Working for passion or money?

20 Nov

Comic Strip: Working for Passion or MoneyWorking for passion or money?

This is a question that I have asked myself so many times for the past 6 years. I have a stable job that do pay the bills, the job environment is good with nice colleagues, none of the office politics, and bosses who are appreciative, supportive and provide me with ample opportunities to grow.

But I was not happy. Why?

Even though I achieved things I should be proud of for my 6 years in the previous job, it is not a job fit for me. I must quantify here that despite it is not an ideal job fit for me, I still do it to the best of my capabilities because that is my job responsibility. However, each day I felt empty inside because the “achievements” are not those that truly mattered to me. I tried taking on different opportunities offered by my bosses to find if anything fits but that hollowness just continue to grow. A small part of my soul is being chipped away each day. I felt tired, lost, questioning my purpose and I was secretly angry with myself for not doing anything to change the situation.

My brother’s wisdom and a few books that I read helped to straighten out my thoughts. I was working for money which is making me miserable and empty.

Why not work for passion? What’s stopping me? That the Universe doesn’t pay people for working for passion? Successful people talk passionately about their work and how rewarding it is for them and how they make a living from it. There is plenty of money available in the Universe. I just need to find a way to create value from my passion and align it with what people needed and boom, convergence! And then I will be able to earn a living from my passion.

If what I’m doing is totally different from my previous job, I’m going to get a pay cut for lack of experience? That is the point ain’t it? My previous job didn’t make me happy and fulfilled. Doing something that is largely similar ain’t going to fill that emptiness either. And refer to previous paragraph on earning a living.

Are people going to think that I’m mad for leaving such a good job? Who is living my life? The other people or myself? If people like my job that much, they can apply for it.

So have I discovered my winning passion? Nope. But staying at the same job feeling tired day in and day out without doing anything to identify that passion sure ain’t going to help.

Hence, the signs from all the questions pointed towards “I need to resign!”

When people heard that I tendered my resignation without securing another job, many were surprised by my rash decision as I do have a decent career if I have stayed with the organisation. Some must have thought I went bonkers! Or that could be my imagination? Well… imagination is what a cartoonist needs anyway. 🙂

After I resigned, I was able to explore and read up more on stuff and I now know that doodling is one of my passions. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend this quit without a job approach. While it is liberating, it becomes very stressful working on your passion without any form of income.

I hope no one else needs to go through this “I feel so damn lost. What the hell am I still doing here at this job?” stage that I had been through. It’s horrible. But if you are experiencing this non job fit issue at your current job, you may want to spend quality time to think about it and work on changing it.

Everyone deserves happiness!

Well, everyone except for those evil people who derive happiness through destruction of other people’s lives.

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6 Responses to “Working for passion or money?”

  1. ruleofstupid November 20, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

    You did a brave thing and I hope your passion pays. I had a great job in IT once but was miserable. Then I quit and volunteered as a youth worker – never regretted it. Struggled, went hungry once or twice, but after a few side-steps I was on good enough money and doing something I could feel good about.
    As long as your passion translates to hard work, you will find the ‘life’ that fits you.

    • rusty November 20, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

      Thank you for sharing your story and your well wishes!

      Every time I hear someone finds the middle ground for passion and money, it just inspires me to persevere!

  2. Mr Oh November 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    An inspiring post. Work doesn’t seem like work when it’s something you’re passionate about. You’ve done something that many wish they could. It will pay off. 🙂

    • rusty November 21, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

      Thank you for your awesome comments! That keeps me going!

  3. kawaiisquared January 14, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    I think a lot of people will relate to your story and it was really brave of you to choose to follow your passion! My story is very similar – I was in a job which people around me seemed to be passionate about and I kept wondering why I didnt feel the same way – in fact I felt so disinterested in the subject I was working in that I tried to avoid it like crazy every time someone outside of work asked me a question as an “expert” on the topic! It was just not how I wanted to spend my working life. After a lot of soul-searching and reading about “the meaning of life”, I quit the job I’d trained for all my post-school life, turned to my hobby of drawing, started working on Zazzle instead and it’s been a lot more enjoyable than what I did before (even if it did mean that it took over a year to make the equivalent of minimum wage on there!). I think what’s most important is to be happy with how you spend your time and as long as you make enough to live comfortably, it’s ok 🙂

    PS have you heard of Celestine Chua? she’s also from Singapore and she has an awesome blog about following your passions which is part of what inspired me to find a job doing something I love!

    • rusty January 14, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

      Thank you for sharing your story! To hear from someone who made it on Zazzle really assures me that it can be done!

      “I think what’s most important is to be happy with how you spend your time and as long as you make enough to live comfortably, it’s ok.” I couldn’t say it any better myself! We only have one life, so we should be spending time on what makes us happy and not be living someone else’s dreams! Society has a weird way of defining how one is successful.

      I haven’t heard of Celestine Chua. Will check up her blog!

      There are however a number of books that inspired me. A particular one is “The $100 Startup: Fire your boss, do what you love and work better to live more.” The examples of various people finding convergence in what they are passionate about with what others perceive as value are very empowering! I hope to be able to achieve that one day!

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