Follow your dream another way

Playing music with passion

You love music but you are tone deaf. You love gaming but you’re not quite E-Sport League. You love art works but can’t paint to save yourself. You love sport but never got into a rep team. All that passion going nowhere!

Are you someone who has resigned yourself to the reality that you are never going to ‘become’ famous when you grow up? The thing is, while you may not end up the star of the show, you can still become immersed in the culture and world you dreamed about - you just have to think about your place in it differently!

Before you pull a face and think ‘yeah right, yada, yada, yada’, consider how many people work in those worlds using their skills and strengths to provide support around the stars. Organisations need administrators, accountants, managers, writers, marketers, ICT people, health professionals, event managers, data analysts, location scouts… the list goes on and on.

Film production location The secret is to get solid experience in the areas where your abilities lie, watching out for a perfect job to turn up in the industry where your passion lies.

Use your talents differently

Some people switch it around and take up roles that draw on their talents and passions in other ways. I know of people who are not famous artists or actors, but amazing school teachers who bring their passion for art and drama into their classrooms, much to the delight of the kids they teach.

I’ve interviewed a NZ Sign Language Interpreter who wanted to be a doctor but didn’t get into medical school. She is now carving out a great career as a signer in the health sector.

I often hear of sport lovers who - as youth workers, community workers or coaches - use a common passion for sport to turn young teens lives around.I know of a film buff who did a media degree, never created a commercial film, but makes amazing videos for corporates. Another organises locations around New Zealand for commercial film makers.

A large health manufacturer was recently looking for lawyers to work in regulatory affairs and design patency, bringing together passions for design, helping others and health.

Instead of creating the next Minecraft, some of our graduates are working on technology that is making a difference to people's lives, such as apps for mental health support.

Passions and values

Passions can be tied to organisations’ values too. Usually people are happiest working in an organisation that meets their passion for their values.AUT students volunteering at Fair Food Rescue

If you put a high value on sustainability you could find opportunities to use your skills with organisations looking for people with a sustainability mindset to help them develop better ways of doing business.

Valuing personal expression can lead to any number of organisations that encourage others to express themselves. Working in HR, vlogging/blogging or coaching would have you directly helping people’s personal expression, but you could also be supporting your values as the accountant, marketer or ICT person in that organisation.

Entrepreneurs can appear anywhere. A recent graduate used the sales skills he has developed working in consumer goods to set up an entrepreneurial side hustle – a marketing platform for young musicians.

You never know what is possible until you broaden your horizons so think about what you are good at doing and are studying, then look at what you love and research ways to combine them.

If you’ve been building up your experience and skills, you’ll be ready when that perfect role surfaces.

Need help with thinking about this?

Here are 4 AUT Employability blogs about how some graduates have found a way to combine their passion and AUT Employability and Career bannersskills differently.

  • The career journeys of 3 graduates who found their passions once in the workplace.
  • Study chosen for gaming but career path quite different - Liam O'Reilly-Gevert
  • Account manager with side hustle music platform - Mallik Gadpudi
  • A passion for design eventually found through psychology - Rajvi Rangrej

Book an appointment to chat with one of our AUT Employability and Careers career specialists by signing into Elab Online. Not done this before? It's easy, just click 'current student', then use your AUT user name and password,

We look forward to seeing you.

Written by Employability and Careers writer Angela McCarthy

Photo credits - cover image Unsplash  Soundtrap and film production image Unsplash Chris Murray