In the movies, when someone quits their terrible job to do the thing they love, the burden is immediately lifted. In reality, getting to the job you love is a long, arduous process and you'll probably hate it for a while.
Photo by bark.
As author of Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work Dave Isey points out, if you want to do the work you love, you're probably going to suffer for it at first. Quitting a stable job means leaving behind some comforts.
Even if you're already starting from square one, prioritising work that's meaningful to you over money or status necessarily means you'll probably turn down job offers that would be more comfortable in the short run. This friction is to be expected, as business site Inc. explains:
Suffering sucks, but according to Isay it's also often a pretty good way to find the work you were meant to do. "Having an experience that really shakes you and reminds you of your mortality can be a very clarifying event in people's lives. Oftentimes, it leads to changes," Isay says, citing a few heart-rending examples from his experience at StoryCorps.
If you're planning to pursue work you love, expecting this pain can help you prepare for it. It can already be disheartening pursuing work with little reward, but if you're expecting things to go smoothly, reality will hit all the harder. Don't worry, though. Success may not be guaranteed, but the pain on the way to it is totally normal.