Turn Your Passion Into a Career

Ross Johnson's picture
Instructor
11/2/2016
New Media

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What's more important, loving your job or making a good living? Are these mutually exclusive? We talk a lot about digital marketing, but as professionals in the field we often feel we have insight to give about work and life. As a business owner, I feel lucky to have realized at a young age that you could "work to live" instead of "live to work."

For me, this meant starting businesses. While many of my initial business didn't work out, I've now run a Michigan based web design agency for over ten years and a Project Management software company for three. Starting a business is not the only way to be happy and successful, but I do want you to know it's a very viable possibility.

The truth is, there are career opportunities for anything that you're passionate about. While some avenues might require a business to be successful, others just require hard work and determination. Take fashion for example. While your expertise might be in marketing, you might love fashion. There are plenty of fashion designers who need marketing help. With enough networking and proving your skills, you could land the job of your dreams. Or, maybe you start a fashion blog as a business?

What are you passionate about? Do you see any career opportunities with it, business or employment?

 

Comments & Feedback

Student

We've all heard the phrase "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life." It wasn't until the summer of 2016 that I fully understood what this meant. I was interning at a zoo, literally getting to haul animals around and teach little kids about them. Living the dream. Really. This was an unpaid internship, in fact, you might even say it was costing me money, as I was commuting from almost an hour away. But I found myself going above and beyond, working extra hours, signing up for multiple programs, staying after my shifts for no other reason to hang out, because I simply loved it that much.

The job market for zoo educators isn't huge. What's more, even if I do find a job opening, it will likely be out of the state (not my preference) because there are, what, four big zoos in Michigan? On top of that, I'm not going to be living large. I'm certainly not going to be breaking the bank, especially because many zoos are non profit, but I've found that this doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would when I was younger. If an unpaid internship could feel paid to me simply because it was so rewarding, I can't even imagine how gratifying an actual career in the field would be.

Student

I am firm believer in finding your passion. If you can do something that you love, then it won't feel like work. We are all made to find our passion. And once we do, we will know. We should put out talents to work and not let them go to waste. I also think that you shouldn't pursue a career solely for the money. That will come. And you shouldn’t be discouraged if your field doesn't pay that well because everything works out. You are on the path that you should be on and that's all that matters. 

Student

I am extremely passionate about animals and their rights. I have been a vegetarian for 3 years now and dedicate my life to educating others on the cruelty and suffering of animals. I was actually an animal science major, up until this semester when I decided to change to advertising. When I told my advisor I was switching to advertising, she said "I bet you don’t believe me when I say that animal science and advertising go hand and hand." It wasn’t till I started learning more about advertising could she be more correct. Advertising is all about telling people something. You want them to hear your voice (ultimately to buy your product or to promote brand awareness) but whatever the reason you want people to hear what you have to say. In the future, I hope to help animals and use my advertising degree to the best of my ability. If all else fails, I keep vet school as an option as well. 

Student

I am extremely passionate about volunteering and non-profit work.

There are plenty of ccareer opportunities with non-profits. They need a lot of help considering that most them dont give out six figure salaries not a lot of people my age are interested. A lot of people are passionate about money so they dont really care what they do.

Non-profit work is extremely rewarding. I have always wanted to change the world and only recently did I relaize that it doesnt come from solving world hunger over night but by making small differences in the community around you and inspriring others to do so as well.

Student

I feel that it is more imortant to love your job instead of making a good living. I would rather wake up in the morning and say "I want to work" even if it is a low paying job, compared to a high paying job and dreading waking up and going to work every day. I am passionate about making other people happy and there are many opportunites out there that will allow me to make this happen.

Student

 My dream job is to be an owner of cakeshop and have my own cake brand. I am crazy about elegant and delicate cake and baking. So that, for this class, I picked up Wilton as my brand and I want to learn how  can I use social media to pormote my brand in the furture.

