These can be interlinked, and you should indeed make sure that what you are spending most of your time doing is what you want to.
However, you do need to be sensible and make good financial choices – perhaps coming to a solution that indulges your passion while also providing financial security and growth.
Two of my passions are finance and aviation. Initially I had hoped to be able to combine the two, ideally working 9 months of the year in tax and the other 3 months flying jets.
In this regard, I undertook a fair amount of training towards a commercial pilots licence.
However, I came to realise that, no matter how much I love aviation, taking on perhaps £100,000 of debt to complete the qualifications wasn’t the sensible thing to do.
Many people are capable of qualifying in areas they are passionate about but you have to consider the likelihood of securing paid employment with your qualification.
You also need to consider the typical remuneration you will receive, working hours and job security.
Using aviation as an example – while it is all very well thinking you will drive an expensive sports car, live in a country mansion, and fly around the world staying in 5 star hotels at the airlines expense… is that realistic when you consider the job marketplace today?
Or is it more likely that you could end up flying nights, earning not much more than minimum wage and staying in an overcrowded flat share with other crew? Or perhaps even not flying at all, just checking in bags as some pilots have done during a downturn in the market.
There was always the myth that by the time a job for a pilot was advertised publicly, there were already 200 CV’s on the desk of the recruiter – from people looking for a break to use their expensive qualification.
Is it the same in the area of your own passion?
You need to go beyond the sales pitch of the qualification and do your own research.
However, you can always find ways to integrate your passion into whatever career you choose for security and growth – perhaps even returning to it in later life or in a different format.
There is no such thing as just a single career for life anymore, so many people will find themselves taking on different roles at different stages of their life.
For those on the FIRE path, ‘retirement’ could indeed mean working on your passion full-time – without all the stress and debt that would have come from pursuing it full-time to start with.