Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

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Zillions
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Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by Zillions »

When parents / older relatives / mentors post here about how they'd like their kids to do an MD or work for FAANG or for MBB, we're told that we (adults) need to back off and let the kids "pursue their passion".

This forum is obviously populated by extremely high income earners. So are we (middle / moderate income earners) to believe that all the high income earners got there because FAANG or MBB is / was their "passion"?

I am especially curious because as a moderate income family in a VHCOL I want my kids and relatives' kids to be high income earners. I believe that "passion" can develop for a high paying consulting job at MBB as at working front desk a very low income school district or non-profit.

So why should I advice my kids to "follow their passion"? Are the FAANG-ers and MBB-ers and rocket scientists and orthopedic surgeons here telling their own kids this? Is working for MBB or FAANG or doing neurosurgery really a "passion"?

I don't mean any offence, I am genuinely curious about this advice which I do not intend to pass on to my own kids. Why would I be wrong to tell my kid to go after a FAANG job or an MBB job or pursue neurosurgery if the kid(s) has / have the smarts & the ability to make it?
anoop
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by anoop »

FAANG is big today, but we don't know where it will be tomorrow. Culture is changing rapidly and not for the better.

Lots of burnt out MDs out there. The academic process itself can be very exhausting.

MBBs are also very challenging especially the travel aspect.

Maybe not a passion, but there has to be at least some level of interest so the person can stay motivated when circumstances are challenging.
BanquetBeer
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by BanquetBeer »

Very few people have passions that are so specific. Someone who likes to learn about how organisms work could go into biology, nurse, veterinarian, virologist, or doctor. There is a big difference in commitment and pay for these different fields.

I enjoy problem solving and numbers. I went into engineering but could have found myself in finance or other fields. I think most passions have some flexibility to be different things. Also be aware that you can also do hobbies in your spare time.
I hope you’re kid doesn’t have a specific passion for civil war period ship building (or low demand equivalent) and if they do you might coach them towards modern ship engineering and they can do the historic stuff in their spare time.
sailaway
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by sailaway »

What if your kid is interested in coding, but not in working for a FAANG?

For most of the FAANG, yes, that is a passion. That is how they became so good at what they do. Same with neurosurgery. To make it through all that education and stress, something more than money is driving you. I am told the ones who are just in it for the money generally choose dermatology, but I have nothing to confirm that.
Mike Scott
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by Mike Scott »

How many threads are there on here with high income earners talking about how much they hate their job?
Normchad
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by Normchad »

“Follow your passion” is garbage advice. I wish people would stop repeating something so stupid. Especially to kids who have basically zero ability to make good decisions, and lack enough life perspective to know the consequences.

Mike Rowe (from Dirty Jobs) has a TED talk, specifically about how bad this advice is.

A better recommendation is to take your passion with you, wherever you end up. Figure out how to make enough $$$ for a good life, and if need be, enjoy your passion in your off time. Or apply it to your job.
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BolderBoy
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by BolderBoy »

sailaway wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:59 pmI am told the ones who are just in it for the money generally choose dermatology, but I have nothing to confirm that.
Haha. I know a few MD/PhD folks who ultimately went into clinical dermatology. Some went the MD/PhD route in order to be debt-free when they finished and make a lot of money and retire early. Another said she was so completely burned out and disillusioned by the MD/PhD program that all she wanted to do was make a lot of money and retire early.
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Isabelle77
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by Isabelle77 »

I understand what you're saying. I kind of hate the "follow your passion" stuff as well, they're kids, most of them don't have passions yet.

That said, I do think that you have to help guide your children in what they'll excel at as well as what they'll hopefully find meaning in. As an example, our oldest daughter is a Junior in high school. She has a few learning disabilities but manages to work her tush off to get mostly As with a few Bs. She's very artistic though, very talented and she's also a very good writer. Left to follow her "passion", she'd probably go to art school and get a fine arts degree. We've encouraged her instead to look at advertising and branding work, trying to combine her art and writing skills into something more marketable. She recently was hired to do all the graphic design work for her high school's advertising (private school) and she's doing volunteer work for a local political campaign designing and writing fliers etc. I think she'll do fine in college, never make a very high income but perhaps be a creative director or something similar. Could we force her into a nursing degree or have her "learn to code," maybe, but I doubt that she'd be successful at it or want to get out of bed every morning.
ThankYouJack
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by ThankYouJack »

I don't think it's bad advice to follow one's passion assuming someone is good at it and they can make money from it. In my opinion those three things are ideal to being successful with a job you enjoy.
Carguy85
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by Carguy85 »

Normchad wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:16 pm “Follow your passion” is garbage advice. I wish people would stop repeating something so stupid. Especially to kids who have basically zero ability to make good decisions, and lack enough life perspective to know the consequences.

Mike Rowe (from Dirty Jobs) has a TED talk, specifically about how bad this advice is.

