You Call This Work? – Make a Living Doing What You Love

It’s a classic chestnut issued to graduates and young people choosing careers: “Do what you love and the money will follow.” A decade or two later, life and the realities of the job market usually make that advice less realistic. But you don’t have to abandon your job to start a jazz band or sell oil paintings on the streets of Paris to enjoy your working life.

There are often unrealized connections between what we enjoy in our leisure time and what we find fulfilling at work. Take an analyst who plays Texas hold ’em poker on the weekends, follows the NFL religiously and won’t board a plane without a mystery novel in hand. Stepping back and evaluating the traits these activities share reveals a passion for risk evaluation, strategic thinking and problem solving. All represent aptitudes regularly sought by managers. Working those interests into a career could involve a new position in the same industry but in a sales, management or deal-making role slightly outside what might be intuitive for a given degree or career track. The same goes for someone who lives for literature, participates in community theater and volunteers at the local library. That person may never publish a novel or star on Broadway. Regardless, being conscious of the pleasure taken from the creative process can broaden the possibilities when it’s time to make a career move, perhaps to include marketing, design or companies with cultures placing a high value on them. Just because we can’t all make a living from our hobbies doesn’t mean they can’t tell us about the things that will make us happy at work.

Even between large career moves, small changes can inject interests and passions into business to make it more enjoyable. For someone who spends as much time as possible travelling or recreating outdoors, that could be as simple as getting out of the office to make site visits or call on clients in person. For others, that might mean taking advantage of educational opportunities in different areas of the industry they’d like to explore. Don’t just climb the ladder. Volunteer for projects outside your comfort zone. Make a continual effort to discover the types of work you enjoy and find ways to do them. Your career, and your life, will be better for it.

For more than 25 years, Christopher Frederick has helped recruit passionate people for leading companies in the real estate industry. To learn more about how we can enhance your next executive search using our extensive digital network of professionals, contact Chris Hingle at Or visit our website at