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Study Says It's Okay if Your Job Doesn't Match Your Passions, Here's Why

A new study backs it up.

For many people, it's important for them that the job they decide to pursue is something that matches their personal interests and passions. We often think that, as long as we're enjoying what we do, no hardship or challenge is too big or too tiring. But when we're in the middle of a global crisis and your job options are limited, you might feel forced to just apply for any job, even if it isn't initially aligned with your passions in life.

But don't be too disappointed if you're thinking of applying for a job that doesn't match your interests, because this doesn't necessarily mean that it won't be satisfying, and there's science to back it up.

A new study from the University of Houston says that one's interest in their job does not solely predict the satisfaction they'd get from it. "To be satisfied with a job, you don't have to worry too much about finding a perfect fit for your interests because we know other things matter, too," says Kevin Hoff, assistant professor of industrial-organizational psychology, in the report. 

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The study reported results by reviewing data taken from 65 years' worth of research about interest fit and job satisfaction. The findings note that while interest in the job matters when it comes to job satisfaction, it is not the sole predictor because there are also other factors that come into play like having a good supervisor, a fair treatment from your organization, and a likeable set of co-workers, among other things.

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Simply put, the nature of the job you take on may be your number one passion in life, but if the environment you work in isn't ideal or your company's values aren't aligned with yours, it's likely that you won't be overly satisfied with your job. Similarly, the job you have may not be one of your interests at all, but if the pay is good or you enjoy the company of your colleagues and have a positive synergy, then you are still likely to feel satisfied with it.

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So even though you don't get to pursue your passions professionally (because not everyone has the privilege to do so!), it won't mean that you are no longer eligible to have a gratifying professional experience.

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Mylene Mendoza
Candy Staff Writer
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