Student

I love this blog post and find it very intersting. I actually have always thought about this and struggled with it for a while. I came into college knowing I was really good at math and physics because my brain worked well that way. I naturally then was good at enginerring or finance. I decided though that in my life I was more intersted in doing somthign I loved vs working to have a happy life because that really never works out as planned. I as a person am passionate about opening my own boutique something no one has ever done before. I want a store that ties together the foodie and the shopohalic. Naturally I decided to then go into entrprenurship/innovation as my minor. 

Student

I love this blog post and find it very intersting. I actually have always thought about this and struggled with it for a while. I came into college knowing I was really good at math and physics because my brain worked well that way. I naturally then was good at enginerring or finance. I decided though that in my life I was more intersted in doing somthign I loved vs working to have a happy life because that really never works out as planned. I as a person am passionate about opening my own boutique something no one has ever done before. I want a store that ties together the foodie and the shopohalic. Naturally I decided to then go into entrprenurship/innovation as my minor. 

Student

I am passionate about a variety of things such as clothes, sports, and having fun. I believe my problem is i wouldnt know whether to start a recreational center, or an clothing store. Maybe i could make basketball jersy's to contribute both Sports and apparel all into one. What do you think?

Student

I think its super important to love what you do. My mom loves to say "love what you do and you'll never work a day in your life". I really try to live by that. But I feel like people in my generation are so concerned with just getting a job that they take anything that is offered to them, instead of being picky or not settling. I also think we're afriad to fail. So many young people have amazing ideas to start their own businesses or try to get investors for things but so many are afirad of failing that they dont even try. It might be hard at first but history proves that passionate people tend to be successful as long as they work hard too! 

Student

I think it is more important to love what you do. I have friends who make very modest livings and love their jobs, and those who make very good livings and really dislike their jobs. I think overall enjoying what you do is more important than money because it makes you happier, however if you can find something you love to do and make a good living that is the goal. For me, i would rather love waking up to work for 40,000 than dread going to work for 200,000. I love the Advertising feild and im very excited to work in it, however i would also love a career in music or fitness. I have been playing the guitar for 5 years and love music, however i have never attempted to do anything with it, and the same goes for the fitness industry. I tend to go to the gym 6-7 days a week and love working out, and being a trainer is something I think I would also highly enjoy. However, overall i know i enjoy the Advertising field and I know that would provide the best life, so therefor i believe I can find both money and happiness in that feild, however I would love to work in either of the other fields as well.

Student

I am passionate about sports and love them sports, want to run adds for them

Student

I have always been a pretty social person. I like to think I am good at creating conversation when talking with someone I just met. Because I believe I have good people skills, I think my passion lies within that category. I love to work with people and I love talking to people. If I were to be making a high salary in a job where I sit behind a desk and work alone, I know that even though I would be making good money, I would not be truly satisfied. It is so important to love what you do in order to succeed. Therefore, I hope to find a job out of college where I am able to have face-to-face contact with clients and work along side people who are similar to me in that they like to be social. 

 

Student

I am passionate about sports and there are many oppurtunities in the athletic world as it is one of the biggest business currently. Getting a job involving athletics would be ideal, but I do think I can be satified in other areas in the business world. I try not to have a closed mine and willing to accept different oppurtunities and work hard

Student

One of my favorite quotes is the one that goes: "Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life." Another one is: "If you do what you need to do when you need to do it, someday you can do what you want to do when you want to do it." If you want to spend a large portion of your life doing a job you enjoy and being able to provide for yourself while doing it, I think it's important, as you mentioned, to put in the hard work - the networking, portfolio building, outreach - while you have the chance. Building a network and beefing up a portfolio does require a TON of work, but in a few months or years when you have your dream job in your dream location, the payoff is more than worth it. 

Student

I think that it is very important to enjoy what you do but it is equally as important to be financially secure. There are things that I want in life that need to be paid for with money and not happiness. The most important thing to do is make the most out of the job you have and if you don't feel fulfilled in that role, search for another job that will provide both happiness and financial stability. 