A better recommendation is to take your passion with you, wherever you end up. Figure out how to make enough $$$ for a good life, and if need be, enjoy your passion in your off time. Or apply it to your job.
I think Mike says “don’t follow your passion but to take it with you in whatever you do”.

Another piece of garbage advice... or “trope” as he says...”work smart not hard” ... how bout you do both??
adamthesmythe
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by adamthesmythe »

You must have the ability to be good at your chosen job. AND you need to be interested enough to be good at it.

Beyond that- there are a great many paths that will lead to stable employment at a salary that will provide a decent living. There are some career paths where the chances of success- that is, a living wage- are very very small. When making career decisions an objective look at the chances of "success"- and any available plan B- should be part of the decision process.

Most of us have to make some compromises somewhere.
jebmke
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by jebmke »

lol; the only thing my parents told me when they put me on a plane to college was "make this last - your next check isn't until January."
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
stoptothink
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by stoptothink »

Carguy85 wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:28 pm
Normchad wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:16 pm “Follow your passion” is garbage advice. I wish people would stop repeating something so stupid. Especially to kids who have basically zero ability to make good decisions, and lack enough life perspective to know the consequences.

Mike Rowe (from Dirty Jobs) has a TED talk, specifically about how bad this advice is.

A better recommendation is to take your passion with you, wherever you end up. Figure out how to make enough $$$ for a good life, and if need be, enjoy your passion in your off time. Or apply it to your job.
I think Mike says “don’t follow your passion but to take it with you in whatever you do”.

Another piece of garbage advice... or “trope” as he says...”work smart not hard” ... how bout you do both??
All of this
nss20
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by nss20 »

Normchad wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:16 pm “Follow your passion” is garbage advice. I wish people would stop repeating something so stupid. Especially to kids who have basically zero ability to make good decisions, and lack enough life perspective to know the consequences.

Mike Rowe (from Dirty Jobs) has a TED talk, specifically about how bad this advice is.

A better recommendation is to take your passion with you, wherever you end up. Figure out how to make enough $$$ for a good life, and if need be, enjoy your passion in your off time. Or apply it to your job.
The trouble is that we define passion too narrowly. If you are short and have a passion for basketball then you could coach or scout or participate in the vast basketball industry in other ways. Perhaps, the "passion for basketball" is really a passion for team competitive sports. In that case, you could probably channel it in innumerable directions.

A passion for engineering is often a passion for problem-solving which means that there is a much wider world of opportunities. There are plenty of fine doctors who may not have a passion for empathizing and talking to patients but enjoy problem-solving to treat patients.
Last edited by nss20 on Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
dcabler
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by dcabler »

I received no advice at all from my parents. They raised me to be independent and to think for myself. That resulted in me being the first in my (relatively large) family to graduate from university. I'm fairly certain that my 17 year old self would have ignored any such advice to "follow my passion" anyway.

What I knew: I liked science and math. I also liked English and excelled at it but I knew that the likelihood that I'd make the kind of living that I wanted was fairly low.

By late in my high school senior year I was thinking of accounting, computer science and engineering of some form. I quickly discounted accounting. Petroleum and Chemical Engineering grads were making the big bucks before I started college, but I ultimately landed in electrical engineering after thinking about how much fun I had putting together Radio Shack kits as a kid. Passion? Hardly. More like interest and strong desire to move out of the relatively poor state I grew up in and to try and do significantly better, financially, than my parents had. Graduated in the early 1980's and have been in the semiconductor industry ever since, with the last 15 years or so in mid/upper management with retirement less than a year away. When I've had either good bosses or at least bosses who stayed out of my way, I've really enjoyed it! But I've had several bosses who were just plan awful and were good at making what should have been an interesting job a slog to get through the day.

With our daughter we had a series of extremely informal discussions as she was moving through high school. For a while, she was thinking also about electrical engineering but she realized that although she liked math, it wasn't something she excelled at. What she does have is a love for languages. We've also dragged her around the world travelling since she was 4. She landed in International Business with a minor in German and is planning on doing grad school overseas, where she ultimately wants to live. She even has a decent scholarship! So she's taken something she likes and coupled it with something more likely to result in her earning a decent living.

Passion not required. Some baseline interest, willingness to learn, and a desire to do a good job is more fundamental IMO.

Cheers.
Last edited by dcabler on Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
luckyducky99
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by luckyducky99 »

Former FAANGer here, now bailed out of tech.

I got into tech mostly accidentally. I wasn’t following anything. I took a smorgasbord of random classes, from lit to linguistics and art history and astronomy, my first two years of college and ended up majoring in computer science because I liked the problem solving.

Went to a top tier grad school because I liked the idea of more school more than the idea of working, but quickly discovered it was not my passion and dropped out. Got a job in big tech because I needed a job and computers was what I knew and I was good at it.

I think my point is, I never knew what I wanted from life when I was younger, so I made a bunch of “well I guess now I’ll ____” decisions. FAANGing worked out well for me because now that I do know what I want from life, I can do that without having to worry about making a living.

