London: Should you pursue your passion or strive toward a secure living? To gain success in career, pursue what you love – not what peers or parents dictate, a study from Tel Aviv University (TAU) has said.
Young people with strong callings are more likely to take risks, persist, and ultimately get jobs in their chosen fields, satisfying both their personal and professional career needs, the study found.
The researchers also found that those who exhibit a passion for their interests in their teenage are more likely to be successful later on, regardless of their inherent talent.
The research was conducted by Daniel Heller of TAU in collaboration with Shoshana Dobrow Riza of the London School of Economics.
Heller and Riza surveyed some 450 high-school music students at two elite US summer music programmes over the course of 11 years between 2001-2012 as they developed from adolescents to young adults to professional musicians.
“We found that participants with stronger callings toward music in adolescence were likely to assess their musical abilities more favourably and were more likely to pursue music professionally as adults regardless of actual musical ability,” Heller said.
Even so, difficulties in pursuing their dreams were still evident. According to the study, participants who were involved in music professionally, even at a minimum, earned considerably less (a gap of $12,000 per year on average) than freelancers or amateurs who pursued their musical interests outside of work.
But they also reported similar or greater satisfaction with their jobs and lives. For those with strong callings, personal rewards such as satisfaction may matter more than professional rewards such as income.
“If you experience a strong calling, you need to be cognizant of your relative preferences for intrinsic versus extrinsic rewards and potential trade-offs between the two, then decide accordingly,” Heller explained.
“However, we found that in certain fields one’s drive or passion afforded a competitive advantage over others, even when unrelated to objective ability or talent,” he said.
The study appeared in Journal of Applied Psychology.