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When it comes to career, should you follow your passion?

 

It may not be that easy unless we can all be athletes and artists:

“…less than 4 percent of the total identified passions had any relation to work or education, with the remaining 96 percent describing hobby-style interests such as sports and art.”

Via So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love:

In 2002, a research team led by the Canadian psychologist Robert J. Vallerand administered an extensive questionnaire to a group of 539 Canadian university students. The questionnaire’s prompts were designed to answer two important questions: Do these students have passions? And if so, what are they?

At the core of the passion hypothesis is the assumption that we all have pre-existing passions waiting to be discovered. This experiment puts that assumption to the test. Here’s what it found: 84 percent of the students surveyed were identified as having a passion. This sounds like good news for the supporters of the passion hypothesis — that is, until you dive deeper into the details of these pursuits. Here are the top five identified passions: dance, hockey, (these were Canadian students, mind you), skiing, reading, and swimming. Though dear to the heart of the students, these passions don’t have much to offer when it comes to choosing a job. In fact, less than 4 percent of the total identified passions had any relation to work or education, with the remaining 96 percent describing hobby-style interests such as sports and art.

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About Eric Barker