Some people seem to know their passion from a young age. Those people should probably do what they love. Some people don’t know what they want, in which case I think working for $$$ while young, until you figure yourself out, is a good move.
MishkaWorries
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by MishkaWorries »

How many kids have a passion other than videogames or other childish pursuits

What does a child without a passion do? Do they feel left behind before they have even started?
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dcabler
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by dcabler »

nss20 wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:45 pm
Normchad wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:16 pm “Follow your passion” is garbage advice. I wish people would stop repeating something so stupid. Especially to kids who have basically zero ability to make good decisions, and lack enough life perspective to know the consequences.

Mike Rowe (from Dirty Jobs) has a TED talk, specifically about how bad this advice is.

A better recommendation is to take your passion with you, wherever you end up. Figure out how to make enough $$$ for a good life, and if need be, enjoy your passion in your off time. Or apply it to your job.
The trouble is that we define passion too narrowly. If you are short and have a passion for basketball then you could coach or scout or participate in the vast basketball industry in other ways. Perhaps, the "passion for basketball" is really a passion for team competitive sports. In that case, you could probably channel it in innumerable directions.

A passion for engineering is often a passion for problem-solving which means that there is a much wider world of opportunities. There are plenty of fine doctors who may not have a passion for empathizing and talking to patients but enjoy problem-solving to treat patients.
Dr. House comes to mind, even though he's a fictional character. :D
My nextdoor neighbor's oldest is another one. That's why he's doing research with his MD instead of spending much time with patients....
TheNightsToCome
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by TheNightsToCome »

Zillions wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:48 pm When parents / older relatives / mentors post here about how they'd like their kids to do an MD or work for FAANG or for MBB, we're told that we (adults) need to back off and let the kids "pursue their passion".
I haven't seen much advice here that kids should follow their passion. Rather, I've seen many posters write that it's bad advice.

On the other hand, I think it's good advice to "back off" rather than try to force your round kid into a square hole.

I was the first in the history of my extended family to go to college, and my parents didn't offer any advice regarding career choice. I didn't know that there was such a thing as investment banking or consulting or investment management. The tech industry was much smaller in 1977, but I didn't realize one could make a career in tech either. I knew I could be a teacher/professor, doctor, or lawyer, but wasn't familiar with many other options.

I think it is a good thing to make your child aware of all of the options in the world, and the pros and cons of each, and then let him/her decide which direction to take.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by Sandtrap »

Zillions wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:48 pm When parents / older relatives / mentors post here about how they'd like their kids to do an MD or work for FAANG or for MBB, we're told that we (adults) need to back off and let the kids "pursue their passion".

This forum is obviously populated by extremely high income earners. So are we (middle / moderate income earners) to believe that all the high income earners got there because FAANG or MBB is / was their "passion"?

I am especially curious because as a moderate income family in a VHCOL I want my kids and relatives' kids to be high income earners. I believe that "passion" can develop for a high paying consulting job at MBB as at working front desk a very low income school district or non-profit.

So why should I advice my kids to "follow their passion"? Are the FAANG-ers and MBB-ers and rocket scientists and orthopedic surgeons here telling their own kids this? Is working for MBB or FAANG or doing neurosurgery really a "passion"?

I don't mean any offence, I am genuinely curious about this advice which I do not intend to pass on to my own kids. Why would I be wrong to tell my kid to go after a FAANG job or an MBB job or pursue neurosurgery if the kid(s) has / have the smarts & the ability to make it?
We are best created to challenge life and all that that includes, to grow ourself and our “Self” as an infinite unobtainable goal, without; complacency, ambivalence, cowardice, meekness, and sloth.
None of this fits on a spreadsheet, wall plaque, door or desk title, or “time and grade advancement memo”.

We pass on to our children what we uphold ourselves as heroes and the highest and most courageous examples of what it means to be human.
Why?
Because children are not shaped nor inspired for a lifetime by our words, instead, by our own lives that they share in silence.

As parents and individuals, did we follow our passions relentlessly, or did we settle for less?

Reasons are justifications.
Passions need no reasons.

From true passion grows the heart of a Champion to achieve greatness.
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Last edited by Sandtrap on Mon Oct 11, 2021 6:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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gubernaculum
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by gubernaculum »

Parents can definitely steer children to become good at something. Look at some exceptional athletes. A passionate parent, will definitely influence child's decision and I do think that you can and should steer children to careers that are productive, unless, of course, they have great talents in certain areas that they should explore. But an average child, can be steered to become great and a parent has a lot of influence.
humblecoder
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by humblecoder »

Zillions wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:48 pm I don't mean any offence, I am genuinely curious about this advice which I do not intend to pass on to my own kids. Why would I be wrong to tell my kid to go after a FAANG job or an MBB job or pursue neurosurgery if the kid(s) has / have the smarts & the ability to make it?
You are looking at the extremes.