Student

I think it is extremely important to love what you do. One of my professors once said that if we love what we do it really won't be  considered "work". I am passionate about music, people and animals. I definitely think there are career opportunities with my passions. I hope that I can get involved with social media or sales to be able to help people and animals. It would be amazing to do public relations/advertising for a big music festival

Student

I think it's important to do something you love, rather than focus on the financials.  That being said, it's important to find a good balance, as it is essential to have a certain amount of money, for the foundation of life.  However, I think people tend to be more unhappy when all they have is their career, and that's all they focus on.  It's important to be a well-rounded person, and to love your job, within reason.  No one likes a person who can't leave work at work, and obsessively talks about it.  Gotta find that happy medium!

Student

I think that loving your job is more important than making good money. I am passionate about the guitar and would love to pursue the music business. My brother has been making guitars for a few years and it would be amazing to try and start a business with that. Then it's the best of both worlds with making good money and doing what I love. 

Student

I do not think loving your job, and making good money need to be mutually exclusive. This may not be as easy from one person to the next, but everyone should be able to achieve this at some point in their career. Personally, loving my job would be more important than making a good live, but this might not be possible early on in my career. For myself, and many other people you may need to build up your resume, and experiences to be able to achieve a job you love. 

Student

I love fashion and would love to someday do advetising for a succesful women's retailer like Bloomingdales or Express, or eventually be a purchaser for a women's retailer and have a hand in the actual clothes that they buy. I love keeping up with fashion and seeing the latest trends. 

Student

I'm very passionate about animals! I hope that one day I could work for an animal organization and handle their PR. PR for animals is quite important especially for dog breeds like pitbulls. Animals don't have their own voice, so how their PR is handled is extremely crucial. I hope to use my career to not only better myself but better others & even animals hopefully.

 

Is there a line where one can be too passionate about their career? How can this affect their job? 

Student

My passion is event planning. With my passion I want to do event planning and PR for the NFL. They're are ALOT of opportunities for event planning and PR including starting my own business. I also, enjoy cooking which i could incorporate into my business. 

Student

I am passionate about both film and video games. There are endless career opportunities in both of these for my major (advertising). I could really see myself doing some advertising work in the film industry and I think I could do a lot to help change the way that movies are advertised. As a fall back I think I could do well in video game advertising, but I just feel less sutied for it. 

Student

One thing I'm really passionate about is summer camps and the benefits, values and freedom kids learn by attending summer camps. I have gone to a summer camp since I was in elementary school and have really seen how it benefits me in almost every aspect of my life. I have worked at a summer camp the past three summers as a counselor but it wasn't until recently I realized that I could probably find a full time position at one. Summer camps need advertising and marketing just as much as any other business and I am excited to look into camps that offer those opportunities. Doing something I love for a living has always been a criteria for my future employment, I want to leave work feeling rewarded and happy everyday.

Student

I am passionate about editing different kind of interesting video. This is also some how related to my major, advistising. I believe it is more important to work to live instead of live to work. Having a job that you love is not a easy thing for a lot of people. People nowadays are more likely to look for a job that has high income because the world competition and life needed. Luckly, my interest is kind of relate to my major, I can also do it during my free time. I believe there are many career oppotunities for my interest if I know how to do it well and keep improving myself.

Student

I love making friends and traveling. I pretty enjoy these. And I love to collecting these ideas or stories and then create a new thing. I think makrting anf advertising is avery good way to show my life on it. That is why I choose design and advertising to be my majors, because I really hope to spend my life to work with those feild. I just need to continuse repeat the process. 

Student

I am very passionate about dancing and animals. Although I have not thought about the marketing component of these hobbies before, it is interesting to think that marketing could reach to almost any hobby, making it a versatile occupation. I have kept my foot in the door with dancing and I have a very real chance with a career as a professional coach. My dad is all about being his own boss, I believe this is the route I will go once I am a veterinarian. Having options feels comfortable and as you mentioned, living is more important to me than working to die, so it is necessary that I love what I do.

Student

I love to travel very much. I like to travel around the world with my good friends and eat delicious food. I think I'll be able to put all my travel experiences on my blog and share it with everyone. I would like to share my own favorite hotel and food and also tell travel tips to everybody , so I will get a lot of fans, get more attention heat. When I become famouse, there will be a lot of companies spend money to invite me, ask me write experience for their hotel or restaurant .

