Written By Evi Idoghor, Creator of Letstalknationblog.com
It’s 2020, you’ve been putting off following your dream for the last five years, honestly, I get it; those bills don’t pay themselves, and you need to put food on the table like a responsible adult. But you dread that job that has managed to tie you down for years and years on end. Each day is laced with one complaint or the other. Commuting to work has become increasingly difficult; the projects assigned to you no longer excite you. At this point, you are just working this job for the money. But will quitting and doing what you’ve always wanted to do be any better?
As someone who is currently working full-time on my “passion”, I can tell you that the road hasn’t been an easy one. Every day is packed with different emotions. I sometimes wonder if I made the right decision to do so now. There are always pros and cons which come with both ends of the spectrum, and I would like to share that with you today.
The Pros for Following Your Passion vs. Working a Traditional Job:
Following your Passion
1) You are more fulfilled as you get tasks done: there is nothing more rewarding than when I finish writing an article and hit the publish button. I glance at my work, over and over again; making sure it passes the message across, which I want it to, perfectly. My website is also my favorite place to visit, if it were a movie, I would have watched it 10 times over, in one day. There is just that undeniable satisfaction that comes with working on something that is entirely yours and seeing the impact (no matter how little) it is making.
2) You have more time on your hands: following your passion gives you the liberty to get a whole lot of things done; you can finally take that course, finish that book, build that website, and give your craft all the attention that it needs. The only thing you will be tasked with is properly allocating your time to what is of utmost importance at a particular moment. You have the free reign to do as you please. You are in all sense of the word, your own boss.
3) You are doing what makes you happy: there is no telling the peace and joy I have felt since I left my former job. The thoughts of not having to commute for long hours to a part of town that I have no interest in returning to whatsoever gives me a calm that I never knew was possible. If you live in a metropolis like Lagos, you will understand what I am saying. Also, not having to fidget at each project, or worry if I am capturing what a client demands, are perks I am not trading in anytime soon. Now, I am doing what I enjoy doing the most; creating content that adds value to the lives of Christian women.
4) You are fulfilling your life’s purpose: ever since I was a little girl, I was drawn to lifestyle magazines, pictures, and colors. Little wonder that my platform embodies those characteristics. I was once teased at school, that writers didn’t make a lot of money, when I expressed to my head of department that I enjoyed writing, rather than deducing what mass transfer was. So this craft has been with me for a while, and I am glad that I finally get to walk in it.
Working a traditional job
1) Financial stability: although your company can decide to lay you off at any given time, we cannot deny the fact that working a traditional job provides some sort of safety net when it comes to your finances. Depending on how you get paid, bi-weekly, or at the end of every month, you can always count on your paycheck to take care of business.
2) Vast Experience: lending your skills to an organization will always reward you with the necessary experience you will need to function in society. Be it building your interpersonal skills, interfacing with clients, or learning how to close deals, the wealth of knowledge you garner when you work a 9-5 job, cannot be compared to when you are just starting out building your craft.
3) Provides community: working a traditional job often comes with a community of people that you will have to interact with. Relationship with other people is something that cannot be undermined because you need people especially those who have more experience than you to show you the ropes.
4) Provides Benefits: most organizations provide their employees with a benefits package, such as health insurance, housing, and vehicle allowance, etc. Benefits provide you with comfort, so you can focus on doing your job more effectively.
The Cons for Following Your Passion vs. Working a Traditional Job
Following your passion
1) Financial instability: anyone working for themselves or building a craft from scratch can attest to the fact that it is not a financially stable venture, at least in the beginning stages. Studies have shown that it takes about five years to build a sustainable business. While this can be true in some situations, for others, it can take even longer; when you eventually make money, you put it back into the business.
The financial instability which presents itself can be most times discouraging, but if you look at it for what it is, you can turn that season of life into a learning curve, in the sense that you learn how to become more financially responsible and plan ahead. Now, I no longer receive credit alerts at the end of the month, and it is not a great feeling. But I know what I am working towards, and it is only a matter of time to build that stability.
2) It takes money to make money: your passion, for the time being, might not be generating income, but it is somehow sucking up the money you don’t have. For my blog, I pay a certain amount of money in USD to keep it up and running. It was either that, or I take a free website option where you don’t even own your content, and it can be shut down at any time. Every year, this amount of money is due, and my platform hasn’t made me a cent! Sometimes I wonder—is it all worth it? These days I console myself by saying: I am building for the future. (After all, the ark wasn’t built in one day! Right Noah?)