You have one extreme of people who imply (or even flat out state) that they would consider their children to be failures if they don't work for a FAANG as a software developer or work as an MD (I don't know what an MBB job is so you might want to clarify that).

Then you have another extreme of people who imply (or even flat out state) that their children should "follow their passion" to the exclusion of whether that passion puts food on the table.

As with all things, the truly best advice lies somewhere in the middle. But of course, we live in a society where nobody wants to be in the middle or consider nuance. It's as If nuance is a dirty word these days, and it is a crying shame.

Well, of course, just blindly following your passion is not ideal. If your passion is ancient languages, knowing classic Greek is nice but it doesn't pay the bills in most cases.

Well, of course, just blinding picking a career path to maximize one's income is not ideal. You might end up as a X who makes tons of money but absolutely can't stand his/her life.

So, I ask you and others on this thread, why can't you take a little of both and combine them? Maybe it isn't your complete passion but it is something you enjoy or can learn to enjoy and combine that with something which maybe doesn't maximize your income to the greatest extent, but it at least provides you with a comfortable living.

But, like I said, we live in a society that's black and white which is why I am not surprised by the simplistic, non-nuanced thinking of many in our society (not those on this thread of course!).

If you want to tell your child to maximize income, then go for it. I will never tell any parent that they are parenting wrong. However, my advice to my son has always been look for something where you can combine what you enjoy with what you can make a decent living at. And it should be something that you have an aptitude for too!

The last comment I'll make is that it is absolutely ridiculous that people limit their idea of success to "work for FAANG" or "be a doctor". I mentioned on another thread that the most successful people that I know personally in my life have done other things. One of the most successful people that I know is somebody who has a very successful and profitable plumbing business. I'm sure he takes home more than my brother-in-law who is an MD. So if you are so limiting in your thinking that you can't expand your brain to consider something outside of these two very narrow career paths, then I don't know what to tell you.
rockstar
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by rockstar »

If you work a job that you hate, you're going to focus on retiring as soon as possible to stop doing that job. There is a lot of burn out here.

Going to school to get a high paying job in what you hate is not going to sustain you. You'll burn out sooner than later. And this assumes you can mentally make it through the school work.

You need to find a balance between what you enjoy and what stuff costs. Also, you need a job that pays enough to make taking student loans worthwhile.

In your 20s you really need to figure out what really makes you happy. The sooner you figure this out the better. I'm most happy when I'm outdoors or camping. Retail therapy doesn't make me happy, so having a lot of money doesn't make me more happy. It just lets me save faster, so I can quit sooner.

Lots of people get into their 40s and 50s and have no real clue as to what makes them happy. But they sure know by then what makes them sad and angry. I'm going to guess that people want to FIRE sooner than later because they either hate what they do or they're bored.

My parents didn't have a lot of money growing up, so I had to pick up a degree program that at least made paying for school make sense. It wasn't something that I'm passionate about, and now that I'm in my 40s, I'm bored out of my mind. Doing this for another twenty years sounds absolutely dreadful. I'm now focused on trying to figure out how to retire by 55 or find something more interesting to do. Going FI will make that more realistic.

And definitely don't pressure your kids into doing something they hate.

Check out this film:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1437364/
WhyNotUs
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by WhyNotUs »

Zillions wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:48 pm
I don't mean any offence, I am genuinely curious about this advice which I do not intend to pass on to my own kids. Why would I be wrong to tell my kid to go after a FAANG job or an MBB job or pursue neurosurgery if the kid(s) has / have the smarts & the ability to make it?
Sounds like saying that is your passion. :happy

Marsha Sinetar also famously said, "Do what you love, the money will follow". Someone pointed out that she did not say how much money or when :happy

You can tell your kid whatever you want, however that is not the same as offering wisdom if that is not in their flight path. My parents (and I) lived a lower middle class life and my dad would have preferred that I become a priest but mostly my parents just shared the the realities of their parents situation, the climb that they made up the ladder and their hope that I would pursue an education to prepare myself for the future.

Through luck and work I am in a very comfortable position following my interests and independence and have independent adult off-spring finding their way in the world. Their career choices are very different than my interest but they are their interests and they live a middle class lifestyle in HCOL areas. At this point I do not see a path for either to join the 1% and that does not seem to be a priority for them.

I would not have presumed to know what they should do with their vocational lives any more than who they should marry. As Taylor likes to quote, "there are many roads to Dublin". Not all are lined with gold.

P.S. I did teach my daughters about the difference between income and wealth and the principles that allow one to accumulate relative wealth regardless of career direction. I live around high income people and many of my friends with incomes higher than mine have a lower net worth.
Last edited by WhyNotUs on Mon Oct 11, 2021 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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adestefan
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by adestefan »

Making money on your “passion” is bunk.

