Don’t we all dream about doing what we are passionate about for a living? What we really really love? For most people, it may seem like a distant dream but really, it shouldn’t be. In my opinion, everyone should find passion in their job. Call me an idealist, but I think loving your job should be a right and not a privilege.
Now, passion can be found in a lot of places, it’s not necessarily that one job that’s the key, the ever elusive dream job. If you are in a good work environment surrounded by good people, you can become passionate about your work even if it’s not your dream job. Sometimes all it takes is for you to feel like you matter, like you contribute to something. Like you are valued.
But maybe you do want to land that dream job and it’s probably more within reach than you’d think!
From an artist’s perspective
I never thought I’d become an artist. I dreamed about it as a kid, and that dream became more and more distant. Once I reached adulthood, I realized it just wasn’t a viable option. Or so I thought. Turns out, years later, I made it work! It’s not what I dreamed of as a little kid but let me tell you, it’s just as fun!
And it’s a process. To this day, I still work toward that dream, toward my passion, little by little every day. You see, being an artist is not my full time job. I haven’t made it that far yet. But one day, I hope I do.
In the meantime, I just enjoy the ride!
How to start doing what you love for a living
Here are 7 steps you can follow to start doing what you love for a living!
Step 1: Research
First and foremost, research.
Read, listen, learn. Gobble all the information that you can. Swallow the knowledge. Find the people that are passionate about their jobs and listen to their stories. The more you learn about it and hear other people’s stories, the more you’ll realize you too can do it. And the path will become clearer.
Whether it’s becoming an artist or blogger, open a store or a restaurant, or start a new career, you have to know what you’re getting into.
Step 2: Start small
Once you have some clarity, start by doing little things. Getting into a new career or project can be daunting but once you start, you can get the ball rolling faster than you’d think. It’s all about taking the first step.
For me, it was sitting down and creating a few paintings. Then I kept painting. And painted some more. And I experimented with new styles, new ideas, etc. Before I knew it, I had a portfolio.
Step 3: Work on one goal at a time
One step at a time. There’s so much to do when you switch careers or start a business that it can be overwhelming really quick. How do you fix that? By focusing on one thing at a time. Concentrate on one task and forget the rest. Baby steps.
Once I had quite a few artworks ready to go, I slowly started building up my online shops and website. I started by uploading my art on Society6 and RedBubble, then created my own shop on Etsy, and only after that did I start building a shop on my own website. It took a long time to get it all going but eventually I had everything up and running.
Which brings us to step 4.
Step 4: Be patient
It will take time. Possibly a long time.
Doing what you love for a living will not happen overnight. Patience and consistency are everything. Slow and steady wins the race as they say. Don’t give up and keep working. Don’t rush so you don’t burn out but keep at it.
There will be times where you feel like you’re going nowhere and during those times, remember why you started. Remember your dream, your passion, and keep doing the work even if you feel it’s useless. The negative feelings will pass, they are part of the journey.
Step 5: Create a safety net
Work on saving some money if you don’t have some put aside already. It’s important to have a safety net so you don’t end up on the streets if anything goes wrong. Having a plan B can be a good idea too. For instance, having a job or side hustle you can fall back on temporarily in case your plan doesn’t work or if it takes more time than you anticipated.
Better safe than sorry!
And once you have enough saved up…
Step 6: Take the plunge
When all is said and done, just do it! Take the plunge and start doing what you love for a living. Quit your 9 to 5 job if you need to, invest, make a move, whichever it is you need to do to live your passion.
Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be so drastic either. For instance, in my case, as I mentioned earlier, I still have a full time job. But I also consider myself a professional artist because I did take the plunge: I have all my online shops up and running, I advertise, and I work at it every day.
Step 7: Live the dream
The end goal! Fully living from doing your dream job. When what you are passionate about is now enough to support yourself. Is it attainable? Certainly! But it takes time and persistence.
I have yet to reach that goal myself.
Let’s wish each other luck!
PS: and don’t forget to enjoy the journey, it’s as – if not more – important than reaching the last step.