I have to say, this concept really bothers me. A lot of people talk about making significant changes in their life to follow their passion.
This idea bothers me for two reasons. The comment is made as if their past job is not a worthy task or profession. I know the intent is not meant to convey that the past job was not worthy, but the frequency of people stating this starts to have an effect on our thinking. The statement suggests that everyone should be doing work that has significant meaning to them or the greater society. But we rely on people doing all sorts of jobs that we don’t identify as having lots of meaning. It’s important that people find meaning in any job/profession that they have. And in order to do the best we can at the that job, we need to remind ourselves of the value of that work.
The secondary result, this concept subtly leads people to think that they aren’t living up to their potential if they haven’t made a drastic change to pursue their passion. For many of us, our job fulfills the role of funding our personal lives. Our passions, families, hobbies, philanthropic activities. Our jobs are good enough, even if it’s not saving the world. Sometimes we help one person, or we help lots of people with something unpleasant like getting rid of trash. Whatever your job, do it well and be proud of your contribution to helping others.
Don’t listen to me, but Mike Rowe’s TED talk is very convincing.