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We are often told to find a job we're passionate about to sidestep a dull career.
The idea is that you should pursue a passion in your career above fair compensation or job security. But passion goes further. It is loaded with the idea that you'll do whatever it takes, and this can lead to exploitation and inequality in the workplace.
Prioritising passion is a relatively new career concept. In the 1940s and '50s, career advice centred around stability, and workers were encouraged to find positions that would support them and their families. However, self-expression as the main motivator took over during the 1970s - 90s.
At the same time, industries that provided long-term, stable employment started to outsource their labour. Currently, workers don't stay at one company for long. The idea is that passion should fuel workers, not job security.
Steve Jobs and many of his peers famously followed their passion and pursued business ideas that were hugely successful.
However, finding success after following your passion is not guaranteed. We don't hear the stories of people who failed when they followed their passions. Research shows that wealthier families are more likely to have stable jobs in line with their passions than people from less affluent backgrounds.
People motivated by passion are more likely to work harder, but they may not be paid more.
Sometimes, the lack of compensation is on purpose. Many employers what to hire people who are passionate because they think they'll work harder without demanding a pay increase.
People who work in education, health care, social work, journalism and other fields that prioritise passion are known to work long hours, which can lead to burnout, resentment, and resignation.
Separating your sense of dedication from the number of extra hours you put into the job can be good in the long run. When an organisation give workers more rest and control over their schedule, they'll be more productive and creative.
Keep in mind that passion wasn't always a priority for workers. If you don't feel passionate about your job, it doesn't mean you can't perform well, nor does it mean that you can't live a happy life.
Instead, ask what things excite you outside of work and how can you invest time and energy into that.
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