Maybe you’re a musician who gets the occasional gig. Perhaps your true passion is watercolor, but you know it won’t put any food on the table. If you’re currently working a job that has little to do with your creative passions because you need the income, it can get overwhelming to work two jobs at once — the one for income and the other for creative fulfillment. Learn to balance pursuing a low-paying scalable passion career with working another job; it may take some time, but in the end, you’ll learn to love what you do.
Earn an Online Degree
If you ask any employer, whether it’s the human resources manager for a steady office job or an artist gallery owner looking to hire artists on commission, you’ll learn they’re more likely to hire someone who’s knowledgeable about the field — and knowledge means education.
Get an online degree in something more closely related to your passion. General online education is perfect for the extremely busy prospective student; click here to learn more. If you don’t wind up working your dream career right away, you’ll at least demonstrate valuable traits employers of all industries look for in employees, such as drive, research abilities and intelligence.
Embrace Your Work
Few people can jump right into the job of their dreams. If you’re working a career totally unrelated to your passion to put money in the bank, learn to embrace something fun and creative in that job so you don’t burn out. It may never enrich you as much as your passion, but you have to look forward to something when you get up every day.
For example, if you’re a poet, translate your skills with words into compelling marketing copy for your office. An artist could volunteer to do some graphic design.
Turn the Passion Into a Career
If you’re determined to make a more steady income with your passion career, decide if it’s time to take the plunge and devote more of your effort to that job. If you have a comfortable amount of savings to tide you over, cut back on the hours you work at your current stable job or quit altogether. You might, then, subsidize your passion career with a part-time retail job or other work that requires less attention — you’re not going to be working when “off the clock” in retail, after all. Or you might do without another job at all for a while.
Ideally, you will be able to find a position in a field that can utilize your creative passion. Be an art consultant. Start your own publishing company. Figure out how to turn what you do that makes you happy into something you do for income. Consider joining with a friend or colleague with a similar passion, or combine two different ones: your friend opens a night club, for example, while you’re in charge of the music that plays in the club.
View the Passion as a Hobby
Scaling back on your steady career or quitting it altogether is a big risk, and some people, with good reason, are afraid to take that risk. Plus, many people have families relying on them to bring in steady income. In lieu of jumping in with both feet into the passion career, scale it back. Stop pressuring yourself to make money from your passion, and start viewing it as a release from work stress. You’ll still accumulate experience and maybe income in the passion field but you won’t feel so stressed or like you have to make money with this talent.
A full 87 percent of workers are unhappy with their jobs, reports Forbes. If you’re a creative person, you may find release from work almost exclusively in your passion career. If you’re willing to work hard and view your current situation differently, it’s possible that one day you can cut back on the hours at your less-fulfilling job or quit it entirely — if by then you haven’t learned to find passion there, too.
About the Author: Pamela March is a career counselor by day — and a fiction writer by night.