Passion (Noun): Strong and barely controllable emotion

Did you know that according to the Harvard Business Review, nine out of 10 Americans say they would give up a significant portion of their paycheck, up to 23% of their lifetime earnings, if they could swap their day job for more meaningful work? If you have found yourself in a position that does not ignite a spark within you, you are not alone. Passion and paycheck is a common dilemma for employees. Which should you prioritize?

You do not have to choose one, you can turn your passion into a paycheck. Whether you are aware of exactly the role you want to be in, or the company you desire to work for, relevance is key. Here are some factors to take into consideration in regards to how you can leverage your current position to get you to where you want to be. How can you move passion towards a paycheck?

Growth: Are there opportunities for growth within your current organization? If you are in lead generation, and want to eventually become a Sales Executive, you can leverage your performance in your current role to get you your next position. This can be done by hitting and exceeding quotas, connecting with different decision makers within the company to learn more about the industry and niches. What kind of skills can you learn in your current role that will help you flourish in your future position? If you end up earning more money now this also may help you climd faster to a higher position.

Networking: Are you someone who desires to get into medical device sales for example, but is currently in Home Health Care? If you are in the right industry but in the wrong role, trying to get relevancy on your side is key. If you’re selling the wrong product/service try to at least be selling to the right people and utilize this time to establish contacts with the people in the positions you desire. Networking, industry contacts and decision makers are hugely important to develop your skills and relevance for your next role, getting you one step closer to your “passion.”

Money: “Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” Franklin D. Roosevelt. Getting paid a higher, flashy salary is great. However, after some time, the money may stand in the way of your job satisfaction and eventually lead to lower productivity. Although certain companies will pay more money, you will likely be more successful at a role in an industry that you enjoy more and with a culture that you feel well supported in. When employees find more meaning, they are more likely to stay loyal to their employers long term.

Lifestyle: There are many factors to take into consideration when in a position. Does the lower paying position that you are in allow you to lead the personal life that you desire? Maybe you are fully remote, and your position allows you to travel and work in different parts of the United States. It is not always about the money. You can make a fantastic salary, but are you selling your soul or not working towards something that gives you purpose day to day? If you are thoroughly enjoying what you are doing and the time you spend at it, this may make a certain position or company the best overall lifestyle fit for you.

Maybe you have known what your dream job is since the 3rd grade Job Fair or maybe you are still working it out. Either way, making sure that you are leveraging the position that you are in now to get you closer to the career or role you desire in the future will help you achieve your goals. Analyzing the factors discussed in this article will help you increase your job satisfaction, and help turn your passion into a paycheck.