“A Risky Passion Or A Safer Bet – How Do I Make Up My Mind?”

Neel has finally escaped the career he never meant to end up in. But now he's faced with a choice. Given his new-found freedom, should he gamble on chasing his big passion or take the secure option? How do you decide?

What's your career history and current job?

I've been in sales for the last ten years in various industries from finance to IT.

To be very frank, you could call me an accidental salesperson! Sales was never what I should have done, but it happened somehow, and I went along with it for a long time.

I did an MBA in marketing, and got a job that I thought would lead to marketing by starting in sales… but it never did. I was working for a company selling IT software, but I recently decided I wasn't happy, so I quit. Now I'm trying to figure out the direction to go in.

How do you feel about your work?

For the last few years, I've found it hard to gather the motivation to do what I have to for work.

Sales is full on. You always have to prove yourself, push harder, hit the next target, the next day, the next month, the next quarter... It's exhausting, and it's not what I want to do.

I definitely don't want to go back.

What would you like to be doing instead?

There are a couple of things I've been wanting to do, both involving going freelance.

Over the last few years I've really felt like I was in chains. So now, I want to be my own boss, be able to spend time with my family, and have the freedom to live the way I want to.

I'm very interested in photography; I'd go so far as to say I'm passionate about it. I've wanted to do it on and off for the last few years, but I haven't been able to take it seriously because of my work. Now that I'm on taking a break I've been able to think about it more seriously.

I'm also also interested in digital marketing, which I'm less passionate about, but feels like the more practical option.

What's the biggest obstacle in your way?

I'm not sure how to figure out my next steps and choose between my two options.

My inclination is more towards my passion – photography – but I have to be realistic about the financial side of things. Maybe photography should just stay as a passion and I should go after the digital marketing idea.

The only way I'll know is to try, and I have time to do that now, but it also feels risky.

How do I test the waters and decide?

Can you help Neel?

  • Have you been in a similar situation, or are you in the same boat right now?
  • How do you think Neel could move his shift forwards?
  • Do you know anyone he could talk to?

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