One of the number one questions I get is how to follow your passion while working a full time job or even while working a job you hate. The first thing I tell people is there is a time and a place to quit your job (see my blog here), but the fact of the matter is; is that if you have financial obligations and the bills need to be paid you cannot just up and quit your job to follow your passion. But that does not meant that you should just stay in the safe zone and not never pursue your passion, it just means that you are going to work 10 times harder to follow your passion and stay at a job that you hate, until you get to a place where you can work your passion full time and not worry about a job you hate.
So here tips on How to Follow Your Passion While Working A Full Time Job
Do not neglect your full time job
At the end of the day, your full time job is the job that is paying your bills. I understand that you may hate your job or that you do not want to work there, but at the end of the day you have to.
Instead of looking at your job as something that you hate and dread coming into, look at it as somewhere you need to be at this given time. Understand that you will not be at that job always and always look toward the future.
This mindset is something that us counselors like to call re-framing. It means that instead of looking at a situation badly, you change your mindset and look at the situation as something positive. Your mind set can have a lot to do with how productive you are. So if you continue to have a bad mindset about your job it will stop your productivity in other areas.
Try to decrease your hours or get a high paying part time job.
The more time you have to work on your passion the easier it is to follow your passion and not be exhausted. There are times where you can find a high paying part time job that you can work 30 hours a week as oppose to 40 plus hours a week. Before you make this step you really need to evaluate your budget and to see if this is something you can do. The last thing you want to do is to get in a situation where you are not able to pay your bills while you follow your passion. This will just put more stress on you and you will not be able to put out your best work anyway.
Practice good time management.
Since I you still work a job while you are trying to follow your passion, your time is already limited. Come up with a schedule. Sticking to a schedule and knowing what time you want to do what is the best thing you can do because it will keep you from wasting your time when you do have free time to work on your passion. The point is that every minute that you set out to work on your passion you want to make it as productive as possible. So laying out a schedule and knowing what you are going to do before hand will prevent you from just sitting there trying to figure out what you want to do when you do have time leading to you wasting your time.
Do What You Can
There are so many hours in the day. Each day you need to do something that will work toward your goal and understand that whatever it is you choose to do that day, then that is all you can do. There are so many days where I wish I could have worked harder on my passion, but then when I reevaluate my day I realize that I worked 5 hours on my passion and there was no more time left for me to get anything else done. I now understand, that this is okay.
You cannot make up more hours in the day. So maximize your time with good time management skills, set out a certain amount of hours in the day to get things done, and as long as I abide by my schedule whatever gets done gets done.
Set realistic timelines
When you follow your passion you need to stick to a realistic timeline. For example, if you want to write a book; writing the book next week with a full time job is probably not going to happen unless you exhaust yourself. But setting a timeline of a month or two months is more realistic. When you follow your passion, you want to get things done very fast. But when your timeline is not realistic and you work yourself to death to get something done and fail to meet the deadline, you start to feel like you have failed. Or worse, you put out bad quality work just to meet your deadline and no one will buy your book anyway because you rushed to get it done and it sucks. Instead set a timeline that you can adhere to knowing that you have a passion and a full time job. You will give yourself enough time to finish a good product and still dedicate time to your passion and your job.
Do what you can at work
That’s right I said it. And don’t feel bad for it. Whenever you are on lunch or have down time on the job, try to plan or do something that goes toward following passion. Now a disclaimer to all of this is that you always need to do your full time job. You should not be working on your passion so much that your full time jobs suffers and you are not doing what you are supposed to do at work. That will get you fired. And that is something you don’t want.
Take a Day off from Time to Time
If you have paid time off or vacation time do not be afraid to use it for things regarding your passion. Do not burn up all of your days off but sometimes it can be beneficial to get a good 8 hours or more in working on following your passion and catching up with important things that you cannot do otherwise.
Another added bonus is it will also get you use to working on your passion full time. If you are working on your passion where you are trying to start your own business, a blog, book, or something, that requires a lot of work on your part. No one is going to come and tell you what to do. Having a day off to work on your passion will teach you what a real workday will be like once your passion becomes full time.
Utilize the Weekends, Holidays, or Your Normal Day Off
I know that when you have a day off you want to use it to go shopping or doing something else that you want to do. But the reality is that when you follow your passion that you are trying to make your full time job. So with that being said you are going to have to sacrifice some of your free time on your days off from your full time job to really go full force on getting things done.
When you decided to follow your passion you have to be consistent. You can never go months on end without doing something for your passion. I know that you can get busy with a full time job, but you have to do your passion anyway. For example, I do blogging and I have a YouTube Channel. It would be a mistake to go months and months without posting a blog post or posting a video. There is too much competition out there and if you are not consistent then people will quickly forget about you.
I hope that all of these tips helped you out with learning how to follow your passion with a full time job. And even if you are feeling frustrated or overwhelmed with doing both a full time job and pursuing your passion it’s okay it happens. But just know that hard work will pay off (see my blog here).
Having a full time job while pursuing your passion may take your passion a little longer to take off; but that is normal. It is best to transition into your passion and not be broke as oppose to jumping into your passion and sacrificing your financial security because you quit your full time job.