Cal Newport (who I disagree with A LOT) wrote it best in So Good They Can't Ignore You: do what you’re good at and the money will quickly follow. At that point you’ll be free enough to follow your passion.

At the same time not everyone is good at tech, doctoring, or being a soul sucking consultant. Pushing kids is a recipe to them hating you with a passion.
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willthrill81
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by willthrill81 »

Part of the problem with 'following your passion' is that you don't really know that you'll be passionate about something until you get some experience doing it.
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pseudoiterative
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by pseudoiterative »

I think "follow your passion" is terrible advice for choosing a trade, unless you're somehow independently wealthy and can afford not to work.

When passion stops being a hobby, or a purely intellectual / creative outlet where you have complete freedom, and turns into a job where you need to spend a lot of time compromising how you really want to operate -- creatively, intellectually, ethically -- with the reality of business, pressure from customers or the boss or the bottom line, it can quite often end up killing the passion you had in the first place. You're left with a job. So all things equal you may as well pick a job that you'd be relatively content doing (due to salary, working conditions, can you tolerate doing it for a decade or four), even if you aren't "passionate" about it.

For an extreme example, consider someone who gets very interested in history during school or undergrad and decides to follow their passion and undertake a history phd, with the goal of working in academia. Because of the massive imbalance between an oversupply of labour and under demand of roles in the economy, there are very few good jobs for a relatively large number of highly driven and capable candidates -- so it is hard to get a paid job in the field, even a bad one, and the working conditions during training & early career (phd, postdoc, adjunct roles...) are more likely to be toxic and exploitative, and you probably don't make enough money to live.

Another way to operate is to decouple your passion from how you make a living. Focus on finding a trade that has the labour market supply / demand imbalance in your favour -- find a trade or a job or a niche doing something that people really want done, which not enough people can do, that you can get good at, and are willing to do for the long run. Then you should find it much easier to find opportunities for higher pay, better working conditions, and can eventually leverage that (through early retirement, part time work, switching to being self-employed/contractor) into a situation where you dont have to work all the time and have a bunch of free time and resources to focus on your non-work passion(s).
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Beensabu
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by Beensabu »

One of my relatives planned out his kids' lives so they would be doctors. They are doctors.

There are different levels of providing direction and structure. There are different levels of parental expectations. Everyone has a different personality, and they are going to react to these pressures differently. Some kids will go along with the plan. Some will fight it. Some will tear it up and light it on fire. Some will try to go along with the plan but it'll be too much for them in one way or another. Even if you have a kid who will follow your plan unquestioningly and achieve it, and your plan actually works, there's bound to be some fallout.

It's not follow your "passion" so much as the overlap of your "interest" and "areas of competence". What do you like that you're good at? Find a job that allows you to do that and pays well. Prepare for that. It's just one way of looking at it.
"The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next." ~Ursula LeGuin
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by pasadena »

They should pursue something that interests them. Not necessarily a "passion" (I guess that does depend on the passion). Having a high income is nice, but so is not being miserable for 40 years. There's a balance to be found somewhere in there.

Now, unless society changes completely overnight, we all know that some jobs will never be high paying. But today's high paying jobs might not be tomorrow's.

I graduated high school in 1993. I wanted to go into computer science. My dad (who was in that field, and had been laid off not too long before), told me not to because IT was in some sort of crisis at the time and unemployment in IT was super high.

Well, I did anyway, because I *liked* it and that's what I wanted to do. It wasn't a passion per se, and honestly, at 18, I was way to lazy to get into med school. I graduated college in 1998.

Turns out, it was the right choice. The job landscape in 1998 was WIDELY different than it was 5 years earlier, and I got lucky.
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by KlangFool »

Zillions wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:48 pm
When parents / older relatives / mentors post here about how they'd like their kids to do an MD or work for FAANG or for MBB, we're told that we (adults) need to back off and let the kids "pursue their passion".
Zillions,

A) If I am wrong, my apology ahead of time. Am I correct to assume that you are NOT an IT professional? For anyone that had worked in the high tech industry for a while, we had been through this cycle a few times. A hot areas show up. Folks are overpaid. Then, it cools down and the next area is hot.

B) To me, none of this has to do with "passion". If someone is passionate about something, they are willing to do it for free. Aka, they do not care how much it pays. Given this has to do with income potential, it has nothing to do with "passion".

C) Given any given areas could be hot for now and cool down later. Aiming a career just for the income potential is a bad idea. Unless you can work in that area for a few short years and retire, you may not be rewarded well enough for taking the gamble.

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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by Sandtrap »

willthrill81 wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 6:48 pm Part of the problem with 'following your passion' is that you don't really know that you'll be passionate about something until you get some experience doing it.
+1
Thus the often heard,
“I don’t want to….I don’t like it…”
(“How do you know if you never tried it?)”
At this point either the child gives in and gives it a try
Or….the parent gives up or gives in……or “let’s find something easier….
(Lesson just taught is……?

