Over the years I have had countless clients tell me that they aren’t passionate about their career and are seeking that elusive career passion. They lament that others seem to have found a career they are passionate about and wonder what is blocking them from finding their passion.
Do We Have to be Passionate About our Careers?
I have also worked with plenty of clients who are passionate about their careers and I’ve helped many others identify their passion. However, some clients do not want a career they are passionate about.
Some clients want a job that challenges them on a regular basis, but leaves time for them to have a personal life whether to spend with family or to pursue their hobbies. For some individuals passion needs to be a component of their career, but that isn’t the case for everyone.
Criteria for Being Happy with your Career
I believe that in order for an individual to be relatively happy in their career, their current job needs to meet 4 criteria:
If their job meets all four of these criteria to at least some degree, individuals seem to be content. Does that mean they have found their dream job? Not necessarily, but making sure all four of these areas are met will increase their satisfaction.
When clients come to see me, typically one of these four areas is not being met. In some cases all four of these criteria are not being met. As we change and evolve, our definitions of the four areas above change. Our skills change and expand as we use them more & more. Our interests change. At one point in our career we wanted to travel, but now, that’s no longer the case. Our personality may evolve as we get older or as our situation changes. Our work values shift as different areas take priority. We may have ranked autonomy as our top work value and now we place more emphasis on teamwork and responsibility. As these four factors change, we seek changes in our career.
Where Does Passion Fit Into Career Goals?
You will notice that “passion” isn’t one of my four criteria. However, passion comes into play for many individuals in their interests or their work values. For example, if they are passionate about helping others, they may rank that as their top work value. Or if they have a passionate interest in animals, they rank that as their top interest.
Passion can play a role for certain individuals. So do we need to be passionate about what we do? It depends. Rather than blindly seeking our passion, it is important to understand what is important in our career and make sure those important items are being met.
Use the comments section to tell us about your journey to find passion in your career!