Originally Posted by ProxyAmenRa
I was surfing the nets and I came across a youtube video forwarding career advice. I watched it and thoroughly agreed. The main argument forwarded was to not follow you passions but follow opportunities, be entrepreneurial. I am reasonably successful person; I have a PhD in engineering, a great job and plenty of prospects ahead of me. I resonated with the advice given. I have never followed my passions, I accepted opportunities when presented that require my skillset. If I had followed my passions, I would not have the list of wins and successes that I do today.
There are significant problems with this video. Why? First of all, he repeats the fallacy that there is a so-called "skills gap." This idea has been debunked.
It's far from a good idea to learn a trade in my opinion. First of all, the wages are sh*t for much of them. Second, the demand is there in certain fields, but it's weak and again...the wages. Third, why shell out money for an associate's degree on something that only pays $15-20/hr? If there really were a skills gap, employers would raise wages, and they haven't; they just want more skilled workers willing to do the job for a pittance.
I can speculate as to why it is politically popular to repeat this fallacy: To help make these jobs more popular and hence drive down wages even further.
Anyway, I don't want to derail your thread. I think Mike Rowe is being a bit hypocritical (and some of the comments raised this on YouTube) since he's not actually doing one of these jobs. Sure it's great to own a business if you're successful, and actually, the odds of getting rich in a dull normal business are higher than in many other fields. Certainly, it's more likely anyone can attain middle-class success doing this as opposed to working in the arts, environmentalism, non-profit work, etc. But that doesn't automatically mean you should do it. I think a far safer strategy is to choose occupations that are well-represented by your type and
that are in high demand (ie employers are actually willing to pay you well for your services.)
Then the rest of the advice in that video seems generally accurate to me. Passion (or at least enjoyment) comes after
you get good at what you do.
Originally Posted by Architect
It's also good advice because usually your passion isn't what you should be doing (due to it often being an inferior desire). Follow your interests, not your passions. Following your opportunities comes naturally; you don't have any choice in that.
It's so tricky to disambiguate interest from passion though. I can't say I'm "passionate" about anything. I just get inspired about something, and once my curiosity has been satisfied and the exploration is over, I just drop it like a used rag.