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It’s that 20 and 30 year old struggle. The one after high school graduation and sometimes even after the college one. The struggle of deciding whether or not you should move into your career based on purpose or practicality. I mean times are tough, jobs are hard to come by, and a stable salary seems to be a rarity amongst those deemed to be Millenials. (Born during the late 1970’s and early 2000’s? You’re Generation Y, also known as, “A Millenial”). For some of you, your passion is practical – you’ve dreamed of being a surgeon all of your life. And for others, your passion isn’t as practical – you’ve dreamed of being an investor, a developer, a writer…

So the question becomes: Will you base your career on your purpose and that, in which, you are genuinely passionate about or will you base your career on practicality and that, in which, the books say is the “right” and “common sense” way to go? Is the money in your profession more important to you or is the faith in the investment of your passion? Here’s my account on it based on my personal experience and my newly adopted belief.

I’ve always been the artistic type. Many would say that I operate mainly from the left side of the brain (analytical + logical) yet my approach is very right-sided (creative + multi-tasker + forward thinker). I’ve always been this way and even remember being in elementary school and making my own lined college rule paper. I got tired of constantly having to write my name down over and over again so in fourth grade, I got on Microsoft Works created a lined sheet with my name in huge bold letters at the top and a small emblem. Some would call it “lazy”, myself, however, “witty”. In fact, it sort of looked like the header on this blog. Anywho, I always knew that I liked paying attention to details and that I had a thing for unique and personal customization. Projects in school were my favorite and still are my favorite – especially since my high school teachers and college professors always asked to keep my PowerPoint’s to show future classes. I’ve always liked creating and it was my greatest outlet, my playground of authenticity.

But my dreams of pursuing a creative-career were quickly knocked down by practicality. I remember wanting to pursue a creative-career in the form of web design, illustration, web development or anything along those lines but being bombarded by “Baby Boomers” asking me, “Are you sure there’s money in that?”. Although I know I needed money, I never wanted to be rich — therefore, I wanted to be financially stable but didn’t need a six-figure job, considering I live quite a minimalistic lifestyle. But I continued to wrestle with these thoughts and I ended up doubting my desires and preying on what was practical which ultimately left me feeling unfulfilled and lost.

You see, I’ve always been intentional in my purpose-driven investments so my craft had been developed since I was pretty young. Just about every job I had done allowed me the freedom to venture in this creative space and although I wasn’t where I needed to be I knew that I was getting closer and closer to it. But by the time I hit college and decided to go the practical route to pursue a career in an area that the books said was the “right” and “common sense” way to go I hindered myself because I was now playing ball with a group of people who had been training for years.

Do you operate from the right or left brain?
So where does this leave me? With a degree in a field that I’m not completely passionate about nor 100% motivated by, yet one that I am settling in. And where do I spend majority of my time outside of that practicality? Consumed in my passion – you know, books about branding, consumer behavior, philosophy, design, color psychology, etc. And because I’ve been so consumed in the areas in which I am passionate about, I have been able to land a ton of freelance jobs on the side that have given me the opportunity to earn some residual income while doing less work. Because as they say, “when you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life”. And to be quite frank, I usually make more with one twelve-hour freelance job than I do in a 40-hour work week.

The good. Now I know what I am capable of achieving! Although I didn’t initially have the faith to take a leap into what I’m passionate about, I now know how I can be strategically + creatively educated in the fields that I wish to take on. My current degree in Business will help me along the way as I build a small business for myself! And now that I plan to further my education by getting a Masters in Computer Science, I will be able to further build on my knowledge when it comes to the backbone of what I am ever so passionate about!

It basically boils down to what matters the most to you. What is it that you want your salary to look like? Do you feel like you are missing out on the “luxuries of life” because your income is deemed limited? What do you consider to be the “luxuries of life”? Have you sunk into a hole believing that you aren’t living life to the fullest, simply because social-media has given middle-class people daily first-hand exposure to celebrity life and “high-end” lifestyles? Are you willing to make generous sacrifices because you’re striving for a lifestyle that the upper class so effortlessly obtains? Or do you simply believe that the practical/passionate route is the best way to go?

Things to consider when choosing the best route for you:
+ Create a list of goals you have and wish to achieve. Are these goals income-based or are they spiritually/personally based?
+ Figure out how profitable your “passion” is. Who are some of the key-players in the industry you’d like to be a part of, what steps did they take, how long did their success take?
+ Can your passion-driven career be done on the side, next to your practical one? Perhaps you can have income coming from two different places.
+ How much are you willing to invest in your passion? What courses, books, materials are needed and what things have proven to yield success and revenue.
+ Can you sustain a living with the salary, in which, you are passionate about? How much do you anticipate making? What will your living expenses be? Where do you anticipate living? Do you plan to provide for a family?
+ What sets you apart from everyone else? What is your competitive edge? How can you change “the game”? Is there a demand for what you offer? How will you build a customer base?

So when it comes to career, what matters the most to you? Your purpose that you are genuinely passionate about or practicality and that, in which, the books say is the “right” and “common sense” way to go? Is the money in your profession more important to you or is the faith in the investment of your passion?

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