The topic of being passionate about your job has recently come up with a few clients and I thought it was time to readdress it with my audience. Last August I wrote about how passion related to career. Today’s blog focuses on how individuals do not need to find passion within their given profession.
Many of my clients have the question, “if I don’t have the passion in my career am I destined to be miserable 40-50 hours a week?” I get this question, particularly, from my clients who are currently feeling miserable in their jobs which, in many cases, extends to their lives. My question back to these clients is: “what are you passionate about in your life?”
Identify What You Are Passionate About in Life
Maybe it is a hobby or a cause. Maybe it is family or a relationship or a pet. Maybe it’s practicing a skill you have like writing, public speaking, or acting. Figure out the item or items that bring you passion. Once you have identified your passions, find ways to incorporate them into your life.
For example, if you are passionate about animals, how do you incorporate that into your life? Perhaps you have a pet and you love taking care of her. I would ask, is that enough for you, or do you want to focus more energy and attention to this passion? Maybe you can begin volunteering at an animal shelter. Maybe you join the board of a non-profit focused on animals. Find ways to incorporate more of that passion into your everyday life.
Focus on the Positive in Your Life
So how does this relate to the job that I’m miserable in? Spending more time in the areas you are passionate about won’t erase feeling miserable at a job if it really not the right fit or environment for you. What it can do is give you something to look forward to doing each day or several times a week rather than focusing on how much you hate your job. It places your focus onto a positive area of your life rather than an area that is making you unhappy. Also, now is a good time to re-evaluate that career.
Re-evaluate Your Current Career
Can you get a job related to your passion? Most likely, if you are reading this blog, you can’t. This could be for many reasons: you need a job that pays more, you lack the skills to be a professional in that career, and so on. Can you get a job that is related to your passion? Back to the animal example: perhaps you are an accountant who isn’t passionate about accounting but is passionate about animals. Can you work at a non-profit related to animals as an accountant? The work tasks are still not your passion, but being in an environment that is related to your passion might make work a lot more enjoyable.
List What You Need from Your Career
Take the time to evaluate what you need out of a job. It might be a certain amount of money, it might be a location, it might be working specific hours. Now revisit the list – do you truly need all of those items? Which ones are nice to have and which ones are critical for you? Are there jobs you would enjoy doing, but you dismiss them immediately? Truly consider why you are dismissing the job. Answering
these questions might change your outlook on the type of job you need.
Making a job change, while it is not related to your passion, can have a big impact on your overall outlook. So rather than focus on the passion, focus on what you truly need out of a job and make sure those areas are satisfied. Use that extra time when you aren’t working to spend time doing items you are passionate about. Many individuals work to make money to live, but their work is not central to their life. It is a vehicle to meet their basic needs. It’s what they do outside of their work hours that really matters to them. Others need their work to be meaningful. Meaningful work does not necessarily equate to passion. Identify the key criteria you need out of work and out of life and make sure those are areas are met. This should have a positive impact on your overall outlook.
How did you find passion in your life? career? Share your story in the comments below!
Amy Wolfgang is a career coach who founded Wolfgang Career Coaching and co-founded Coaching 4 Good. She brings over 15 years of corporate and coaching experience to help organizations boost employee engagement while simultaneously helping her clients excel in their careers. She is a certified PCM (Professional Career Manager) and has a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin.
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