Should you do what you love, or what you’re good at?

If you’re lucky, the two overlap. However, if they don’t, you should ask yourself where you can add the most value.

This article by Brianna West states that we aren’t meant to do what we love, we’re meant to do what we’re good at. It holds a lot of truth, the most piercing being “People usually can’t differentiate what they really love and what they love the idea of.” It’s quite possible that what you think you love, you wouldn’t actually enjoy. Whereas what you’re good at right now has great potential.

I’ve seen people who are naturally talented at graphic design begin to enjoy their work, because they are good at it and pick things up quickly. On the other side, I’ve seen people who were passionate about what they do, but not very good at it, and it was a long, hard struggle before they ended up switching careers.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when trying to decide where to start.

  • Do you have the luxury of training yourself to be great at what you love on the side? You may be able to learn the skills needed to be good at what you love in your spare time. This will also help show you whether you truly enjoy it.
  • Have you ever tried doing “what you love” before? Are you sure it’s truly where your passion lies, or is it just a surface assumption?
  • Look at what you’re good at. Is there a way to apply it to an industry you love? For example, if you don’t enjoy accounting, but you’re good at it, can you handle accounting for your favorite brand?
  • Where can you add the most value overall?

About the Author: Jocelyn Pick