You Don't Have To Choose Between Career or Passion - You Can Have Both!
3 highlights that demystify the misconception that you have to choose between your career or your passions.
The Covid-19 Pandemic has forced us all to slow down, sit still, and reflect on our lives. I've had many amazing conversations with colleagues who are starting to tap into their desires to pursue meaningful passion projects.
One of the biggest misconceptions people have about pursuing passion projects is that doing so will negatively impact their careers. Some people feel like they have to choose between their job or their passions.
As someone who manages a full-time career, a non-profit foundation, and many other passion projects, I am here to tell you that you can pursue your passions without sacrificing your career.
Here are three highlights that I hope encourage you to pursue your passions without sacrificing your career:
1. When I couple my #CareerGoals with
pursuing my passions on the side, I feel complete.
For me, one cannot exist without the other.
We cannot expect our careers to fill every part of our lives. That's a lot of expectation centered on one area of life. My job fulfills my desire to solve complex business problems and build innovative products that impact an industry I'm passionate about. That's about it. I have other passions that my career does not fulfill, and that is okay. The humanitarian in me desires to be involved in social impact work that impacts my community. Hence, I started a non-profit foundation focused on the advancement of youth through education and mentorship. I desire to share knowledge in hopes that it motivates others to realize their greatness, thus why I am working on a series of books on personal and professional development. The list goes on. When I only focus on my career, and I neglect my passions, I often feel lacking. It's why I pursue them both.
Typical questions many ask me:
1. Do you ever sleep?
Absolutely, at least 6-8 hours a day. Sleepless nights are not for me, and they are not healthy! With that said, I am up around 5:30-6 am daily. I maximize every hour of the day.
2. How do you find the time to do it all?
You don't find the time; you make the time. When your passions align with the things that bring you joy and happiness, it is easy to prioritize them.
Tip: Be ready to make sacrifices. Nothing worth having comes without sacrifice. You may have to skip the weekly happy hour to meet a deadline or pass on those fancy shoes to pay for an editor. Either way, the sacrifice is worth it.
2. The things I learn while pursuing my passions
help me to be more energetic, happier, and more creative.
Having the product management experience from my job has taught me the fundamentals that allow me to build successful and creative projects outside of work. I know that I have a long to-do list outside of work, which sharpens my focus on accomplishing my daily tasks more effectively. Honestly, there are days I am a better product manager than I am a passion pursuer and vice versa. I realize that on days when I feel like a superwoman at work, I don't have much left for my passion projects. I'm okay with it. The fulfillment I get from knowing that I am pursuing the things that make my soul happy, allows me to enjoy my job and my passions even more. I've learned to not count the time, but to make the time count. The more I write for my blog and books, the better I am at writing product descriptions and documents as a product manager. There is an indescribable benefit that you feel from knowing that what you do outside of work is making a positive impact in the lives of others, which is priceless. Not to mention that the financial stability of a secure salary and benefits allows me to pursue my passion projects without the burden of monetization.
Tip: Organization and Time Management are the secret sauce! I have a love-hate relationship with the concept of structure. Cringe! As much as I try to avoid it, it's the secret to balancing multiple projects with a full-time career. It's crucial to organize your many tasks and work towards achievable deadlines.
3. My network gets broader and more diverse by the day.
We all know the benefits of having a broad and diverse personal and professional network (great business connections, different ideas/opinions, access to a diverse set of mentors, potential to advance your career, the list goes on). My passion projects have exposed me to a vast number of professionals across many different industries; massive benefit! I get to exchange ideas with different people who have different perspectives, which has broadened my critical thinking abilities. The benefits are endless, and having a broad network enhances both my career and personal endeavors.
Speaking of Network, I asked a few incredible career/entrepreneur/passion enthusiasts to share tips on how they manage to balance a full-time career and multiple passions outside of work. Here's what they had to say:
Tips from the experts...
Nicole Russell, Best-Selling Author, Co-Founder of Precious Dreams Foundation, Consultant
When people think of Nicole Russell, the first thought that comes to mind, besides how AMAZING she is, usually tends to be, "Is there anything she can't do!?" She runs an incredible organization, Precious Dreams, that provides comfort items for bedtime and provides programs that teach children in foster care, homeless shelters, and poor communities healthy coping mechanisms. She wrote a thought-provoking best-selling book, Everything A Bandaid Can't Fix, Shes a brilliant thought-leader and consultant specializing in Social Impact and Nonprofit Strategy, and the list goes on. Below is her take on how she balances career and passion:
"If something is important to me, I schedule it in. For most people, that means sacrificing something to find the time. Working on my passion is more enjoyable than watching TV or going out for dinner and drinks. I make my passion projects a priority because they bring me joy."
Chrisandra, Beauty Enthusiast, Tax Professional, Real Estate, Mortage Lending
Chrisandra puts the Beauty in Beautyprenuer! She is a jack of all trades and a whole lot more. She prides herself on having a strong work ethic and having the ability to meet any challenge with preparation and strategic execution. Not to mention, she is just as educated as she is beautiful. This powerhouse lady is a dual degree holder (BA & MBA). She is an Account Coordinator for BBC Global News, an IRS Tax Professional with Truthful Taxes, a Beauty Enthusiast, Brand Ambassador, and Market Director for Monat, and much more. Below is her pro tip on how to do it all!
"It's all about balance and creating a schedule. You won't get far without having disciplined time management while balancing other careers and passions. Build your future outside of building someone else's. I promise the future you will thank you for it."
Hanna, Technology + Podcast Producer
Trailblazer, Innovator, Creative, Rockstar are all key buzz words that come to mind when describing Hanna. Her go-getter attitude is contagious, and being in her presence means you're bound to catch inspiration. If you've ever tuned in to her Wisdom Wednesday With Hanna, you know what I mean. Her Podcast, Advice From Hanna Show, takes over the airwaves of her hometown Toronto, Canada, and many cities throughout the world. By day she has a successful career in the Technology sector, and by passion, she's inspiring us all to be our most magnificent self. Below is her shared wisdom on how to balance career and passion:
"I find that organization is a key component to the balance. Being able to commit to allocated time slots to pursue both career and passion is a game changer! Learn to choose discipline when motivation falls short!"
Madelyn, CEO Elevation Consulting, 3x Author, Evangelist, Journalist, United Nations
If you do not already follow Madelyn, then you are missing out on a daily dose of powerful inspiration. Besides her exquisite looks, she's a spiritual powerhouse that teaches all of her followers how to discover their strengths in challenging places. She uses her God-given gifts and biblical teachings to remind us that we are all valuable and that we are all here to fulfill our purpose. Besides being a huge source of motivation and inspiration, Madelyn is the CEO of Elevation Consulting; She's a 3x Author: Position Yourself & Take Your Place, Express Leadership: Your Mission Is Everything and The Stairways To Heaven; She's a journalist and has worked with the likes of Telemundo & Univision; She does work for the United Nations; She's a fierce God-fearing evangelist, and the list goes on. Below is her take on how to balance multiple careers:
"Knowing my purpose helps me focus on only doing the things related to my earthly mission. Each day I understand that I am here on assignment so, I must stay focused."