How many times have you heard of the well intentioned but misguided advice: “Do what you love and the money will follow”?
Had I taken the advice literally, I would have starved. Why? Well, I enjoyed (and still do) sleeping, idling, daydreaming, watching TV, snacking, and a host of other things that, erm, don’t generate much income, if at all.
Money will follow meh?
Come on. Tell me, as a student, how much do you know about the world? 99% of what you enjoy won’t be good for your future career. Ok, the 99% figure may be exaggerated. But by just a little.
Yet, when VIPs with successful careers give advice, they always say they’re passionate about what they do, and you should too choose what you’re passionate about. And the money will follow.
What they do not say is how they chanced upon the right industry, or heeded advice from knowledgeable relatives to choose that industry, or were catapulted to the top by people they know. Or that they were simply lucky to be at the right place at the right time, and were given the opportunities to prove themselves.
So, teachers and parents, do your kids a favour.
Give them the Salary.sg advice: ask them to find out about the different career options, the various industries, their pros and cons, the opportunities, whether the industries suit their aptitudes and strengths, the average pay, the median pay, the top quartile pay, the top earners, the bottom earners, and then armed with as much information as possible, choose what they think they’ll enjoy most given the constraints.
But at least it’s much better than “follow your passion”.
[Edit: On the other hand, there’s Steve Jobs saying “you can’t connect the dots forward” and “you’ve got to find what you love” in an excellent graduation speech he gave at Stanford University in 2005. Watch his speech below.]