Teaching the interrelationships between effort, work, self discipline, and living a courage vs fear based life, VS income and earnings and skillsets, starts when very very young.
j🌺
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by scorcher31 »

My spouse and I both came from middle class families and we were both pushed to success and be in higher paying careers. We are both in high paying careers and to be honest both sort of burnt out. Despite this neither of us have any plans of stopping until at least our 50s and our identities are wrapped up in our jobs (part of the push from our families).

We have one young child and mutually agree we would not push the child into a high paying career. We want them to do what they are good at, what they derive pleasure/purpose from doing. Ultimately they are going to likely inherit at least a couple million dollars as long as they are a "good person", competent to manage their affairs, and aren't struggling with significant addictions issues or the like where we view the money may be detrimental.

Again just in my opinion, it's interesting that for us our middle class parents push was for us to be successful thinking it would bring happiness. We find that money and things really don't bring us happiness, and as upper class parents we hope our child can live comfortably without the drive for more things/money and find a sense of meaning/purpose in their life. Obviously this a fine line and we are still figuring it out as we go.
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by Zillions »

humblecoder wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 6:16 pm
Zillions wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:48 pm I don't mean any offence, I am genuinely curious about this advice which I do not intend to pass on to my own kids. Why would I be wrong to tell my kid to go after a FAANG job or an MBB job or pursue neurosurgery if the kid(s) has / have the smarts & the ability to make it?
You are looking at the extremes.

You have one extreme of people who imply (or even flat out state) that they would consider their children to be failures if they don't work for a FAANG as a software developer or work as an MD (I don't know what an MBB job is so you might want to clarify that).

Then you have another extreme of people who imply (or even flat out state) that their children should "follow their passion" to the exclusion of whether that passion puts food on the table.

As with all things, the truly best advice lies somewhere in the middle. But of course, we live in a society where nobody wants to be in the middle or consider nuance. It's as If nuance is a dirty word these days, and it is a crying shame.

Well, of course, just blindly following your passion is not ideal. If your passion is ancient languages, knowing classic Greek is nice but it doesn't pay the bills in most cases.

Well, of course, just blinding picking a career path to maximize one's income is not ideal. You might end up as a X who makes tons of money but absolutely can't stand his/her life.

So, I ask you and others on this thread, why can't you take a little of both and combine them? Maybe it isn't your complete passion but it is something you enjoy or can learn to enjoy and combine that with something which maybe doesn't maximize your income to the greatest extent, but it at least provides you with a comfortable living.

But, like I said, we live in a society that's black and white which is why I am not surprised by the simplistic, non-nuanced thinking of many in our society (not those on this thread of course!).

If you want to tell your child to maximize income, then go for it. I will never tell any parent that they are parenting wrong. However, my advice to my son has always been look for something where you can combine what you enjoy with what you can make a decent living at. And it should be something that you have an aptitude for too!

The last comment I'll make is that it is absolutely ridiculous that people limit their idea of success to "work for FAANG" or "be a doctor". I mentioned on another thread that the most successful people that I know personally in my life have done other things. One of the most successful people that I know is somebody who has a very successful and profitable plumbing business. I'm sure he takes home more than my brother-in-law who is an MD. So if you are so limiting in your thinking that you can't expand your brain to consider something outside of these two very narrow career paths, then I don't know what to tell you.
What's wrong with WANTING your kid to pursue an MD or go for FAANGT (T for Tesla) or jump on board MBB (McKinsey, Bain & Boston)? I have a couple of blue collar folks in my family. I also live in a VHCOL where many folks are MDs or Esquires or FAANGT-ers or MBB-ers. As a parent / aunt, I want that glamor for my kids. Why shouldn't I?

My kids are smart. They enjoy problem solving, and some are excellent at working with their hands. Unfortunately, they can also be lazy and unmotivated. As an ambitious parent / relative, I want to push them to succeed financially by taking those skills and applying themselves in high paying fields and never have to worry like we have. Yes, you can get this financial success as a plumber or an electrician but pardon me for wanting bragging rights as the parent / relative of a FAANGT-er / MBB-er.

I knew nothing at 18 and no one pushed me. I deeply regret that but my folks simply didn't know any better. I don't want my kids to say the same thing 25 years from now.
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by Zillions »

scorcher31 wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 8:27 pm My spouse and I both came from middle class families and we were both pushed to success and be in higher paying careers. We are both in high paying careers and to be honest both sort of burnt out. Despite this neither of us have any plans of stopping until at least our 50s and our identities are wrapped up in our jobs (part of the push from our families).

We have one young child and mutually agree we would not push the child into a high paying career. We want them to do what they are good at, what they derive pleasure/purpose from doing. Ultimately they are going to likely inherit at least a couple million dollars as long as they are a "good person", competent to manage their affairs, and aren't struggling with significant addictions issues or the like where we view the money may be detrimental.

