Should I Follow My Passion or My Skills?


In life, we’re often told to “follow our passion” when it comes to work, but we’re also told to “do what we’re best at”. What happens if what you love and what you’re great at aren’t the same thing? How do you choose between your passion and your skills? This is especially troublesome when it comes to choosing an area to freelance in, as you have the freedom to choose but need to earn money from your skills. Well, there are several options, so let’s take a look…

Option 1. Improve in your passion

Since we spend much of our lives working, it’s important to be interested and passionate in what we do. But you need to be skilled to earn money, especially as a freelancer competing against other skilled workers. If you’re not particularly skilled in your passions right now, then choose an area of freelance work you’re already skilled in. In your spare time, work on improving your skills in your passion area (such as taking courses to gain more knowledge and regularly practising). The more you practise it, the better you’ll get at it. That way, you’ll become better at your passion area, so you can potentially switch in the future.

Option 2. Embrace your skills

If you’re really skilled in a certain freelance area, then it can be very lucrative. But if you don’t enjoy it, you may struggle with motivation and fulfilment. If this is the case, think about how you could turn your hand to something you would enjoy more. For example, could you do the same freelance job but an industry you love? Or use your skills to help other people and gain fulfilment that way? There’s always ways to make work more enjoyable, even if it isn’t your absolute passion.

Option 3. Merge your skills and passions

Another option is to find a way to blend the two together, uniting your skills and passions. Could you introduce your passion into the area you’re skilled at? Are there any roles that require both skills? Is there a new freelance role you can create that includes both? As a freelancer, you can create the service that suits you, as long as there is client demand for it. For example, if you’re a skilled web developer who loves writing copy, you could offer writing services for the websites you develop. Or if you’re a skilled writer who loves photography, you could offer a combined service to clients.

Option 4. Follow both paths

The final option is to split your time to follow both your passions and your skills. This might be a 50/50 split or whatever works for you financially. This way, you could balance your time—using your skills to earn money while doing what you love as a side hustle or voluntary. Or you could spend the majority of your time doing what you love, then do a few well-paid projects per month using your best skills. For example, you could devote most of your time to paid marketing work, but follow your photography passion via an Instagram hobby.

The verdict:

Remember that you’re going to spend a large portion of your life working, so you should try to enjoy as much of it as you can. The ideal is finding a way to work on what you like the most—and becoming the best at it. This way, you’ll have passion for what you do and earn an income from it, both of which are important in sustaining a long-term career. There are many ways to do this, so it’s about figuring out what works for you personally.

How did you decide what to freelance in? Have you followed your skills or passion so far? Comment below or get in touch.

Stay tuned for more freelance tips every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on A Freelance Life…

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