People often believe that finding your passion is the key to career success. Some people have been fortunate enough to find and capture that passion in their work, but what about those who are still searching? How can you find life satisfaction, even when you might not feel passionate about your current career?
Perspectives on Career Passion
The concept of passion toward one’s career can be viewed through two perspectives. The first is to do what you love by engaging in something meaningful, fulfilling, or fun. People in this category often use phrases like they were “born” to do something or that it was their “destiny.” They often feel enthusiastic about going to work every day or joke that they are “paid to have fun.” These folks have been able to transform their interests into a career.
But what if you don’t love what you do? The second perspective on passion is to learn to love what you do by living your passion within the practical context of your life. In this case, it is important to focus on what your job enables you to do and what makes you feel most proud. Many times, developing expertise in a particular area can lead to career contentment. Striving to improve the quality in your work can also build feelings of success. It is also important to re-evaluate your current career goals. What has changed?
Shifting the Passion Paradigm
Many people become overly focused on making the “right” career choice that they lose sight on what is truly important to them. Instead, define what work means to you and identify what your vision of career success looks like. How do you personally define career success, and what are you advancing toward? As mentioned in previous blog post, Has the Career Ladder Vanished?, today’s career progression is not always upward. Identify what talents you want to leverage or develop, as well as what you want to achieve. How will your career choice enable you to live the lifestyle you want for yourself and your family?
Ryan Chatterton has established an equation for cultivating passion: curiosity + engagement x time = passion
To cultivate passion, it is important to be curious and open to learning new things. Pick an interest that you have and commit to it by acquiring knowledge about it. Connect with people who share similar interests, and consistently engage in activities that support your interest over time.
Barrie Davenport also recommends five tips for cultivating passion.
- Create space for passion by uncluttering your life to allow for clarity of thought, energy, and time. Examine your emotional wellness and simplify your life by reducing material things and adrenaline-based lifestyle.
- Express passion at work by viewing it more than just a pay check. Try to avoid taking a job just for the salary or title.
- Find passion on the inside by reflecting on what makes you come alive. Stop looking for passion in external activities, and identify your greatest moments of joy at work.
- Find passion where you are at work by looking for opportunities to be more purposeful.
- It is possible to align your work and your passion, but you need to be open to different possibilities.
Passion can be found in both life and work if you are willing to identify your priorities, research alternatives, and create action plans that include short-term and long-term goals.
Chatteron, R. (2013). The ultimate secret to discovering your passion. Brazen Careerist.
Davenport, B. (2013). Want to find your life passion? Start by simplifying your life. Becomingminimalist.com