[cajobportal insights] Why ‘follow your passion’ may not be the best advice

Prof. Cal Newport recently published a piece in the CNN on this theme
Conventional wisdom  to suggest that one can attain “Career Nirvana” by following these steps
1) Find your passion
2) Match passion to job
3) Love your life
You see the slogan “Follow your passion” has increased nine-fold in English books since 1990.
“Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” is another college-counseling standby of unknown provenance.
We had also released a video on our career channel on similar lines, only to later realise the practical limitations
“Why choice of first job is so important”
Research however shows that its easier said than done. 9 out of 10 you survey will likely tell you that they never could have predicted where they are today.
Take the example of CA Freshers in an overpopulated country like India ( Final results for May 2018 are coming tomorrow)
How does one know his/her passion at the age of 22 years. A vast majority of them will raise their hands for “Investment Banking” because they hear from seniors that it pays very well and they also loved the concepts of finance in the classroom
Can they be really particular about their passion or take up the first job that comes their way, be it tax, audit or KPOs?
Similarly, often, an MBA fresher has to often follow the Place-com norms on Day Zero and take what comes their way – the complex congruence of candidate hotlists and company shortlists.
Instead of settling for the same, can they keep hopping from one field to another, in an experimentation mode, to find their true love?
What if following my passion not be sufficient to pay my bills, say public speaking or writing, where their aren’t clearly delineated career paths and winners take it all
Instead of that elusive search for the magic bullet, the question is can’t passion later be developed?
Can we settle for the best decision in terms of employer brand, career stability, growth and so forth
Its a clash of two contrasting theories
a) “fixed theory of interests” — the idea that core interests are there from birth, just waiting to be discovered — and
b) “growth theory,” the idea that interests are something anyone can cultivate over time.
The latter is just like arranged marriage, where you often learn to love your spouse post marriage. After all, not all are lucky to find their love during college . And maybe, those who search for their one true love have unrealistic expectations and can end up on an endless and empty quest.
A wonderful slogan that ‘follow your passion’ is , it has its own practical challenges in the real world of careers. Maybe slogans dont fill empty stomach
What are your views on this?
Would love to hear from you

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Sonia Singal : cajobportal.com

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