Do what you can be paid to do first. Pay the bills!
2. Be the Best Employee You Can to Build Character
Are you kidding? It's hard enough paying the bills and now I'm supposed to act like I love this job?
Even if you're in a job you hate, chances are that you're pretty good at it in order to be paid. Be it working well with your hands, being able to spell better than the average person, having a knack for numbers, having affinity with people or being able to understand the theory of relativity at first glance; the truth is, many of us de-value what we're good at.
Accept your God-given talents and do those well first. You might as well be certain you have no passion for these talents and if future endeavours fail, at least you have something to fall back on.
Also, learn as much as possible from your boss because you don't want to make the same mistakes when you eventually start up on your own, if you do.
(See also 8 Things Exceptional Employees Do).
3. Use Spare Cash to Pursue your Hobby
Do you really need that new plasma TV or fancy stilettos? Or that luxury sedan? Learn to monetize.
The sad thing is, many of us get caught in the rut of working eight hours or more a day at what we don't enjoy, then treating ourselves to something expensive to make up for the pain we went through. Use your spare cash to invest in your hobby instead of emotional splurging.
It's time to take that art course, study the foreign language you always wanted to, get a gym membership, do volunteer work, whatever. What? Too tired? Too busy with the awful full-time job and demanding boss? Well, let's face it. If you can't bring yourself to do what you love in your free time, you'll never be able to do it full-time.
By playing the guitar at gigs, studying a foreign language part-time, doing volunteer work, taking art courses, writing for Infobarrel or simply cooking up a storm in the kitchen, you can prove to yourself whether or not you're really passionate about something, without quitting your full-time job.
4. Prioritize Your Time - Practice Your Passion to Perfection
By now, your market value at the job you hate has increased, maybe you've been promoted a few times and companies are willing to hire you for more money.
Learn to take on a lesser role at your 9 to 5 to invest time in honing your craft, in order to do it full-time. A promotion would mean more time at the office and more money, but less time to invest in your passion.
It's tough to draw the line, but don't get stuck in a rut. Avoid taking on more work than necessary and never let the lure of money draw you away from your passion.
5. Sell the Fruits of your Labor!
By now, you might have become so good at your hobby that you could be earning a little money off of it by, for instance, freelance illustration work, writing, marketing, photography or baking.
This is where you can start showing your new found skills. Talk about it. Blog about it. Start a website. Use social networking to promote what you do.
And as you get closer to pursuing your passion full-time, remember that people come first. Work towards giving them what they want, in order to get paid.
Others may not love knitting, the Japanese language, art or roasting beef as much as you do. So, accept criticism graciously and remember that it's not about you anymore.
6. Remember that Life Is About Living
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Even though you have achieved your dream job, life is not all about work.
It's a fact that starting a business for the first time, or leaving a comfortable job and taking a wage cut to pursue that dream job, can be daunting. It's only natural to compare yourself to others in the same trade with the same passion.
Remember how far you've come to living the dream and be thankful for the opportunity to be yourself and be real. After all, no one takes any money with them to the grave.
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