Again just in my opinion, it's interesting that for us our middle class parents push was for us to be successful thinking it would bring happiness. We find that money and things really don't bring us happiness, and as upper class parents we hope our child can live comfortably without the drive for more things/money and find a sense of meaning/purpose in their life. Obviously this a fine line and we are still figuring it out as we go.
I feel this is infact quite prevalent in middle class families. We want money and "status" for our kids maybe because we know it would later open up opportunities abd the chances od an easier life for their kids after them. Dave Ramsey calls it changing the family tree. That's probably what motivates us.
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by flyingaway »

Deleted. Posted at a wrong place!
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by market timer »

"I have to study politics and war so that my sons can study mathematics, commerce and agriculture, so their sons can study poetry, painting and music." -John Quincy Adams
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by jarjarM »

market timer wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:09 pm "I have to study politics and war so that my sons can study mathematics, commerce and agriculture, so their sons can study poetry, painting and music." -John Quincy Adams
+1, love this quote.
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by Beensabu »

Zillions wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 8:50 pm What's wrong with WANTING your kid to pursue an MD or go for FAANGT (T for Tesla) or jump on board MBB (McKinsey, Bain & Boston)?

...

I want to push them to succeed financially by taking those skills and applying themselves in high paying fields and never have to worry like we have.
There's nothing wrong with wanting your kids to have a good life free from financial worry and providing them with the motivation and support to achieve that.

However:
As a parent / aunt, I want that glamor for my kids.
As an ambitious parent / relative
pardon me for wanting bragging rights as the parent / relative
These thoughts are about you.

I will tell you from personal experience that when an adult ties themselves to the achievements of a child, the pressure of the expectation that then falls on that child is extreme and the adult is eventually no longer seen by them as an emotional refuge or safe haven. I am not alone in that experience.
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by WhyNotUs »

willthrill81 wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 6:48 pm Part of the problem with 'following your passion' is that you don't really know that you'll be passionate about something until you get some experience doing it.
?? What is the problem?
That is a prescription for trying a few things before locking in, correct rather than choosing a priori a seemingly lucrative field of your parents choosing
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by cur_inv_1990 »

I'm someone who used to work at 2 FAANGs. I'm no longer at FAANG since there are smaller shops out there who pay experienced people better and come with less politics.

I got in because the work was my passion. I just wanted to build [expletive removed by admin LadyGeek]. After a decade, I'm no longer passionate and low key dislike my job. Don't hate anything about it but definitely no longer passionate.

My observation is that the people who aren't passionate don't get very far after they get into FAANG. Promotions are tough to come by and the need to grind is real. New grads make ~220k these days and it's really hard to motivate yourself to do the grind if you're already living comfortably.
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by Zillions »

market timer wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:09 pm "I have to study politics and war so that my sons can study mathematics, commerce and agriculture, so their sons can study poetry, painting and music." -John Quincy Adams
+++++++
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by Zillions »

Beensabu wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:08 pm
Zillions wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 8:50 pm What's wrong with WANTING your kid to pursue an MD or go for FAANGT (T for Tesla) or jump on board MBB (McKinsey, Bain & Boston)?

...

I want to push them to succeed financially by taking those skills and applying themselves in high paying fields and never have to worry like we have.
There's nothing wrong with wanting your kids to have a good life free from financial worry and providing them with the motivation and support to achieve that.

However:
As a parent / aunt, I want that glamor for my kids.
As an ambitious parent / relative
pardon me for wanting bragging rights as the parent / relative
These thoughts are about you.

I will tell you from personal experience that when an adult ties themselves to the achievements of a child, the pressure of the expectation that then falls on that child is extreme and the adult is eventually no longer seen by them as an emotional refuge or safe haven. I am not alone in that experience.
So, it's wrong to have high expectations of your kids?

I totally get vicarious living via one's kids and relatives. However, that's not the same thing here. If it was, no parent who was ambitious for their child and pushed them to achieve would be a "safe haven or emotional refuge".

The bragging rights are just an icing. Don't tell me no parents of MDs or FAANGT-ers ever brags!
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by evancox10 »

Zillions wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:48 pm When parents / older relatives / mentors post here about how they'd like their kids to do an MD or work for FAANG or for MBB, we're told that we (adults) need to back off and let the kids "pursue their passion".

This forum is obviously populated by extremely high income earners. So are we (middle / moderate income earners) to believe that all the high income earners got there because FAANG or MBB is / was their "passion"?

I am especially curious because as a moderate income family in a VHCOL I want my kids and relatives' kids to be high income earners. I believe that "passion" can develop for a high paying consulting job at MBB as at working front desk a very low income school district or non-profit.

So why should I advice my kids to "follow their passion"? Are the FAANG-ers and MBB-ers and rocket scientists and orthopedic surgeons here telling their own kids this? Is working for MBB or FAANG or doing neurosurgery really a "passion"?

