Follow Your Passion, BUT…

“And they said you’d never make it…”

That’s a comment my daughter’s new co-worker told her when she told him she had majored in art history. Mackenzie has just begun a terrific new job in marketing for a prestigious firm, prostate having been selected out of a large pool of applicants after an intensive interview process, and her choice of college major has been a source of comment and bemusement from some of those she has met.

Her first week on the job, a VP learned about her major, and said, “tell me about that…” Mackenzie told her how her course of study required her to absorb large amounts of ambiguous detail, grasp its meaning and think, speak and write cogently and convincingly about it. She also explained how artists were the original marketers. Before the modern era, very few people could read or write, so the ruling powers used art as their way of communicating with the masses to polish their image, express their values, etc.

After she finished explaining, the VP smiled and said, “It’s all in the way you spin it.”

Here’s the point for young adults choosing their path in life: Following your passion is a wonderful thing—as long as you can convince someone to pay you for that passion. Mackenzie got to spend her college years studying a topic that is fascinating to her and that will enrich her experiences for the rest of her life. But she also had the ability to analyze her skill set and express it in terms that a potential employer would find valuable.

As I’ve stressed repeatedly in this blog, if you can think, communicate and sell, there is no limit to what you can do.

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