Find your passion! Love your work! Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life!
How many times have you heard advice like this? If you’re anything like me, I’ll bet the answer is a lot. Well, I’m not going to tell you that. Advice like this sets us up for failure. In my work as a career development strategist, so often people come to me because they don’t know what they are passionate about or because they are passionate about so many things they can’t focus long enough on one to make any headway.
I can totally relate. I have taught preschool, did communications for an event planning department, and worked in marketing. The truth is I’ve never felt all that passionate about any of these jobs. To make matters worse, I thought there was something wrong with me. In case you’ve ever wondered the same thing, I put together a few resources on this topic. I love these resources because they reject the simplicity of ‘find your passion’ and also offer more salient, more actionable advice.
New psychological research indicates that we don’t just stumble across passions or naturally feel strongly about one topic or industry. This study shows that we develop those feelings over time, and the article goes further to show how your mindset can affect your career and your daily life.
Serial entrepreneur David Williams reflects on how following his passion has benefited him as well as the limitations he’s become unhappily familiar with. If you’ve ever thought about leaving your job to start a business connected to your passion, this is a must-read.
In this inspiring presentation, author Liz Gilbert shares why she no longer spouts advice like “find your passion” and what she advocates instead. Spoiler alert: This one's especially pertinent for all the explorers out there taking unconventional career paths.
Beyond the Advice of Others
This might sound odd coming from a career strategist, but if the advice of others is just adding to the confusion, don’t forget to look inside for answers. Try asking yourself questions and seeing what kind of advice you come up with. Ask yourself things like:
· What are you interested in?
· What are you curious about?
· What do you want to know more about?
While these explorations won’t give you a clear yes or no about whether or not to make a drastic change, they can help you develop an understanding of what your passions are, which is the first step to deciding whether or not to follow them.