There is a saying that if you are passionate in what you work in, you'll never work a day but what happens when the exact opposite is your current situation? Regardless whether you are university graduate or diploma graduate or secondary school graduate or even drop out of school from whichever level of education you are in, there will always be this problem with taking on jobs that you are absolutely not passionate about, just there for the paycheck. Some people are very lucky to turn their passion(s) into their source of income while others are still figuring out how to succeed in their dreams but let's not forget everyone's path is different and not all paths are closed unless your heart is closed, so if there is a will, there is a way to this problem of what if your job isn't your passion.
I am a diploma holder in Aerospace Technology upon graduating from Ngee Ann Polytechnic back in 2014. At that point of time, i was very convinced that i wasn't the type of person who like studying in formal education, it just feels soul-draining and with my results top 5 in the whole cohort of my course (from the bottom but still pass), i told myself don't bother going university, i would have waste my time and money so i decided to work straightaway. However, the thought of work also made me vexed because i had no interest in whatever i had studied, i had no other technical skills transferable to work or any passions that i could turned into side hustle immediately. The only options i had considered then was to sign-on in the army during my National Service or just do any general admin roles.
After going through National Service, i was convinced i'm left with the last of my prefered option which was to start afresh from scratch and work in general admin roles. I started to work in public sector as an Assistant Executive doing filing, archiving, data entry and honestly speaking, quite repetitive and frustrating when office politics were involved. After several setbacks, i slowly found my footing within the administrative field in public sector but i honestly honestly just feel it was just a job to provide me income that's all. The job really had no special place in my heart and my real interest and passion was music which i'm still not technically good to make a living with. So my passion and job were of different worlds, so how? I realized there was really no need to force myself to merge job with passion if i can't at the moment, i just have to draw a clear line between job and passion.
I treat my job as just a means to earn my main source of income and another platform to learn other skills, on the other hand, i treat my passion and hobbies as a means to feed my soul healthy and burning. Therefore, in my subsequent jobs, i make sure the job has little to no OT with no weekends and something i could do but with room of learning new things so i could pursue my real passion and hobbies during my free time, hone my skills so that i could turn it into another source of income or maybe use it to contribute something good to the society. Other than that, i could use the free time to exercise more often, engage with more social activities.
From my point of view, here are the few pointers to i want to share on how to move on in life even when your job isn't your passion.
Working For Just The Paycheck? It's Perfectly Fine.
If your current job isn't close to what you are passionate about but you needed the income at the same time, don't feel sad about yourself and don't ever feel bad treating your job just a job because everyone needs money to survive.
Time Management Is Key To Your Success
You need to manage your time really well in this kind of situation because you had already spent around 8 hours doing not exactly what you like, you are going to squeeze all remaining possible time to do what you actually want to do.
Patience Is Virtue
I know this is an old saying and centuries of good advice but i still have to say this, "Be patient, stay calm and don't be too rash.". Since you are spending the remaining time you have after work before you head for bed, there is only that little time you can work with whatever passions or hobbies you have. Be patient with your progress since you have little time to work with but don't give up, it may take longer than you had expect but definitely way better than not doing at all, take it as a small consistent investment into yourself for the long term. You will eventually succeed, believe it!
Find A Job That Is Not Too Tough Or Time Consuming
If your current job is something you are not loving, it takes away a lot of your time (including personal time) and way too demanding that could wipe out half of your brain cells away, so find a job that will not drain you mentally so much and have a good work-life balance schedule so that you have the energy and time to grow your passions outside work. However, having said that, please don't be too picky with jobs selection, my take is you need to be sure you can handle the job, willing to learn and at least give a 50 percent like to the job.
Please Do Not Force Your Passions Into Main Source Of Income
It feels great when you finally achieved what you wanted, living with the income generated from your passions. If you keep stressing yourself to work so hard, you may burned out and lose your interest in your passions or hobbies. Work hard but balance stress and fun because the main purpose of passion is to feed your soul and give your life a meaning. Just ask those who solely rely on their passions for their living, is it really stress when their passion could either fill your stomach or starve to desperation. Don't quit your main job, maybe just switch to a part-time role when your passions are taking off. Only quit your main boring job when you had multiple passions with multiple streams of income. The key word here is multiple streams of income.
Invest In Healthy Lifestyle
Working in your non-passionate job may be soul-sucking experience but that does not mean you should laze away and anyhow eat to numb your unhappiness. Get out there and exercise as often as you can and maintain a healthy balance diet because when your body is in great condition, you will find yourself performing exceptionally great even in your boring job. Healthy body also means that your body can endure the long work day and still have energy to work on your passions after work.
Find like-minded social groups online or within your circle of people you know and connect with them. Go join a hobby class, go volunteer because when you socialize more, you will know more people and build connections which may help you find better job or help you up in your passion.
Control Your Finances
Now you would ask me if better managing your finances has got to do with having a job with absolute no passion in? Not far-fetched at all, in fact whether you hate the job or half-half, you need to have savings build up so you have the financial means to support your hobbies if needed to and still able to live comfortably or a safety net to fall on when you are ready to make the move of switching to your passions for your main source of income. Remember, it is noble of you to pursue your true callings but not to the extent of starving yourself, not to the extent of loaning or borrowing money to get through and you need money to start a family and giving your family a more comfortable life.
Converting your passions into main source of income isn't the only ultimate success of your life achievements, in fact some people don't even wish their passions becoming their main source of income, earning a sum through freelance or part-time or not even earning at all, just purely enjoying and be happy. There are many beautiful things you can do and achieve in life so why fret over just one matter of converting your passion into your job? Take care of other aspects of your life as well, endure a bit of soul-draining experience first, then when other aspects of your life is well-taken care of, you will find more purpose in life, then suddenly, everything around and in you seems to change for the better, soon you will be on track to achieve your terms of success!