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comment by jadedog
jadedog  ·  407 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: rd95's poorly written, crummy career advice

There's some great advice here, so I'll go in a different direction. I believe that sometimes people just need a bit more information to take a different path. I don't know any of the circumstances of the person asking, so this is just general information.

    The gist of the letter breaks down “Do I try to do pursue something I love, or do I try to pursue something that will pay the bills? Be brutally honest.”


    I could be a dick and say “find a job that fulfills both,” and leave it at that. Thought we both know if it was that easy you wouldn’t be asking the kinds of questions you’re asking.

I guess I'll be THAT person. I don't think it has to be an either/or type of thing, while I also realize the limitations and obstacles that lead to the question.

I also don't think the question is without consequence.

Just as a stark example, in the US, doctors have the highest rate of suicide of any profession. Lawyers are not far behind. There are a lot of reasons for that, but one among them is that people picked those professions because it was financially stable and not because they loved it. Once they got into it, they couldn't get out of it without turning their back on a huge investment, possibly disappointing a lot of people and starting over. For some people, that might have felt like no options for them.

There can be costs for choosing a life direction you don't care about.

There's a book called "Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams" by Barbara Sher. It's a bit dated, but the principles are probably the same. I haven't read it, but I know her work. It's all about keeping your dreams alive while still living a practical life.

She talks about ways to brainstorm about finding a career that fulfills both the passion and the financial needs of the person. But when that's not possible, then it can still be a path to keep a dream alive by getting a good enough job that pays the bills but allows time to fulfill the dream on the side.

It only takes one great and actionable idea to find a new direction, so it could be worthwhile to seek as many ideas as possible for a career direction. Some ideas she gives is to have brainstorming parties where you invite your friends and family to give as many ideas on what you could do to find a way to monetize your dream.

Another idea might be to ask on a subreddit like r/findapath or r/careerguidance. Like most places on the internet, those places can be brutal, but they can be helpful too. If you don't get helpful advice the first time, you could post the question with different words under a different account and see if you get a different answer. I've seen similar questions get vastly different responses. It's the luck of the draw on who sees it at a given time.

Good luck with finding a path to your dreams!