How To Have A Successful Career Doing What You Are Most Passionate About (and good at!)

Hannah Russell | annahayyy

Think about your career and imagine this.


You walk into work and instantly feel a wave of excitement pass over you. You are so eager to get your day started and feel an active sense of urgency to get sh*t done. You know that what you do today is getting you one step closer to your goals and dreams. You also know that what you do today is going to affect others not just yourself positively. You feel untouchable, completely happy and filled with passion.

Well, doesn’t that sound amazing.

Hannah Russell | annahayyy

I think we all want to wake up and experience the perfect career that encompasses all of our passion and drive.

Let me be the first to tell you that it is possible. I am no psychological expert, nor am I a career coach, but there are a few things I know for sure.

If you can discover what it is that lights you up inside, and fine-tune that passion, you will find an opportunity to make money pursuing that passion. Your days may look a lot like what I described. Of course, there is a lot more to it than just checking four things off the list. It takes time, self-reflection, courage and ambition to go after what makes you happy in life. But, the juice is worth the squeeze.


Let’s rewind.

I want to tell you a bit about myself. My path has been winding and curving over the past couple of years, and every opportunity is bringing me one step closer to the career of my dreams. I know this because I have always let my passion and genuine interest guide me.

Let’s flashback to 2014. I was in my senior year of high school and was asked to write down what I would be pursuing after graduation. This statement would be read aloud as I walked across the stage with my grad escort in celebration of completing 13 years of education. I wrote.

Hannah will be moving to Vancouver, BC to attend Harbour Dance Centres Intensive Training Program and pursue a career as a proffesional dancer.”

Most of my friends were pursuing a path in nursing or education. Some of them got accepted into engineering, and others were diving into the world of skilled trades to become electricians, welders, and plumbers. Let me be clear when I say that I admire ALL of them for going after what they wanted. I am happy to say most of my highschool friends are still on track to become what they set out to in the first place, while others have changed course to pursure something of greater interest to them.

I was one of very few grads that was pursing a path in the arts, let alone moving to a new province to study and train. I felt like the outsider and that what I was doing was different than everyone else. Sometimes different is good.

What I didn’t like hearing was.. “Dancers don’t make any money” or “That will be fun for a year, then I’m sure you will move on to something more practical”.

As a seventeen year old girl I didn’t have it in me to tell them to shove it. I knew in the bottom of my heart that dance made me feel amazing, it made me the confident, passionate, artistic and motivated indivual that I still am today. How could that ever lead to a bad career choice. My plan was to train in Vancouver, learn more about the industry, improve my range of styles, taste the big city life and hopefully get to attend some big ticket auditions. I did exactly as I planned, and built amazing friendships along the way. My network in the dance world grew and some of my mentors from my program are still woman and men I admire today.

As I grew as a dancer and a person I started to understand the industry a little bit better.

I came to learn that working in Vancouver as a dancer meant you would be working mainly within the film and televsion industry. Which also meant that having acting under your belt would help your case in getting hired and booked. It was at this point that I decided it would be neccesary to also pursue acting.

Now, I don’t ever half ass things and when I was looking to train as an actor I saw my only choice as the prestigous Vancouver Film School. I hustled to apply and send in my application and was over the moon when I was accepted into the Acting Essentials program. My journey at VFS was completely transformative and stripped me of everything I thought I knew. ( If you know any actors, or are one yourself, you will know an actor has to be immensely intune with their emotions and identity). While trying to learn a craft that was so foreign to me I was also faced with my own truth. Who I was and what I wanted.

I had dived into acting with the hope that it would be an asset to my dance career. But little did I know, pursing acting so full force would unveil the burning passions that were already in me and waiting to be unleashed. I was reminded that I loved to write, connect with others, create projects, present them, be behind the camera (and in front of it) and inspire others. In learning this I knew that what I sought after in my dance career was the opporuntity to be creative and passionate. It wasn’t booking gigs or being on stage that fired me up, it was the creative process and freedom of expression that had me hooked from day one.

After realizing exactly where my passion lied I knew that from here on out I would pursue exactly that.

I would make sure that my career was infused with writing, creating, connecting and empowering others. I started blogging and learning skills online that would be an asset to me. I dived into social media harder than ever before and chose to move abroad for a year to find answers of what was next.

The bottom line is, I never let others sway what was most important to me, that feeling of passion and genuine love for what I do. I followed that feeling until it lead me to the truth of what I love and need to do. I never let money cloud my judgment when choosing a career (believe me when I say dancers are underpaid for the amazing work they do). And, I trusted that as long as I worked hard, was open minded and stayed true to what I enjoyed doing I would find answers.

I am now on track to creating the career of my dreams, that encompasses all of my talents, passions and natural abilities. It has not been a direct path but I am proof that if you stick with what you know, the rest will sort itself out.

I want you to know that if you are seventeen and trying to decide what to do with your life, you have time to figure it out. You are also not crazy for pursing what others tell you is unordianry or “won’t pay well”. Trust me when I say the money won’t bring you happiness in the same way a rewarding, creative path will. If you are willing to be innovative and shoot for the moon, you will end up doing exactly what you are passionate about and find success.

I want you to know if you are in your third year of university and totally doubting your degree or choice of study, it is never too late. You have an opportunity to pivot, use what you’ve learned and turn your career into something that excites and motivates you. It’s not late to build a passionate career. Reasses what is most important to building your dream career. You can and will be happy in your desired field.

I want you to know if you’ve been working in the same field for 5-10 years. Who said you can’t reevaulaute your path and get back on track to pursue what lights you up? Take some time to think about what motivates you to get to work and what impact you want to make on soceity. What it truly important to your happiness?

So when someone asks me “How do I have a succesful career and still feel passionate about what I’m doing?” I say..

  1. Identify what it is that you are passionate about.
  2. Determine what your purpose is within your desired field.
  3. Find a way to be paid for what it is that you LOVE doing (there is always a way!)
  4. Make a plan to reach your dream career goals.
  5. Just do it.



If you want a more in depth look at How To Turn Your Passion Into A Creative and Succesful Career make sure you sign up for my Newsletter you will recieve my FREE mini workbook that guides you through the steps I’ve mentioned above.


Go on, live a creative life.


Thanks for reading.




Lifestyle blogger with a focus on inspiring and empowering individuals to find their passion.

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