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Can Passion-Based Jobs Be Problematic ?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at San Francisco chapter.

I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Well, sometimes having a passion-based job can be the most work you’ll ever do in your life; here are five ways having a passion-based job can be problematic for your mental health.

You can have a tough time setting boundaries.

When you have a passion-based job, sometimes it gets difficult to draw the line between work and life. With a passion-based job, that job is often deeply rooted in your life, making it challenging to take much-needed time for yourself. Always do a quick check-in with yourself. If I catch myself sending late-night work emails or working on projects off the clock, I remind myself that it can wait until I’m on the clock. 

You can quickly get overworked.

Overworking yourself is a genuine struggle in passion-based work, and we often burn out much quicker due to our commitment and determination to meet our goals. When you feel the symptoms of burnout present, take a mental health day or work from home where you can be at your own pace. You need to rest and take care of yourself; that way, you can give 100% effort when it’s needed the most.  

You may earn less income.

Earning less income is an overlooked reason why many people only stay in passion-based work for a short time. But with the state of the economy and the inflation crisis, not having a comfortable living wage is an entirely valid reason to quit a job. It’s a difficult pill to swallow, loving your work but not getting compensated correctly for it and having to either live below your means or pick up another job which takes time away from doing what you really want. 

Higher risk of labor exploitation.

Companies profit greatly from goal-oriented, determined, hardworking employees in this line of work. Many companies and corporations exploit their employees’ creativity and persistence but never give them full credit for it. 

Creativity roadblocks.

Everyone has bad days, but when you have a passion-based job, that one bad day feels like it sets you back so far in your progress. Typically, in this line of work, we must meet deadlines and collaborate with other team members and external partners, and it can be stressful when you have a day when nothing seems to be “clicking” for you. The stress of just trying to get back on track is nothing short of all-consuming but let yourself have that tough day and don’t try to rush a roadblock, let your mind do what it needs to do. 

I love the work I get to do, and it is an opportunity for personal and professional growth being a full-time student and an event coordinator. But I would be lying if I said every day was perfect. I hope I could share some wisdom and relate to folks that find themself in a similar position.

Starr Washington

San Francisco '25

Starr Washington is a member of the Her Campus National Writer Program, contributing to the lifestyle section. She also serves as the President of the Her Campus Chapter at her university. Currently a junior at San Francisco State University, Starr is pursuing a degree in Broadcast Electronic Communication Arts (BECA) with a minor in Africana Studies. Following her undergraduate studies, she plans to pursue an MFA in creative writing. Starr is dedicated to showcasing her blackness in her professional work and is always rooting for black creatives, particularly in film, literature, and travel. In addition to her writing, Starr works at her university’s multicultural center, where she organizes annual events for both the campus and the Bay Area community. Her events include, but are not limited to, Banned Books Week, the Womxn of Color Healing Symposium, and the Womxn of Color Writer Series. She was a speaker at the San Francisco State University Black Studies Origins and Legacy Commemoration, where she had the honor of sitting alongside the founders of the country's first Black Student Union. Starr also teaches a course she developed called “Intro to Black Love” within SFSU’s experimental college program. In her rare free time, Starr enjoys chipping away at her TBR list (she finishes one book, then adds three more to the list), writing poetry and fiction, and spending time with her music enthusiast partner and their three-year-old German Shepherd. She is a Scorpio from Michigan.