Do What You Love, Not Just What You Can

by Berrak on March 28, 2012

In school, I was really good at math. I don’t know why, but it just clicked. I wasn’t passionate about math. I didn’t go above and beyond what was required of me. Up until my senior year in high school, it was just something I was good at so I got the good grades and somehow made it to AP Calculus. It may have made sense for me to continue on a math-related path in college but I didn’t love it.

When it came to history, English, and Psychology, however, I went above and beyond. Maybe it was that English is my second language but I had to spend extra time on my assignments but I didn’t mind it one bit. I fell in love with Psychology so much, I started a Psychology Club in my high school. It didn’t click as easily as math did for me but spending that extra time made me fall even more in love with it.

This has translated into my career as well.

I was really good at being an administrator for an office. I did it for years and my first full-time job was an office manager. I was good at it, and there are those professionals who make a career out of being an executive assistant and they kick ass at it. When I was job hunting a couple of years ago, I saw Executive Assistant positions that paid way more than the communications positions.

“I can do this for 6 months to get back on my feet,” I thought, but I knew that I would hate it.

When you hate your job, the quality of your life also diminishes.

I couldn’t do that to myself. Of course, I made that choice. I made the choice to stick it out, take part-time projects and if necessary, go back to retail to stay afloat.

Like math, I am really good at social media. Not just because of my personal experience with it, but the professional projects I took on (some pro-bono) to find out if I could do it on a business level. I can, and I’m successful at it. I understand how it works, how I can help my clients, and I’m not afraid to research for the answers if I need to but I don’t always necessarily love it.


If you’ve known me for even five minutes, it’ll become obvious that writing is my passion. I’m not just talking about blogging, but writing. Researching articles. Doing journalistic pieces. Op-ed pieces.

One of the things that suffer when I’m trying to stay afloat with money and going to school is my writing and it genuinely makes me sad. (You won’t see me getting sad about missing out on the social media world for a day or ten)

The hardest challenge since I decided to do my own thing full-time has been balancing my need to write to the necessity of making money. As a freelancer, I’m not above taking on projects that are not necessarily 100% social media or writing. It’s sometimes a necessity to stay afloat but the trick is not to get comfortable with the projects that are giving me a steady income without helping me grow.

It was the same when I had full-time jobs. I was really comfortable at my first full-time job and stayed there for two years because I had a steady income and my coworkers were like a family. The problem was that while I had a secure job, I had nowhere to grow. I had no interest in becoming a recruiter. As hard as it was for me to step out of my comfort zone and apply to my first job as a communications assistant, I did it. I was terrified but I had to take the leap.

So I did.

That was my first real leap when it came to my career. Every leap that I took after that happened whenever I stepped out of my comfort zone and worked to get better at what I love to do, instead of staying stuck in a rut of because I was good at a job.

A lot of us have our side-hustles but not all of us are able to take that leap. Maybe it’s monetary issues, or maybe because there are other factors involved. Sometimes though, those factors go from being valid reasons to excuses.

We’re all capable of choosing our own adventures. It’s just up to us to step out of our comfort zone and make it happen, whatever it takes.

  • Carrie Smith

    Totally agree with everything you’re saying here! I’ve actually taken jobs that paid me hardly anything (and worked me to the bone) because I just absolutely loved it. I’d take lower pay and a happy life, over more pay and a stressful life, anyday!


    Berrak Reply:

    Ditto! I’ve also made the choice to walk away from steady clients because the money wasn’t worth the headache. 


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