Don’t stay at a job you hate, but don’t quit your job to follow passion either ... WTH?

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Tales from a Misfit


I was somewhat shocked when I saw life coach recommendations in an article on LinkedIn. There were 6 pieces of career advice and I agreed with all of them except one: don’t quit your job to follow your passion. Seriously? We are actively discouraging people from chasing their passion?


Kind of...


What the heck?!?!


I read the article again and was then confused with the first piece of advice, don’t stay at a job you hate.


Wait, what?


At second glance, it seems that these two statements conflict with each other: don’t stay at a job you hate and don’t quit your job to follow your passion. Hmmmmmm:


Employee seeking help: ‘So, what you are telling me is that it is bad to stay at a job I hate, but don’t quit my job to go do something I am passionate about. Thanks –(sarcastically) that’s great advice, but you can’t be serious.’

Life Coach: ‘Quite serious. I recommend getting a side hustle to fulfill your passion. You can’t just drop the job and paycheck. You have to take care of your bills after all.’

Employee seeking help:Side hustle – you mean like get another job?'

Life Coach:Exactly. I have come to understand that you like to be creative. What about a job at a pastry shop where you can decorate cupcakes?'

Employee seeking help: ‘Actually, I don’t think you understand me at all. I have no energy for my family when I get home from work and now you are suggesting that I get another job. I want to live my passion, not do it on the side.’


I happen to be a guy that truly believes you can have your cake and eat it too. If you find yourself in a job that you hate, you should begin to strategize your exit right now. There are two goals to accomplish as you make this critical life/career pivot: Goal 1 - get out of a job you hate; Goal 2 – live your passion.  


This is not for the faint of heart. As Edison said: “Most people miss opportunity becomes it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work”. Translation: get off your butt, work hard, and realize your passion.



However, there is a bit of irony in Edison’s statement – working towards your passion does not necessarily feel like work. When you are chasing your passion, you are not wasting psychological resources. When you align your energy with your passion the conversion rate is highly efficient and the result is actually energizing! This is at the heart of thriving. We thrive when our efforts align with our passion. When we are thriving, we are happy and that is success. 

Reality check

There are some financial realities that come with making this critical pivot and perhaps the most important is to grin and bear it, for a little while. Before jumping into the deep end of your passion, make sure you are ready for the new challenge. Instead of taking a side hustle making cupcakes, get the training and skillset you need that truly aligns with your passion. Once you have the skillset, it’s time to tell your boss to ‘take this job and shove it’.



Don’t quit a job you hate to follow your passion without first getting to work on your passion skillset. 


Call to action: 

How can I grin and bare this job long enough to get ready to realize my passion?