Finding what you love can be a double-edged sword. How can you be sure that doing it for pay won’t kill off your passion and enthusiasm?
I enjoy food a lot, and for a while I’d thought that maybe I wanted to be a restaurant critic. I mean, get paid to eat? That sounded like a dream! But when I looked into it, it quickly became apparent that the job is not what it was in my imagination. Among other things, restaurant critics have to eat out almost all the time. Want to revisit your grandmother’s favorite green beans? Too bad! You have to go review that new Russian bistro. An evening with friends to commiserate about a heartbreak? Nope, today is that busy sandwich shop. The other thing I found out, once I’d really done my research, is that reviewers of all kinds need to consume everything. Music critics need to listen to music they hate. Movie reviewers have to crunch out commentary on stuff they’d otherwise avoid like the plague. And restaurant critics need to order the lamb even if they hate lamb. (That was the nail in the coffin for me, a 30-plus year vegetarian.)
So as you’re thinking through the things you enjoy, also think what a job doing that thing would be like. What would the requirements likely be? Are there places you can go to research? Who can you connect with so you can get a glimpse of a day in the life? Let’s be really sure you don’t kill your love of something by getting paid to do it!