I spent most of my time sitting at a desk under fluoro
lights. The closest I came to landscaping were the occasional indoor
Combining our passion with our working life is something that most of
us would like to achieve. And yet, it remains just an elusive ideal
for the vast majority.
To begin with, there are many people who aren't even sure exactly
what their passion is (those people should really take our Passion
Quiz). And for those lucky enough to have a hobby they love,
there's still the question of how to turn it into paid work.
Especially if you're passionate about something niche like quilting
and patchwork? Or restoring vintage cars? Or sketching rural scenes
with charcoal and crayon? Often, this can be the real stumbling block.
And it's why most people settle for pursuing their passion outside of
This binary, all-or-nothing, arrangement of work and leisure is
something Paul adhered to for many years, without really considering
the idea that there were creative alternatives available. He had a
passionate interest in landscape design and construction but spent his
working life in an environment that was almost the exact opposite.
"I was with the bank for 42 years," he said. "My
working life was all about financial transactions, debits and credits,
columns and ledgers, numbers and figures. I spent most of my time
sitting at a desk under fluoro lights. The closest I came to
landscaping were the occasional indoor box plants, none of which ever
seemed to look very healthy or happy."
But Paul managed to remain tapped into his passion during weekends
and on holidays. He enrolled himself in a Certificate
II landscaping course with TAFE, mostly to pick up some extra
skills and knowledge. He still didn't really see it as a career path
he would go down.
"The opportunity came to me about four years ago when I did the
Certificate II course," he said. "I just did it as a thing
on the side. Just to get into it and see if I could handle it. I did
it more as a hobby, really."
Since retiring from the bank, Paul's "hobby" has taken on a
life of its own. He's now in his third year of a Certificate
III in Landscape Construction at Padstow TAFE and has robust
plans for his future.
"The plan is to move into landscape construction on a more
committed basis, maybe even start my own business," he said.
"The experience with TAFE has been excellent. The teachers here
are great. They're helpful and explain things well, which is great for
someone like me who might need to do something twice. We've done two
or three jobs outside, concreting and paving at schools. We've done
work on Campus as well, brick walls and things. And also gigs like the
Royal Easter Show. I learn on site but TAFE really fills in the gaps."
Paul is truly one of the lucky ones to have found a career area, be
it later in life, that he loves. According to the Deloitte Shift Index
survey published in Business Insider
Australia, a whopping 80% of people are dissatisfied with their
jobs! But, it doesn't have to be this way. Like Paul, you can go back
to the drawing board and set down a different career path in a job
that you are happy to turn up to each day.
John Seely Brown, former
chief scientist of Xerox, wrote "In a world of mounting economic
pressure driven by intensifying global competition, passion is
essential to the kind of performance improvement needed to
succeed." This is a sentiment we wholeheartedly endorse.
Go forth, find your passion and turn it into a career! Take
our Passion Quiz now!