How To Find Your Passion for a More Fulfilling Career

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A common piece of advice you might hear when looking for a job is to “follow your passion”. Keeping up with work, ideas, and projects that make you feel fulfilled and motivated can help you find jobs that you will enjoy and be successful in. While the idea is simple, it can be difficult to define and follow exactly what is your passion.

Finding your passion is an ongoing journey, sometimes a lifetime. It takes many moments of soul-searching, attention, and action to find the topics, tasks, and areas that excite you. Although ideas and motivations vary greatly from person to person, in this article you can explore ways in which you can incorporate your passions into your life and career.

In an Indeed survey, 60% of employers said they think a lack of passion for the job is a reason some employees don’t do well in their roles ¹. This same survey showed that 76% of employers don’t believe passion can be learned, which means it’s important to consider what excites you when thinking about your long-term career.

Related: Interview Question: “What Are You Passionate About?” “

Some people choose to pursue their passions in their spare time outside of work, while others prefer to devote their daily working life to their passions. Which choice you make will depend on your passion, whether it’s easily transferable into a sustainable lifestyle, and whether or not you want your salary tied to your passion. That being said, Indeed Hiring Lab recently discovered that today’s college graduates prioritize passion over pay.

When you are passionate about what you do, work can be less of a chore and more of a part for a fulfilling life. Whether you’re just starting to think about your career, feeling stuck in a job that doesn’t bring you joy, or looking to pivot your career, it’s never too late or too early to start identifying Your passions.

How to find your professional passion

The best way to identify what excites you is to pay attention. Every day you are probably excited, interested, or satisfied with some topic, task, or activity. Let’s take a closer look at what you should be looking for in your day-to-day life that might spark a passion.

There are six steps you can take to identify your passion:

  1. Look for the highlights of your day
  2. Be careful what you spend your time and money on
  3. Consider topics you enjoy teaching or discussing with others
  4. Think about your strengths
  5. Disassemble the elements
  6. Explore career paths

1. Look for the highlights of your day

There may be a certain day of the week or time of day that you look forward to for whatever reason. Maybe it’s a specific meeting, task, or time that you have reserved. You might also notice some surprises or unexpected moments that end up being the best part of your day. Pay attention to the seemingly important and trivial things that you would consider to be the peak of your day.

While many of these highlights can happen during work, you might notice that your highlights are happening outside of the workplace, during the time you have for yourself, friends, and family. Noting where and with whom your highlights take place will bring you one step closer to whether your passions are related to your career or to other aspects of life.

Related: How To Change Careers

2. Be careful what you spend your time and money on

We tend to focus our resources on things that are meaningful to us, including time and money. Look at your credit card bill or bank statements and see if there are any themes. Look at the topics of the books, magazines, movies or podcasts that you consume. Take note of how you spend your free time and what activities bring you joy. Finally, identify if there is a particular genre, topic, or theme that your hobbies and interests have in common. The interests that have stuck with you over the years may relate more to a passion than a newly emerged interest.

3. Consider the topics you enjoy teaching or discussing with others.

Think about your interactions with others. What types of conversations do you enjoy the most? Do you feel particularly lively when talking about a specific topic? It can also be helpful to determine if there are tasks or topics that you tend to teach others. These are often the things we find most important to us.

4. Think about your strengths

Taking the time to identify both your soft and technical skills can help you understand the things for which you have devoted enough time and resources to develop a talent. Alternatively, you might have a natural skill that makes you feel confident and motivated when performing certain tasks.

Related: Interview Question: “What’s Your Greatest Strength?” “

5. Examine the details

As you explore the things that naturally grab your attention in day-to-day life, you may also want to take some time to think about what exactly you are passionate about.

For example, you might find that the highlight of your day is volunteering as a teacher for adult evening classes. Ask yourself “How does this activity make me happy?” “ Some of your answers might be:

  • Education
  • Spend time with a certain topic
  • Be a leader in my community
  • Help others

Exploring these factors in depth may take time, but will help you identify exactly what makes you tick. This can help you find specific job opportunities that meet your interests.

6. Explore career paths

Once you’ve identified a few areas of interest, spend some time exploring different jobs. You can do this by browsing the job titles on Career Paths. You can also browse the open opportunities on Indeed.

Reading job descriptions can help you find roles that generally appeal to you. Reading a task or responsibility that sounds interesting can also help you research other related roles that might be even better suited.

You may also want to consider talking to your manager or employer about your interests and what you have discovered that motivates you. If you love your business but don’t feel motivated in your role, you may be able to take on additional responsibilities that match your interests or move sideways within the business.

Read more: Shaping Your Career: Finding and Creating Opportunities in Your Business

If you’ve discovered that your passion isn’t something you want to pursue as a career, you can still use what you’ve learned to guide your job search. For example, if you’ve noticed that you are passionate about spending time at home with your family, you can look for jobs with schedules that allow it.

Uncovering your passions can also help you determine what salary level, benefits, or other job attributes you need to support your lifestyle.

Related: How to Choose a Career

Taking the time to identify the things in your life that make you feel satisfied, excited, motivated, or fulfilled is the key to finding your passion. Translating that passion into a career is done by looking for opportunities and finding roles that match your interests.

Study: Indeed study on job seekers conducted by Decipher / FocusVision (Base: employers, N = 703)

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