There has always been a seeming dichotomy between doing what you love and becoming successful. Those who can actually combine the two are quite rare. Only 20 percent of all workers are legitimately passionate about their job, finds a survey conducted by Harris Interactive. But this doesn’t always have to be the case. In the age of computation and information, a lot of the complexities that made it difficult to turn your interests into a lucrative career are either gone or minimized. More people are taking possession of their career choices, and it’s easier than ever to enter artistic professions such as voice acting thanks to the framework of knowledge and resources we’ve built up over the years to support such jobs. If you have a nerdy passion that you want to turn into a career, all you have to do is play it smart. These three tips should give you a good idea of how to do that. 

Figure Out Which of Your Passions is Most Profitable

Chances are, if you call yourself a nerd, there’s a lot of things you nerd about. But it’s just as likely that not all of those things can lead to something lucrative. Some interests, like gaming and cosplay, can be very profitable if you can find out how best to leverage your passion for them. But passion alone is not enough. Not everyone has the skill or talent to make that work. You need to find where your strengths lie in order to determine which of your passions can bring you success. 

If you know a lot about the inner workings of game engines and finding exploits and bugs, you’d be a good fit to become a career game tester. Meanwhile, if you’ve got a penchant for programming, you could even try your hand at becoming a developer. Sewing, makeup, and modeling skills can let you go far in the cosplay space, far enough that you might be able to enter into professional costume design. If you are good at getting your hands on merchandise that other nerds want, especially the rare kind, you may be in a good position to start a hobby shop business.  Existing skill and potential to grow it will provide you with the necessary momentum to launch into a career. 

Start Planning Things Out

After you’ve found out which field or trade to get into, it’s time to plan out how you’re going to make your entry, your first steps once you land a job, and make some preparations to stabilize yourself once you get settled. Drawing up a rough roadmap can help guide you when things go differently from what you hoped or expected. Combining passion with profession is no easy feat, hence, more than a little planning is in order if you’re truly serious about it.  

In your preliminary planning, lay out all the considerations that are going to come with your chosen career path. Are you starting a YouTube channel to give electronics tech support to people of all ages? Brush up on the YouTube guidelines for criteria that makes videos compatible with younger audiences. Are you looking to open up a hobby shop with a handful of employees? Start looking at affordable worker’s comp insurance rates to cover every eventuality. According to Cerity, proper insurance coverage is a must if you’re looking to start a business. Essential worker’s compensation can vary depending on circumstances other than just jurisdiction, so it’s best to consult an expert who can help you get the right kind of insurance for your business. 

Go Slow and Steady at First

When you’re just starting out, it’s best to be more accepting of simpler and lower-paying opportunities. If you’re particularly skilled at the career path you’ve chosen, you may think that certain jobs or commissions are beneath you. But the truth is, even small gigs can build towards your career or business growth. Moreover, when few people know your name or are sure of the quality of your services, every little bit you get paid helps you pay the bills.  

This also applies to how invested you are in transitioning to a more passion-based career. Realistically speaking, it’s not entirely wise to just jump into a new job or business. It takes time to develop a solid marketing plan for your business, and gather enough funds for setup and a few months of overhead to keep you afloat. Likewise, it will be a while before you build the portfolio and establish the connections you need to get yourself the kind of pay grade that can sustain a comfortable standard of living. It may be prudent to start everything out at a part-time capacity, until you establish enough safety nets and contingencies to fully commit to your new career path. 

If you can get these three pointers down, you should be able to launch into a career you’re passionate about without worrying too much about things going wrong. Provided that your passion is strong enough, working a job you love can be a truly fulfilling experience.