How to Find a Career Field You’re Truly Passionate About

Truly passionate


It’s no secret that people who are truly passionate about their line of work tend to achieve more long term success than those who simply go where they believe their talents lie. They are more motivated to muscle through obstacles and take the risks they need to in order to move to the next level.

I’ve always believed that passion and success — whether in the form of monetary wealth or personal fulfillment — go hand in hand. But what do you do when you simply aren’t in touch with your passions? Or when you aren’t sure how your passions can translate into a viable career choice?

I spent the majority of my college years working towards a degree in early childhood education, sorting through textbooks about child psychology and taking classes about the best methods for teaching various subjects. I thought that I had found my calling.

Then, I started my first internship shadowing a second and third grade teacher. There were aspects of the job I loved — making connections with the kids, helping out with art projects, lending a hand when a student was struggling with a specific concept — but when it came down to it, my passion wasn’t there.

I saw the teachers that were truly passionate about the job come in long before the students did and leave long after the janitors had finished cleaning, and I couldn’t imagine having that kind of dedication. And that wasn’t fair to the students or myself.

So in a moment of clarity, I switched my major to English Writing — a subject I had always been drawn to and had always had a knack for.

Since then, I know I’ve been in the general vicinity of my passion, only taking jobs I believe I can enjoy and trying to keep myself present in everything that I do. But I don’t think I’ve fully arrived at a place where I wake up everyday excited to see what’s next.

I recently had a conversation in which I confidently spouted off all of the jobs I was qualified for and the tasks I could manage for someone. The response was “Yes, but what do you want to do?”

Ironically, I hadn’t thought about that.

Until I answer that key question, I can’t fully live my passion. With that in mind, here are the things I’m implementing into my life in order to find, and eventually live, my passion.

Take note of your hobbies first, your skill set second.

Making all decisions based on my education or skill set automatically pigeon holes me into open positions that other people have created, not necessarily what I’m passionate about.

However, I know that my hobbies are where my true passion lies because that’s how I choose to spend my free time — time that I have the freedom to spend in a variety of ways. So if I seek to find ways to implement my skills into these areas I’ll be closer to finding a career field or job that really speaks to me.

Think of exactly what you want, not just what is available to you in this moment.

If I’m looking at the jobs that I qualify for that are currently on the market, I’m not in the mindset of thinking about possibilities, I’m only thinking about what currently is. This doesn’t exactly foster my passion.

I know that being passionate about what I do is often about creating what works for me, something that can only happen if I sit down and think in detail about my ideal experience — what each day would look like for me, who I would be surrounded by, how much I would earn, etc. That will draw to me things that might not currently exist in my experience.

Find a way to help others live a better life.

I have enjoyed some of the jobs that I have had, but I know that the moments I have felt truly passionate about what I’m doing have involved helping others or creating something for others to enjoy.

Finding my passion means finding a way to impact the world, to think outside myself, to offer my knowledge and skills to someone else. When there is purpose behind what I do, passion is not too far behind.

When I think about my next step, I must answer this question: Is the impact this will have on others great enough to keep me motivated?

Consider what will keep you firmly in the present moment. 

If I’m passionate about what I’m doing, I’m not thinking about what is lacking in my current experience or anticipating what the future might hold. I am fully present in the moment, enjoying the journey, not counting down the steps until I get to my destination.

There are certain career fields I could enter into that I might enjoy, but it would always be about what’s next and when I’m going to get “there.” That’s a clear indication that my passion isn’t in these areas.

Are you living a life you’re truly passionate about? If so, how did you get there?

Image by Photostock.


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Kayla Albert spent two years plugging away as a freelance writer before taking a job as a community manager for a local newspaper. She enjoys writing about productivity and personal growth topics. You can also find her at ThinkSimpleNow.com
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Discussion

  1. Simon Duck on the 17th September

    I feel so lucky to have been able to have hobbies which I have already translated into a job and I am loving it at the moment. Sometimes you will have to take a step back, especially in this economy, but always remember that you are trying to reach that ultimate goal of getting a job you will thoroughly enjoy.

    Regards,
    Simon Duck

  2. Josh Tolan on the 18th September

    These are great tips about how to find what you’re truly passionate about. Passion is a necessary component in long-term career success. But more importantly, it’s also a necessary component in long-term career fulfilment. Your career is a long road to travel, and it will be even longer if you’re not truly passionate about what you’re doing all day, every day. So before you fire up your webcam to record a video resume or accept an interview with a top company, think critically about what you’d really like to be doing and where your interests lie.

  3. Amanda on the 20th September

    This article was interesting. However, I believe Cal Newport gives a very interesting counterpoint here: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/201/09/solving_gen_ys_passion_problem.html

    Kevin Kelly or Wired Magazine says that Cal Newports finding on “following your passion” switched his way of thinking from ‘find your passion, so that you can be useful’ to ‘be useful so that you can find your passion.’

  4. hasan on the 22nd September

    superb post and thanks to share…….

  5. Pumla Jita on the 2nd October

    Good day. I can NOT find my passion no matter how hard I try. At school I was always good in every subject because of a great memory. I never used to study but I would pay attention to the teacher as he/she was talking as a result I never even finished high school coz everything was’nt challenging for me but I am back to school studying commerce I still donl have my passion but I am studying to increase my employabity chances. Most of the time when assessing myself I’m watching TV,sleeping and listening to music,I am totally inactive. Do you have an advice that is spicifically to my situation on how I can find my passion?. Thanx

  6. Running Software on the 2nd October

    Nice post. You put a nice twist to it. Thank you for the article Kayla.

  7. phil on the 4th October

    It’s really hard to find a job you are passionate about, most of time people just settle for the first thing that comes along. But definately hobbies are the first place to look if you want a job you’II stick to.

  8. Amber on the 25th November

    What if you don’t have any hobbies though? I feel like I do what most people do these days. I go to work, come home, cook dinner, clean and then watch tv/play on the internet and then go to bed. That is pretty much has been my life. I’ve been trying to figure out what my passion is for at least the last 10 years of my life (I’m 25) I have no idea how to go about how to figure out what I like. I’ve tried tons of career tests which always feel like they lead me to no where. I’ve done tons of research on different types of careers but I feel like I have no interest in anything. I feel like I’m doomed to end up how most people end up because of my lack of being interested in anything.

  9. salsaguy on the 21st May

    If you want to find your passion/best job for you, get a copy of “What Color is Your Parachute”. Great book. I also highly suggest “Knock ‘Em Dead”. once you find out your passion that one helps you to find it out there and then land the job you are seeking.

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