Depending on your point of view, following your passion and your job are either closely intertwined or almost totally unrelated. Should you follow your passion when you are looking for work OR is work just a means to an end and is it life outside work that really matters?

I have definitely chatted with people in both camps. This is different for everyone and I am not trying to judge; just to spark some conversation. I know my wife and I have had this discussion many times and I’ve also had the conversation with quite a few friends, family, and colleagues too. Personally, your “Settle” orientation has a lot to do with nature, nurture, and how your brain is hardwired. Here are two great reference points with highly differentiated career advice on the topic.

Career Advice from Mike Rowe 

A Guy Asked Mike Rowe For Career Advice. The Response He Got Is Something Everyone Should Read. I saw this post flash by on LinkedIn yesterday and gave it a good read and re-read.  The following paragraph really caught my attention and the advice sounds a lot like “settle” to me:

“Stop looking for the “right” career, and start looking for a job. Any job. Forget about what you like. Focus on what’s available. Get yourself hired. Show up early. Stay late. Volunteer for the scut work. Become indispensable. You can always quit later, and be no worse off than you are today. But don’t waste another year looking for a career that doesn’t exist. And most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.”

Career Advice from Steve Jobs

Here is a counter point of view from Steve Jobs’ commencement speech at Stanford in 2006:

“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

To settle or not to settle, that is the question… The answer not so obvious. Which camp are you in?

– Ian Graham