3) The rewards are slow in coming: although not true for every situation and type of business, but this has been my reality. You feel like you create amazing content each week, while the numbers say something totally different. You are giving it your all, what else can you do to make things happen? Well, another skill is to be consistent, and be long-suffering no matter what, especially if you know for a fact that this is where you need to be. One day, it will be better.
4) It is a lonely road: gosh, the level of aloneness which affects me these days is enormous. I am by myself, building this dream by myself. I am the only one who sees sense in what I am doing, most times. I will not lie, there are times when I want to just up and leave, and abandon it altogether, there are times when I can’t answer people who ask me—so what’s next? Because the rewards are slow in coming. There are times when I feel God has turned deaf to all my pleas to expand my territory and establish my work, but I know in those moments of questioning, something that I even have no clue about is being developed, and my roots are becoming even more grounded. You will need tenacity and depth to build something that will last a lifetime.
5) You are your own cheerleader: you have to promote your passion, so if you are a digital creator like me, you have to promote your content online, talk about it when you don’t feel like it, and talk about it when no one is listening. In your mind, you will feel like you are beginning to sound like a broken record. Why can’t your passion be established so your target audience can seek you out on their own?
Working a traditional job
1) Carrying out tasks you don’t enjoy: when you work for an organization, most times you are not at liberty to pick and choose what task you want to carry out. There were multiple times at work when I was assigned tasks that I utterly detested and the clients didn’t make the job any easier. There were times when tears were shed, and joy was absent. This is a reoccurring theme with some people who work for others.
2) Neglecting your passion/purpose: many people are passionate about many things and would like to one day pursue them, but their job is standing in the way. They begin and pause personal projects, while they contribute to building somebody else’s dream, and never get to theirs. There are people who have what we would call good jobs, but yet, they long to become a designer, writer, or singer, and I look at them like—I totally get it!
Sometimes, something has to give, which is mostly your passion. Except you are superhuman and can juggle the two until your passion starts generating income. The longer you spend working a 9-5 job, the longer you delay fulfilling your life’s purpose, say it is something totally different from what you are doing now.
3) No time to spend with family/friends: Some employers tag you as an average worker if you don’t come to work early, and leave late. They expect you to bend over backward before they think you worthy of a promotion and/or more pay. It shouldn’t be so; there is a reason why work hours are from 9 am to 5 pm. If a person wants to come in early and stay longer, let it be their choice, and let others not suffer for it.
A few people are privileged to work jobs that are flexible, while others slave day in day out, with little to no time to spend with family. If you live in a place like Lagos, this will have an enormous effect on you because of the traffic. When the weekends roll around, you just want to spend it sleeping, only to get back to the madness again on Monday. Some marriages are bleeding because of this, while some parents miss out on critical milestones with their kids. Family is the most important unit in society, and if there is a breakdown, eventually the society suffers for it.
4) Having minimal time to do the things you enjoy: your employer owns your weekdays, and sometimes they spill over into the weekends. I remember when my boss at the time still sent employees messages on Saturdays and Sundays, and I’m like dude, it’s the weekend, relax. No matter how you try to avoid it, there will be times when a project will require your attention during off-hours. Life is meant to be explored, enjoyed, experienced, and not endured.
Obviously, some people’s passion/purpose is laced in the traditional 9-5 industry. While some others like me, find it difficult to be operational in a boxed-in situation, doing something that we barely enjoy. Although my passion isn’t profitable just yet, I am more at peace, knowing that I am finally doing what I was created to do. So, if you have been toying with the idea of following your passion, then this article is for you. Of course, prayerfully consider your options and make the best decision that there is for you and who you want to become.
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What do you think about this article? Please share your experiences with us by leaving your comments in the comments section below, and also remember to like, share and click the subscribe button at the top of this page, never to miss an update. Don’t stop here; click this link to explore more on our Career page. About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer, content creator, and a graduate of chemical engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform in 2018 to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations with one goal in mind—to redefine status quo. Having spent a great part of her formative years in the US where she lived for about 11 years and got to explore what the beautiful country offers by traveling around its coasts, most of her writings have been influenced by her time spent in America. In addition to that, she has worked and partnered with writing agencies and individuals to bring their stories to life.