THE INC. LIFE

Why ‘Do What You Love’ Is Actually Terrible Career Advice

Pick a career. Pick a passion. Let them be separate if need be.

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BY Quora - 16 May 2018

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

What's the worst career advice you've ever received? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Sean Kernan on Quora:

They told me to follow my dream and do what I love.

I love being creative, so I went into advertising.

I thought it would be like Mad Men, I'd be at a big fancy agency, flexing my creativity, smoking cigars, hanging with babes, writing commercials for Nike/McDonalds/Underarmour.

And making tons and tons of money.

It was the opposite of all those things.

I was locked in a cubicle. Writing ads for Jingle Panties and Aunt Jo Bean Hazel's Cookie Mix, with endless creative restrictions and endlessly small paychecks.

No babes, just lots and lots of dudes. Sausage, anyone?

So I separated the two. I changed paths and pursued a career that commands the income I want. And I write on the Internet when I want to be creative.

Happy, happy, happy.

The "pursue your dream" advice pushes people to find a magic bullet career that's as fun as a theme park and pays a fortune. Its fatal flaw? It tries to fit too many things in one bucket.

It isn't realistic for most of us. We can't all be athletes, artists, and movie stars.

Pick a career. Pick a passion. Let them be separate if need be. These things can coexist.

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