For the last few years, there’s been no refrain more common among young corporate employees than quitting your job to follow your passion — it’s the mantra of Linkedin gurus, it’s been extolled by people who’ve given up the corporate grind, and we even did a six-part series on the phenomenon. But someone’s who’s been there, done that, now says that it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be.
Puneet Chadha, who worked with comedy group All India Bakchod for nearly three years, has written a post on why doing a 9-5 job might be better than following your passion. Chadha had a degree in Mechanical Engineering from BITS Pilani, and had graduated in 2012. But he gave up his high-paying job to try to become a stand up comedian, and even worked with hit comedy troupe AIB from 2016 to 2018. However, Chadha says he regrets his decision — he says he’s making far lesser money than he would have had he chosen a more conventional career path, and it’s harder to enjoy things that most people take for granted, like vacations and raising a family.
Here’s his post in its entirety:
Why 9-5 is a better life than following your passion
8 years ago, I quit my high-paying tech job to follow my passion for Standup comedy.
After 8 years. My advice is DON’T
Many friends I made in the Standup Comedy scene also quit their jobs at the same time.
With no bosses to take instructions from, Everyone had a single-minded goal of building our career in standup comedy accumulating fame and riches on the way.
8 years later, some of us pivoted but most who stuck to it, are still struggling to get the success and fame they desired. And still making similar or even lesser amounts per month than their first jobs offered. Not to mention the value of money has gone down massively since then.
All engineers, from prestigious colleges, were placed in high-paying jobs in tech, and startups as freshers. If everyone had continued on the same path they would now be making at least 4-5x their salaries back then and living an extremely comfortable life.
Now you may say money doesn’t define the quality of one’s life. That sounds ideal in your 20s or if you were born with generational wealth, but in your 30s when the biological clock starts working against you and your loved ones. Your priorities might change.
You may now want to experience other joys that life has to offer than just having a cool profession.
-Companionship (weddings and married life is expensive)
-Parenthood (raising a child is very expensive)
-Owning a home to call your own (House costs in metros are insane)
-Giving back to your retired parents (health and other expenses)
And if you have to delay or completely avoid these because of money. It does affect the quality of your life.
The internet loves to take a dig at a stable job, but if you work a 9-5.
It can easily help you build a fulfilling life for yourself with regular vacations, a house to call your own and the ability to take care of people around you. All of which are respectable goals to have.
Now of course, in whatever field you are passionate about, there will be outliers who will be earning crores. But don’t let the motivational gurus use these as examples to lure you into poverty and struggle. For the majority of people, it is going to lead to oblivion.
So be very very sure, that for you, the joy of pursuing your new profession in itself would always be more than enough.
Because before you know it you will be in your 30s and would have missed out on essential human experiences that may have given you way more joy than your so-called passion.