Student

To add to what I said last week, there are some things that I have thought about. This is a difficult question because one can be in the situation where they hate their job but they love the money that they make at it. If you love your job but don't make enough money to put food on your table or make payments for bills that could add a lot of stress on to your life. I think a happy medium is extremely imporant. I hope to one day find a job that I love, that doesn't add stress to my life. I am a waitress currently and I hate my job but I enjoy the money that I make. I feel like I am pushing through my horrible work days to pay for things such as my car payment, my spring break trip, and of course, the expenses that come with being a college student. 

Student

I am passionate about digital marketing, blogging and fashion. I run my own fashion blog and have gotten to collaborate with some amazing brands in the process. It makes me want to absorb all the information I can about digital marketing and it feels so much more meaningful when its for your own personal brand, rather than someone elses. Hopefully I can grow my blog enough so that I can make enough income to take care of some of my usual expenses. I love doing it so much as  a hobby, it' would be great to earn more money from it than I am now.

Student

I'm very passionate about bringing valued experiences to people. I think that advertising is somethat that is viewed by everyone and it's something that has the power to connect individuals to the brand itself and to others if done correctly. I would really like to start my career in media and understand digital media and eventually one day become an expert in this area.

Student

I'm really passionate about learning from others, adveturing, and going to new places. I currently work for a multimedia brand specialization firm that specializes in outdoor lifestyle. I love the thrill of adventure and fun, and want to experience that with my job. Ideally, i'm trying to take my passion and apply for a media communications specialist position for Gopro. I'm also super passionate about social media and photography, so this ideal job encompasses my hobbies.

Student

I am passion about marketing analysis becasue I think every campaign has their own marketing rules. So I have much interest with digital marketing and love to discover what's the differences between campaigns. I see many opportunities about marletings so maybe in the future i will take a job related with marketing business. And I will pay full of my passion with my job. 

Student

I am passionate about fashion, my major is advertising and I see there are many jobs about fashion and advertising nowadays. For example,  many big fashion companies will have the advertising department for promotion. It is important to choose a job that you have passion on it, in that way, you can do things well and always have energy to work.

Student

I am passionate about designing apps.  Of course this can mean career opportunities for me.  I have already thought of many ideas but I'm in the researching stage of my ideas.  This would mean I can work on my own time, which is what I desire.  My question is, what are the risks to taking this path? 

Student

As I stated last week, in order to love what you do, you have to start from the bottom. I have recently experienced this feeling as I have gotten an intern position at an insurance company. The internship is unpaid and I am basically doing office work like making copies and addressing envelopes. Although this is a "marketing" internship, I am not really doing anything marketing related. The reason I agreed to this internship was so that I would have some experience working in an office and have something to put on my resume. Hopefully by doing this, I will have a greater chance at getting a job that I like post graduation. 

Student

To add on to what I had to say last week, I was able to work this week for something in which I had a passion for. This weekend, I interned with MSU athletics, as I do every football game. But, this weekend was one of the better ones due to the win. With the passion that I have for sports as well as marekting/advertising, this internship is perfect for me. I find myself each time entering this internship trying to see what I can do better each time, and I am never annoyed or angry being at work. I love my internship and I feel as though I will use this passion to gain a carrer in the long run. 

Student

This weekend I was able to expand on my passion for event planning. As discussed in last week's blog post, I want to become an event planner preferably in the sports business world. But any event that would provide me with experience would be something I would love to take on. I was given the opportunity to plan a wedding. I took on the challenge in August and it was finally wedding weekend. I was able to facilitate a venue, contact a DJ, caterer, photographer, and muscisian. THis provided me with experience that taught me a whole lot about the inudstry. I can't wait to see what my future holds. 

 

Student

To build on last week, I love comedy and I really want to implement it into my writing. As a journalism student, there is very few actual satire/comedy papers left out there but there is a ton of alternative news humor writing for television I can do. I think it is important to always consider the multiple secondary ways to reach your goals rather than always looking at career goals as a one dimensional pathway. How can I still do what I love and make money doing so? 

