Careers

When you’re passionate about your work, you’re going to be better at it, says AirAsia boss

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes
paul gadd | Corbis Historical | Getty Images
AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes

When it comes to your career, do what you want to do and follow your passions — not somebody else's, the chief executive of a Malaysian low-cost carrier told CNBC Monday.

"Get a job that you want to get. Don't get a job that you think 'Well, this is going to make me the most money' or 'This is going to be the best career'," Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia told CNBC's "Life Hacks Live."

"You've got to enjoy going to work and when you're passionate about something, when you enjoy it, you're going to be better at it. And it's a fantastic time to be in the job market (with) this whole digital revolution."

When asked by a Facebook user what advice the CEO would give to young millennials who are just starting out in their careers, Fernandes said that it was a "very exciting time" for people to be in the workplace, as the world is currently witnessing the fourth industrial revolution, where there's a plethora of technology available and "data is changing everything."

Tony Fernandes and Sir Richard Branson
Matt Jelonek | WireImage | Getty Images
Tony Fernandes and Sir Richard Branson

For Fernandes, he's a "big believer" in being an entrepreneur, but in conversation with CNBC, he added that people can garner a lot through "invaluable experience," with the CEO himself having learned a lot from working at Warner Music and with Virgin Group founder Richard Branson.

"I would say: Get a job that you love. There's nothing better than being an entrepreneur but get some solid experience first," he added.

'Just do it'

Not only does Fernandes head up a Malaysian low-cost airline, but in 2011, the airline entrepreneur bought a majority stake in Queens Park Rangers (QPR), a U.K.-based soccer club.

Speaking to CNBC, the QPR co-chairman said that if being part of QPR was a business idea, he wouldn't have gone through with it — highlighting the importance of following your passions.

QPR owner Tony Fernandes celebrates after his team won the Sky Bet Championship Playoff Final match between Derby County and Queens Park Rangers at Wembley Stadium on May 24, 2014 in London, England.
Ben Hoskins | Getty Images Sports | Getty Images
QPR owner Tony Fernandes celebrates after his team won the Sky Bet Championship Playoff Final match between Derby County and Queens Park Rangers at Wembley Stadium on May 24, 2014 in London, England.

"For me, I do things because I love doing them," he said.

Fernandes later added that this sort of passion extended to following a particular career, against the wishes of your parents. "Parents cannot and should not run their kids' lives. They shouldn't. And I know that they're trying to be their best and give good advice — but it's your life," said Fernandes.

For the entrepreneur himself, he says he was supposed to be a doctor but admits that he would have been "a horrific doctor." At 16, Fernandes said he was brave enough to tell his parents that he didn't want to work in the health care industry, however they pushed him into it, and after he failed his exams, he went on to do what he wanted to do.

"You've got to do what you've got to do, it's your life," said Fernandes.

"Just do it. And in the end, they'll support you."

Life Hacks Live is a series produced by CNBC International for Facebook, where tomorrow's leaders get to ask some of the world's biggest influencers for advice. You can watch the full interview here.