What does the market want? The Missing Piece of Advice from Most Career Books and Career Counselors

“I am passionate about…”

I hear this a great deal from my career counseling clients as they walk into one of Connecticut offices.  

I hear you.  I made the radical switch from big city attorney in Washington, DC to education-entrepreneur in small town Connecticut.  My idealistic nature is in sync with those who are striving to love their work.  It can happen.  I love my work.  I know many others who love their work.

The one thing in common with all of us: we figured out how to have our passions met by the marketplace or were simply lucky enough to have our passions met by the marketplace.  
We are in a capitalist system that is immune to sentiment.  You love painting; singing; dancing; playing tennis; whatever.  Let’s say you are generally considered very good at your passion.  You sing better than anyone you know.  People tell you that you are great.
You might be great but you can’t make a living unless people pay you.  That’s the marketplace.

I suppose the largest part of my career counseling work in recent months has been helping idealists figure out how (or if) they can make a living doing what they love to do.  I do this not by developing their passion but by helping them figure out how to navigate the marketplace.