also in school: love what you do, or you will not do it well

“Love what you do and you will never work a day in your life” ~ Confucius

Is this true? For the most part, yes. If there’s a hobby you enjoy – writing, sports, knitting, or organizing things – then there’s probably a job or career that you can build it into. You can be paid to write, you can become a physical educator (trainer, teacher), you can start an Etsy shop, or people can hire you to organize their home or garage. If your career is something you enjoy, then you’re probably going to do better at it that you would, say, working in a widget factory. In fact, as you practice your hobby, you may become even better at your career.

That being said, you can love your career, but your job is still a job. You have to work at a job to be successful, and even things that you love require work and practice. If your hobby becomes a career, especially something creative, there may be aspects of building your career that are work, such as marketing your business, networking at public events to meet new clients or paperwork that comes along with being a trainer or educator. A job is work because people pay you to do it, a hobby is something you enjoy and would do without being paid. That being said, of course, you should pursue something you love. Imagine taking a high-paying job at the widget factory and being too cranky after work, or too tired, to knit or run. You spend the majority of your day at a job you don’t enjoy and you may not have the free time you wish to do what you would enjoy.

Yes, ma’am, loving your livelihood requires hard work. It’s pretty much human nature to enjoy the things we’re good at. And, in order to be good at your position, you need to put in some serious elbow grease. Oftentimes, it’s not just the work that we love. It’s the reward and satisfaction we get after doing it well. And we all know that getting things done well involves exerting effort or the occasional late night.

Guess what – once you reach high school you can start making decisions on what you want to study and the direction you want to go. Think about what you want the end result to be, and work backward to determine what you need to learn to get there. There are some questions you can ask yourself to help narrow down where in your hobby or love you’d best fall. You can also list your talents. Are you good at math? Can you sing or act? Are you able to teach yourself computer languages? A list of your skills and talents may help you discover a career path. This list may also help you with choosing your high school classes and improving your study skills.

1. Would I rather write a play or star in a play?
2. Do I enjoy coming up with plans and ideas, or am I better at figuring out the details to make a big plan work?
3. Do I enjoy talking to people regularly, or would I prefer less interaction?
4. Do I enjoy helping others solve problems, or does conflict make me uncomfortable?

Your school guidance counselor or career advisor can help you with more introspection like this, and there are tests you can take, both online and with a professional career counselor, that help you determine not only where your strengths are, but also how you can pursue your passion and make a living doing it.

When you follow your dreams, your job truly doesn’t feel like work. Waking up in the morning to begin work and thinking “I can’t believe I get paid to write/ play sports/ make widgets” gets you excited. Excitement is passion, and passion results in a much better result than just making it through another shift.

Good luck, and keep dreaming!

written by Chris Clayton on Sept 21st 2017

photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam from

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