Follow your Passion

The Terrible Advice – to ‘Follow your Passion’

Don’t follow your passion, instead, bring it with you

We see it around us every single day; the Oscars, musicians, actors, public role models, we’ve all been told to “never give up on your dreams” and to “follow your passion”.

Persistence, dedication, commitment– all of these are important. But how much of that equates to creating our future success.

Let’s take American Idol for instance: every year, hundreds of thousands of aspiring Americans are called to audition for their dream; artists that all believe they can sing. All of them, following their passion and their dreams in the hopes that one day, that very same passion will make them famous. Whether their skills are to blame, or that their passion didn’t equal their abilities, regardless of the reason for not getting through to the finals, passion does not equal success. Persistence and dedication does not always translate to opportunity.

Thousands of graduation speeches are said every year where the same notion is said, to “let your passion lead you”. But when it comes to making a living, passion does not always guide you to making the best decisions. We are not saying everyone that follows their passion will not be successful; there are thousands of individuals who claim they followed their passion and are now making a very good living. All we are saying is, ‘just because you enjoy something, and your passionate about it, it is not going to make you successful. And just because you’ve earned your University degree, it doesn’t mean you’re going to find your dream job. That’s the hard truth, but we want to expose you to it.

Now, I’ve heard this from somewhere online, and this is my own take on it- there was a very successful septic tank cleaner, a multi-millionaire who told someone the secret to their success- he said, “I’ve looked around to see where everyone else was headed, and then, I went the opposite way”. You see, thousands of individuals, every single year, follow their passion and their dreams. They have that ‘follow the herd’ mentality; they go to University, study Business, Accounting, Finance, Law, and then come out thinking that they’re going to be given their dream job. Now back to the septic tank millionaire, how did he become prosperous and what was the reason for his success? He simply followed industry growth (he let the industry outlook guide him), got good at his work, and he then realized he was passionate about his career and the industry. That is why you should develop a passion for a career that is industry driven; an industry that has growth potential and not one that everyone is heading to, because that will not translate to job opportunity.

We have heard this story from many industry professionals: plumbers, welders, electricians; they followed opportunity and industry outlook, not passion, and became successful as a result.

Consider the current job market in Ontario; where hundreds of thousands of individuals are competing with their degrees and diplomas in a very narrow job market that people in society call “great careers”, with no jobs present. Meanwhile, there are employers that are having a hard time filling jobs that nobody is trained to do (skilled trade careers). This is the Skills Gap; its widening, and it’s real. It occurs when people follow their passion (follow the herd) and as a result, miss out on a lot of opportunity. You see, passion is not enough to ensure success.

Stats Canada estimates 1 million skilled trades workers will be needed across the country by 2020. We simply don’t have enough skilled trade workers. This shortage translates to increased employment opportunities and higher wages. With an increased demand, and a shortage of supply, we are looking at a very promising future for those in skilled trades. This is why it is important to develop a passion for a career that is industry driven; one that sees promising future outlook. Never follow your passion, but instead, bring it with you.

In Demand Trades

There are many trades you can choose from and each are full of opportunity. The top in demand trades are: electricians, plumbers, crane operators, welders, construction managers and brick layers, while the top paying trades are electricians, plumbers and crane operators.

If you’re looking to get into the electrical or plumbing trade, the Skilled Trades College of Canada has a Construction and Maintenance Electrician Pre-Apprenticeship Program for individuals that want to learn the theory and practical skills in order to become an electrical apprentice and a Plumbing Pre-Apprenticeship Program for those looking to get into the plumbing trade.