Join Dr. Chaz Austin for an in-depth discussion in this video Find your monetizable passion, part of Creating a Career Plan.
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- So far, we've talked about identifying your passion. The next phase in creating your career plan is to determine if you can generate revenue from your passion, what I've termed "monetizable passion". In other words, just because you love doing something doesn't mean you can make a living at it. The first step is to determine if you can monetize your passion. For example, you may love oil painting, but discover that that's not a sustainable career.
So you become a graphic design teacher and that buys you the time you need to devote to your painting in the evenings and on weekends. Or let's say you're starting a business that involves something that's close to your heart. There won't be any revenue for a couple of years so you need to do a job you may not love, that isn't your true passion, in order to create seed funding for the business. Some of the things you love to do will not be monetizable. Now I know what I'm saying may not be an easy pill to swallow, but it's important that you understand the distinction between passion and monetizable passion.
You may never find a way to make a living doing some of the things that are closest to your heart. They are hobbies. Be prepared. What you do for a living may have little or no connection to your true passions. So your second step is to be open to adjusting your goal, whether that's a company you're targeting, or a market, or an audience. I had a friend whose passion was her horse, which she rode twice a week without fail. But with boarding, feed, maintenance, and healthcare, horses cost thousands of dollars to keep.
Now my friend had been an executive with a television company for over 20 years. You'd think that someone who had successfully moved up the corporate ladder for two decades would consider that her career. But she thought of it as just her job, a job that gave her the income she needed to take care of her true passion, her horse. The poet Wallace Stevens sold insurance to make a living, as did the composer, Charles Ives. I am not suggesting you sell insurance to pay the bills so you can pursue your passion after working hours.
If you need to find a day job, the optimal thing would be something as closely related to your passion as possible. Like a touring musician who when she's not on the road, teaches music and authors books on the subject, and does session work in recording studios. The third step in this process is to be cognisant of larger trends in the economy. It may not be the right time to open that business or pursue that degree. Consider whether there is currently a market for what it is you want to do.
I had a student years ago whose ambitious but legitimate goal was to be the editor at Vogue Magazine. I suggested she broaden her search to Harper's Bazaar and Elle, because Vogue might not be hiring for an editor at that moment, and also that she needed to consider other options like starting as a junior editor at a less prestigious magazine. So be sure to examine the particular industry you want to work in as well as the state of the broader economy. This is the business side of designing your career.
Not all your passions in life are going to be monetizable. And you want to be okay with that, but know this, one way or another, you can find some way to express them.
- Understanding the 21st century workplace
- Identifying your monetizable passion
- Knowing how to interview well
- Managing your search for work
- Negotiating salary
- Becoming a lifelong learner