Six ways to pursue your passion
DO YOU find that each time you have the opportunity to meet up with your friends, most of them cannot stop talking about work?
Worries about money and how to make ends meet is a priority for most of us, so it is difficult for us to think about pursuing our passion.
But are we able to strike a balance? Instead of tolerating a job for the sake of money, can we do something we like but earn a little less?
Here are six suggestions on how you can live differently:
1. ALTERNATIVE CAREERS
If you are a little more daring and have a back-up plan in place, a career switch to something that gives you more time to pursue your passion can be an idea you can look into.
However, it requires you to take a little leap of faith, and to acquire the skills needed if you decide that that is the way you want to go.
You need to choose a skill set where you are at least above average. This can range from providing photography services during events, producing a wedding video or writing a press release for companies.
Freelancing gives you lots of free time on hand, but be prepared for irregular schedules. You may need to work weekends or nights, while your afternoons can be spent idling by the swimming pool.
If you love flexibility, this is a cool option.
3. TEACHING A LANGUAGE
If you are thinking about living for a short while in another country, teaching a language you are familiar with can be a lucrative option.
You might need some sort of certification if you are looking to be employed full time in another country, but if you intend to backpack and teach a little, it is more worthwhile to look online.
You can try to arrange for a homestay in exchange for teaching your hosts' kids, volunteer in a poor village or "exchange" language skills with someone who can teach you a language you want to learn.
4. START YOUR OWN BUSINESS
More people are taking this route here, which is evident by the number of start-ups in Singapore. Many people dream of being their own boss - no more Monday blues, tiresome bosses or office politics.
However, many underestimate the amount of work and effort needed to get there. You most likely require resources such as money and expertise.
Most of the time, you will end up working more than you would if you were working for someone else.
But you live only once, so if you are willing to take a calculated risk, have done your market research and have high endurance, go for it.
5. VOLUNTEER OVERSEAS
Have you always wanted to do social work but are too tired even during the weekends? We understand. After surviving a 40- to 60-hour work week, you probably just want time for yourself to rest and relax.
Why not do something meaningful by planning an overseas trip to volunteer full time?
No matter the hardship you may have to go through, you would have made a difference to someone else's life.
6. TRADING AND BLOGGING
Ever wished you could travel around the world, without missing a day of work?
Between 2007 and 2008, I did just that, for a year, while trading foreign exchange and blogging about it on my then trading and investing blog GraceCheng.com, which over the years has evolved to Get.com.
It required some streak of madness, but also really meticulous budgeting and planning to make sure my husband and I maximised every dollar spent and had Internet connection wherever we went, whether it was on Easter Island, the most remote island on earth, or the Galapagos.
Even though it was only for a year, it was the best thing I've done in my life.
If you have an existing debt to service, such as a home loan, or a family to support, it can be a major concern.
Otherwise, if you are living with your parents and saving and spending the rest on yourself, you can always look into limiting your spending to finance your "break".
What we are advocating is not to impulsively quit your job tomorrow, but to live your life fully and not be over-burdened by the desire to keep earning money before it's too late to enjoy the one life you have.
The writer is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Get.com, a comparison website for financial products.
This article first appeared on Get.com.
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