I wanted to put these two topics together, because they seem to go hand in hand. We believe finding our passion in a career is the ultimate goal of finding a job you enjoy. I got to say, from my experience and from my research on this topic that isn’t the case. It is very rare to have a career in something you are passionate about. It takes a lot of factors for it to happen. Your drive, motivation, willingness to get out of comfort zone, environment, connections, personality, among other things. There is no one shoe fits all factor when it comes to finding your passion and having a career of that passion. Many factors must come together for one to have a career they are passionate about.
Things in life aren’t always black and white. You can be able to practice your passion and still find a job you enjoy. You don’t necessarily need to build a career from your passion. It is fun just to do it in your spare time. It may be even more enjoyable to do it freely, rather than doing it for work. Time constraints, rules, pressure from others can make your passion less enjoyable in a work environment.
For many, it is difficult finding what they are passionate about. Some people just don’t know. It is totally okay not to know. People tend to feel guilt and shame, because they don’t have anything they are passionate about. You can just have a job you enjoy, without feeling any passion about it. I enjoy my job, but I am not particularly passionate about it. The thing is, I still incorporate my passion in my life. I do what I am passionate about in my free time. Hopefully I’ll be able to build a business from it, but for now I appreciate the opportunity to enjoy my passion when I can.
It isn’t a great feeling dreading coming to work. We are at work most of the time, so it is imperative for your mental well-being to find a job you enjoy. If we enjoy our work, than we are able to enjoy our lives much more, and live more positively, since work fills up most of our lives. I like to write a list of things to look into when searching for a job that can spark joy, or at least make the work week more bearable. I will say searching for a career with your passion is very difficult and can be disappointing when it doesn’t happen, so these other things may be better to look into. I am not saying you shouldn’t find a job you are passionate about, but it shouldn’t be an ultimate goal.
- Get out of safety Zone-“Do you want to expand or constrict?’ “You are not going to be stuck. You are stuck now.” I heard these quotes from a TED Talk I watched. I really liked them. These quotes are good reminders that staying safe and comfortable isn’t always best for our happiness and growth. Doing something that challenges oneself can be exciting and rewarding. But make sure it isn’t too challenging. That creates stress. A nice balance.
- Variety– Trying different types of jobs can easily show you what you like and what you don’t. You may be surprised what you actually enjoy doing. This can give you the opportunity to find a job that you like and enjoy.
- Work Environment Do you like office jobs?, do you like moving around?, do you like your own space? Do you like it to be more quiet? The environment can play a role in what you like about a job. I really like my job, because I get to move around. I am a very active person, so the environment suits my personality making the job more enjoyable.
- Autonomy-Are you the type who likes to be free and do their own thing? It would be good to look for a job that allows you this freedom. If a place is too controlling and restrictive that can be a downer for an independent individual.
- Skills-Look for something that enhances and incorporates your skills. Find what your skills are and search for a job that correlates with those skills.
- Meaning/Value-Does the job add value. Having a meaningful job can be a great way to enjoy what you are doing.
- Stress-A stressful job can make anyone miserable. The best thing to do is to find a job that reduces the amount of stress on oneself. Stress at a job is normal, but overwhelming stress can be detrimental, especially if there are no benefits to it. Some jobs are stressful that lead to rewards and benefits, but if the stress leads nowhere, than that can be problematic for the individuals well-being.
These last two are for people who have difficulty leaving the job that makes you feel stuck and miserable. It is hard for some to leave the financial stability and comfort of a job.
- Perspective– See the job from a different point of view, find some good points about it, maybe there is something to it that you didn’t look at. Find some ways to bring joy and excitement to the job if you find it dull and boring. Figuring out ways to step out of the misery, instead of immersing in it.
- Acceptance-Sometimes we have a job we don’t like. Not everyone will like the job they have. It is what it is. The job puts food on the table, gives you a home, gives you comfort. It does have its benefits. Accepting can be comforting, instead of fighting your disdain for the job. These two options are helpful and comforting, but finding another job would probably be best for your happiness and satisfaction in the long run. Change is hard, harder for some, but it can happen.
Passion for something is great, but it is also interchangeable. It evolves. I was once passionate about being a singer, but I no longer have that passion. This is why it isn’t always best to focus on what makes you passionate when choosing a career. Maybe some people prefer doing things they are passionate about in their free time, rather than the confines of having to do it on a schedule and have strict rules when it comes to their passion. Sometimes it is just hard to find a job with the thing you are passionate about. That is perfectly fine if you can’t find a job that incorporates your passion.
It is important not to beat yourself up for not finding a passion in life, or for not having a career that incorporates one’s passion. Be kind to yourself and realize that everyone’s journey is different. Not everyone know’s what they want to do in life. Having a passion doesn’t define your life. We as humans love to know everything. We are uncomfortable with the unknown/uncertain. It is best for your peace of mind to accept what is and move forward, because forcing yourself to find your passion creates negativity and despair. The problem is we compare ourselves to others who have passion, and have careers related to that passion. The thing is our journey is always different and we all have different paths. Focusing your energy on yourself and your progress is what is important. Remember passion and a career won’t always go together. Find a job that suits your interests, skills, schedule and personality can go along way.