This NY Times article from a couple weeks ago got me thinking quite a bit. The author explained, how we are always told to “follow our passion” but ultimately (very thoughtfully) concludes that had he necessarily followed his passion right off the bat after school, he might not necessarily be in the (very happy) place he is today. I couldn’t agree more. My own career trajectory has been a bit of a bouncy one… starting out in retail buying… leveraging a connection I made there to get into marketing… starting a blog, and leveraging the blog to get a job in social media. Each one of those roles has been so fundamentally different, all the while building up different skill sets and leading me to the place I’m in today.
One point in particular really resonated with me. “Every time our work becomes hard, we are pushed toward an existential crisis, centered on what for many is an obnoxiously unanswerable question: “Is this what I’m really meant to be doing?” This constant doubt generates anxiety and chronic job-hopping.” I found these words to be very encouraging. In both blogging and my day job, I frequently wonder if I’m living up to my potential. There are challenging moments at work, tough days of blogging. Traffic will dip, comments will wane, and I’ll wonder if I’m adding any actual value to the Internet – or just creating more clutter. The reality is that these tougher times are what make us better at our jobs, better bloggers, better people. If things were always easy (even in your dream job) you would never progress to the next level.
Instead of following your passion, he advises letting it follow you. To do this often takes patience, but I have to say… I agree, wholeheartedly. What do you think? How do you stay motivated when the going gets tough?