Got a burning passion in life? Turn it into your career and you’ll always be happy to go to work, which will feel more like play.

There’s a popular saying that goes, ‘If you can find a way to make a living doing something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life’ – and it’s true. If your job follows your passion you might work twice as hard as someone else, but because you love what you’re doing it won’t feel like a chore. Think of the chef who runs his own restaurant, getting up in the early hours of the morning and working until late at night. Or the musician or actor who tours relentlessly and spends half their life in airport lounges. Or the teacher who slogs away over the holidays, preparing lessons and activities for their learners. To some, it might seem like really hard work, but to people who are living their passion, it’s a way of life they wouldn’t change for anything.

Whether you are mad about soccer, cricket, ballet, music, painting – or you live and breathe fixing cars, hairdressing, baking or anything else – have you ever thought about turning your talents and interests into a career? With the Cricket World Cup currently underway, we take inspiration from phenomenal star Kagiso Rabada, who has managed to turn his natural skills into a thriving career. Take these tips and turn your passion into your life’s work.

In his book Outliers, Canadian journalist and author Malcolm Gladwell says we need 10 000 hours of practise to master a skill. He calls it the 10 000 Hour Rule. Other writers, such as Swedish-American entrepreneur Frans Johansson, argue that this theory is valid in fields that ‘have super stable structures’ such as tennis, chess and classical music, in which the rules never change so ‘you can study up to become the best’. He holds that in fields like entrepreneurship and rock and roll, however, ‘the rules can go out the window.’

Whatever your natural leaning, whether in a regimented or creative field, you will need to put in hours of practise in one form or another. If sport is where your talents lie, joining the school team is an excellent way to get started. For example, in grade 10, Kagiso Rabada decided to stop playing rugby and to focus on his cricket skills only.

Owen Chitsinho is cricket coach and Joburg regional manager of Last Man Stands, a global amateur cricket league. ‘We always say catch them young so that coaching can start at the age of three years,’ he says, ‘but players can start playing professionally at the age of nine. ’

Learn as much as you can about your craft, and study towards a qualification if possible. In 2018, Caster Semenya got her Diploma in Sports Science while juggling her achievements on the athletic track.

‘Studying helps you to be open-minded,’ says Chitsinho. ‘Some courses teach you how to handle people, management and situations that you’ll encounter in the industry.’

According to Ian Smith, owner and head coach of Rowlin National Cricket Academy, you don’t establish a coach’s ability by looking at how many certificates they have but by their knowledge, and whether or not they can connect with the person who needs the coaching. ‘You need a coaching organisation that can offer a full range of coaching for that person’s needs,’ he says.

Be prepared to part with some cash if you want to invest in a professional career such as cricket, music or dancing, for example, as you will need special equipment.

Whatever your chosen field, have a plan B to fall back on should you no longer be able to pursue your career. For example, if you’re a hairdresser and you develop allergies to products, maybe you could become a haircare blogger, or train hair stylists. If an injury forces you to give up your sport, you could become a coach, administrator or commentator.

‘Plan B happens when you realise your potential,’ says Smith. ‘I coached a kid who ended up becoming a sportswriter. The door only closes when you decide you don’t want to open it.’

CASH IN ON YOUR PASSION CASH IN ON YOUR PASSION Reviewed by Jet Club on June 06, 2019 Rating: 5
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