I don't mean any offence, I am genuinely curious about this advice which I do not intend to pass on to my own kids. Why would I be wrong to tell my kid to go after a FAANG job or an MBB job or pursue neurosurgery if the kid(s) has / have the smarts & the ability to make it?
IMO most high-paid lawyers/doctors/consultants ARE "following their passion".

...

It just so happens that their passion is making lots of money. :moneybag
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by Beensabu »

Zillions wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:56 pm In my real life, I find that it's usually the high achievers who pontificate to the masses about how to not push their kids.
The people who do that do so because they're quite literally emotionally traumatized and are just trying to save others unnecessary pain.

Which is certainly not to say that all high achievers have had a similar experience. Plenty of people are intrinsically motivated.

I am not a high achiever. I'm recovered. I still have the resentment to let go of, though. I didn't even realize I had it until recently.

I respectfully suggest encouragement, guidance, and support in lieu of expectations. That is all.
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by evancox10 »

scorcher31 wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 8:27 pm My spouse and I both came from middle class families and we were both pushed to success and be in higher paying careers. We are both in high paying careers and to be honest both sort of burnt out. Despite this neither of us have any plans of stopping until at least our 50s and our identities are wrapped up in our jobs (part of the push from our families).

We have one young child and mutually agree we would not push the child into a high paying career. We want them to do what they are good at, what they derive pleasure/purpose from doing. Ultimately they are going to likely inherit at least a couple million dollars as long as they are a "good person", competent to manage their affairs, and aren't struggling with significant addictions issues or the like where we view the money may be detrimental.

Again just in my opinion, it's interesting that for us our middle class parents push was for us to be successful thinking it would bring happiness. We find that money and things really don't bring us happiness, and as upper class parents we hope our child can live comfortably without the drive for more things/money and find a sense of meaning/purpose in their life. Obviously this a fine line and we are still figuring it out as we go.
How do you think the fact that your child stands to inherit several million dollars affects your desire for them to focus on doing "what they derive pleasure/purpose from"? How much should a parent who can't/won't be leaving their child any money encourage their child to strictly pursue what they enjoy doing, without concern for the remunerative aspects of their pursuits?
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by neverpanic »

Zillions wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:56 pm
Beensabu wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:08 pm However:
As a parent / aunt, I want that glamor for my kids.
As an ambitious parent / relative
pardon me for wanting bragging rights as the parent / relative
These thoughts are about you.

I will tell you from personal experience that when an adult ties themselves to the achievements of a child, the pressure of the expectation that then falls on that child is extreme and the adult is eventually no longer seen by them as an emotional refuge or safe haven. I am not alone in that experience.
So, it's wrong to have high expectations of your kids?

I totally get vicarious living via one's kids and relatives. However, that's not the same thing here. If it was, no parent who was ambitious for their child and pushed them to achieve would be a "safe haven or emotional refuge".

The bragging rights are just an icing. Don't tell me no parents of MDs or FAANGT-ers ever brags!
IBL

You're obsessing over the wrong thing, I think. Though beyond the scope of this forum (depending on who's saying it), you may benefit from talking with a professional therapist about why you feel this way. I only have your words to go on, but it's not clear how much is you wanting a good life for your kids vs you wanting a good life - of icing - for yourself. There's a lot of good counsel on this forum. You've got to be receptive, though.

Pro tip: If you live in a great neighborhood, chances are your children will end up in a great neighborhood. Your kids are going to be fine.

Edit to add: I'm a high achiever. But I'm also the kid who failed to meet parental expectations of going into academia or the professional world, instead choosing to be an entrepreneur. That family relationship has been fractured ever since, so I'm the one in therapy.
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by Nicolas »

market timer wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:09 pm "I have to study politics and war so that my sons can study mathematics, commerce and agriculture, so their sons can study poetry, painting and music." -John Quincy Adams
All three of John Quincy Adams’s sons studied law, two became alcoholics and one died by suicide. Of his grandsons, all studied law. One dabbled in philosophy.
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by sailaway »

My parents were not at all thrilled with my career choices. Nonetheless, they have since realized that I am much more financially responsible than either of my siblings who made far more practical career choices. This was already clear when I was a grad student and my siblings were a decade or more into their careers, and hasn't changed over time.

DH made all the right career choices, but his parents do sometimes lament that he doesn't pursue more of the trappings of an upper class lifestyle.
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Re: Is "following my passion" the only real reason?

Post by cogito »

MishkaWorries wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:54 pm How many kids have a passion other than videogames or other childish pursuits

What does a child without a passion do? Do they feel left behind before they have even started?
My childhood passion was videogames. I now make about 250k TC as a senior game dev, about 10 years of experience. Currently interviewing for FAANGish jobs at 320k-350k TC.

My parents hated my choice to pursue my passion professionally. Survivorship bias? Perhaps. But many "childish pursuits" prompt a lifetime of curiosity and education. Passion is real and important for those with ambition to match, even if you don't understand it.
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