It is a great thing to work in the creative industries. While it has its downsides (see my post on this at Budget and the Beach) for me the positives continue to weigh in its favour. I’ve always worked with amazing, talented and pleasant people. I’ve always had reasonably fulfilling, autonomous work. This is genuinely what I a) love and b) am good at.
But we don’t all have this first world luxury, and quite frankly, I don’t think it’s anywhere near possible. The numbers don’t stack up. The work that makes the world go round isn’t generally bursting with the fun factor – banking, freight, insurance, food production, retail, farming, tech support, cleaning. No doubt there are specific roles within those sectors that lend themselves to passion, but by and large the stuff we need to keep the cogs turning is fairly dull stuff. And passion jobs often require sacrifices in almost every other aspect aside from enjoyment/satisfaction – compensation, hours, work-life balance, etc.
If what you’re doing isn’t lighting your fire – and you have the option of walking away – at what point do you quit? A friend once told me about a fellow med student who dropped out after five years (one more and he would have qualified). Another person I know pulled out of a Big 4 graduate programme just a few months in after realising it was not the life for her. From the outside, it seems a waste to walk away after putting in years to get to that stage.