Career · Life Coaching · Musings

Balancing Career and Passion

On my previous post, we talked about ways on how I re-ignite spark over my job. But what if neither extrinsic nor intrinsic motivation spark joy anymore? It is probably easy to answer “quit” or “resign”. A lot of people, especially those in the corporate world, yearn to do something different like carpentry or painting or anything that they’re passionate about, but a lot as well is not fortunate (or brave) enough to find that this Passion of them is sufficient. Sometimes this struggle results to keeping both career and passion, and balancing these two has been an ongoing challenge for most. I know a lot of people go through this, and yes, I’m one of them.

This year I’m celebrating my 10th year in the events industry. You see, I started doing events before I got hired in my 9-6 job. Having a sustainable source of income and a blossoming career should have stopped me from a side profession altogether, but I just couldn’t and didn’t. I feel that the stress that I get out of the events world – whether through singing, hosting, planning, designing – is the kind of stress that I want to keep.

Not everyone, however, is privileged with this. Having multiple careers requires extra stretch of time, an out-of-this-world level of energy and a plethora of commitment. Moreover, it requires understanding and support from the people around who may be directly or indirectly affected by this chosen path. I must say that I am #lovedandblessed to be able to both enjoy and endure this journey.

To those who asked, are planning and/or wishing to know how to traverse this highway of Balancing Career and Passion, here’s a list of what I’ve been doing (slash pushing myself to do) for the past years.

Set priorities. I’ve known some people who do sidelines to earn extra money. If balancing career and passion serves this purpose for them, then sure, I support it all the way. As for me, I do this (cliché it may sound) out of love. My pay is somehow enough to cover my needs and my family’s, but doing events is like a drug that I cannot say no to. I guess I can say I prioritize my self-fulfillment which I get from helping and talking to people, my freedom and my creativity. I also feel that coaching, hosting and doing events redirect me to my purpose of sharing my blessings.

Sad to say though, I have missed a number of reunions and family gatherings, and this absolutely made me guilt-stricken for days no matter how much I tried to make up for it. Perhaps there’s a need for me to reset priorities? I’d say most likely yes, but I’ll save my future action plans on a separate post.

Manage time. Luckily, my 9-6 (which I’m totally head over heels with) falls on weekdays. I have always been vocal about how much I love my job and the company I work for; therefore, I make it a point to accept weekend event bookings only as much as possible. If the event falls on a weekday, I see to it that I file for an official leave or not accept the gig at all. I ensure that whatever I am doing out of the office will not be in conflict with whatever I am paid to do inside. Major request – please do not go on unscheduled leaves for a gig. This will surely compromise your employment and will affect the productivity of your teammates who will be laboring on your workload for the day.

Be careful though, #FOMO is real.

Work harder. Again, choosing to keep both passion and career requires outlandish effort. Hustling for 14-16 hours on a Saturday is twice as tiring as working for 40 hours a week. That’s why it is very important to understand first and to reconcile with one’s inner self the reason for having more than one profession. Established priorities fuel the mind, heart, body and soul to keep grinding. “Sleep is for the weak”, “work hard, party harder, travel hardest”, “we love weddings” are just few of my mantras for the longest time. I have expected and continuously expect much, much longer hours, lesser sleep, more body aches, and so therefore I…

Stay (or try to stay) healthy. Juggling several things did take a toll on my health at several points, and I cannot highlight enough how important it is to take care of one’s wellness – physically, mentally, emotionally, etc. I’m not really an avid fan of medicines or vitamins but running, yoga and pescatarian lifestyle are my go-to regimen. Of all those, however, sleep is the most important – this is something I’m working on until now. Again, knowing the “why” keeps me moving.

Having this kind of lifestyle for years shows how much I am enjoying it, but I won’t lie in saying that I am now getting tired. Perhaps, it comes with age or change of goals. Doing side jobs is not healthy; and I wouldn’t recommend it if you find that your current career is your specialty. And if you’re fully satisfied with your 9-6, I’d say be at it 100%. For me, however, I work better when my interests and energies are distributed to several projects. This works for multipotentialites, but not for everyone. I get unproductive when I’m bored. It may be hard to believe but being committed to events and my clients and staying true to what my creative self loves, help me to remain dedicated in fulfilling the role I am employed with.

Working on events and a full-time job is extremely exciting and wearing at the same time. Balancing career and passion is both an adventure and a dilemma. But like they say, you got to work hard to keep something you love. And if you decide on taking on this path, you can count on me cheering you on.

Let me know what you picked – career, passion or both? ❤️🙏

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