‘Dirty Jobs’ host Mike Rowe Tells Graduating Students To Follow Opportunity, Not Their PassionBy Marcus Vaflor, UniversityHerald Reporter
Mike Rowe, the host of Discovery Channel's 'Dirty Jobs', has some unconventional advice for graduating students: Follow opportunity, not their passion.
In a commencement address video he gave for online resource site Prager University, Rowe dispensed several "dirty truths" about passion and the realities of making a living.
For one, Rowe said it was "terrible advice" for students to be told to follow their passions. Celebrities, he pointed out, often liked to give this general advice without even knowing what their listener is capable of.
He also cited 'American Idol' and said the show's rejection of thousands of auditions every year is proof that people who are passionate at what they do "doesn't mean they won't suck at it."
Another "dirty truth" the 'Dirty Jobs' host gave out was about looking that dream job. According to him, someone so fixated on landing the dream job he/she wants is essentially preventing him/herself from looking at other opportunities to earn a meaningful living.
He recounted the story of a septic tank cleaner who, instead of going the same direction as everyone else, took the other route and followed opportunity rather than his passion. Needless to say, he became a multi-millionaire-soon enough he realized he had developed a passion for his job.
Sharing his own experience, Rowe recounted how he once strove to be a house builder just like his grandfather. After years of studying and enrolling in countless workshops, Rowe realized that despite his passion, he had no talent in that field--with his grandfather telling him later on he could always be a tradesman but with "another toolbox".
In the end, Rowe dispensed what he called the final "dirty truth"--that people should not follow their passion but instead bring it with them.
On his website, the 'Dirty Jobs' host also endorsed Prager University and encouraged everybody to send the video to a graduate they know.