Student

To add onto last week's post, I also have a deep passion for basketball. I've always loved playing and watching the sport. As someone in advertising, I could see possible opportunities down the road in getting connected in some way. The only issue is that I don't necessarily want to get stuck in sales, but sometimes that's what it takes to get to the position that is desired. Did you have steps along the way that weren't desirable but you knew that it would bring you to your end goal?

Student

Already commented on this for last week, and was hoping for a new blog post but I can bring more to this discussion.

Owning a business is hard, hard work. Life is not glamorous. Long hours, attention to detail, ego battles, and more are all apart of this deal. My father has been a great example of how to live life for me. He works very hard, has always remained ethical, and is a loving father and husband. I would start a business, but also, I have an obligation to my future wife and children to be there for them. To push my own self interest too far, even if that meant more money, would be selfish if I could not enjoy the time with them.

My question for the instructors, how have you balanced work-life and has owning your business adversely affected your relationship with family? How can this be combated?

 

Student

I am a big believe in this way of living. My dad was an accountant and has always worked long days and would always come home exhausted from that days work. Because of this I realized at a young age that would not be me. I want a job that I can be passionate about and look forwad to doing each and every day. My passion is for sports and my goal is to engage in a sports marketing career. As long as I have some type of involvment in sports, I believe I will enjoy my career. And that is any type of sports. I love to watch, and follow all types of sports which gives me expanded opportunities for finding a good career in sports marketing. Sports are a huge business in our country and I have known for most of my life that my goal would be to find a career involving sports in my life. I am already looking forward to finding a job that engages me more in the sporting world.

Student

I am pursuing a career in fashion. Like you mentioned, you start small and work your way up to the top and the better you perform the better your title and pay is. I have always been passionate about fashion and wanted to have a business roll with it. I truly do believe that if you love your job you will never work a day in your life and your ability to succeed will be much greater. I am graduating in December and moving to Chicago to work with a fashion company doing merchandising, sales, and PR. This path is very exciting and I know I have a long road ahead but I am excited about every step. 

Student

I am very passoinate about music and sports. It would be a dream to somehow use my advertising, public reations, and marketing skills to help an artist, sports team, or sports player improve their brand, make more money, and be seen by the public in a favorable light. I think if you work hard enough and make the right connections anything is possible, so  I could see this being a reality.

Student

I am torn between loving my job and making a living. Making a living means providing for your family and others which is the most important thing. Therefore, without that I personally would not feel happy or fulfilled with my life. However, if i had no one to take care of or depending on me and I wanted to be selfish than loving my job and making myself happy would be above all and the most important thing to me. I am most passionate about my career in fashion and/or broadcasting, and I look at that as busines but also my passion. 

 

 

 

 

Student

I am a firm believer in this mantra.  I love having a good time and I love seeing others have a good time as well.  This is why I've toyed with the idea of large-scale event planning.  The Super Bowl, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, New Year's Rockin' Eve; someone plans all of these events.  Someone gets to see the smiles and hear the stories the next day and know that they are the reason for that happiness.  

Student

Loving my job is definitely the most important thing to me but it is also mutually exclusive when it comes to making a good living. I definitely need both and won't compromise for that. I have no problem working my way up but thats definitely the end goal. I'm definitely passionate about fashion as well as branding, marketing and PR. My dream job would be to be someone's manager in the fashion or music industry. 

Student

As corny as it sounds, I am passionate about helping others. From a young age, I always knew I would not be happy with a job that did not someone benefit others who are less well off. That is how I decided that I wanted to work in a field which would help stop human trafficking. I see myself owning a non-profit in the future, which works with these typs of human rights issues. I feel extremely optomistic and excited for my future!

Student

My passion has always been related towards animals, before I switched to advertising I was a zoology major so I'm hoping to get a career that somehow works in advertising and animals. I also believe that you should work to make a good living, but you should also find a job you love, or at least tolerate. Making a good living isn't worth staying in a job you absolutely hate, so hopefully I get lucky and find a job where I can make a good living, and also love it!

Ross Johnson's picture
Instructor
11/2/2016
New Media