There is no shortage of articles out there about the pros and cons of “following your passion.” I think the focus on this bit of career advice reflects a desire for our work to feel meaningful, yet it can obscure some of the challenges inherent in our work lives. To that end, here are a few questions to explore:
How can I experiment to uncover what I am passionate about?
Sometimes when we talk about passion, we assume it is something that we are born with. As a result, those of us who haven’t identified that passion feel lost. However, the truth is that for most of us, passion is something we discover through trial-and-error. Here are few articles to help you add more experimentation to your career:
- What if your day job is not your passion?
- Trying to find your passion? Act like a kid
- How to land your dream job, even if you don’t know what it is yet
Should I pursue my passion or my purpose?
Though it might seem like semantics, when it comes to our careers, we tend to approach these two concepts very differently. Passion is often a cause or idea we’re excited about while purpose is the work we do regularly that we feel moves our cause forward and makes the most of our talent. Passion is the bigger picture of change and purpose is your role in bringing it to life. Here are a few articles to help you think differently about purpose and passion:
- Don’t ask, “What’s my passion?” Ask this instead
- The difference between passion and purpose and how it affects your job search
- Don’t have a career purpose statement? Here’s how to craft one
What am I willing to give up (or take on)?
Pursuing your passion and purpose can be exciting, but the nitty-gritty of finding a new job can also come with trade-offs. For some people this might look like less pay or a new city. For others, a completely new approach to one’s career or identity. Or maybe instead of leaving things behind, you have to take on things that are completely new like building a network from scratch or taking classes. In any case, sometimes pursuing one’s passion means making a big change. Here are a few tips on how to do this successfully:
- What would you give up for a career you love?
- 10 statements that can help you plan your career
- What a career counselor taught me about myself and my “perfect” job
How can I add purpose to my work every day?
We can’t always do what we love and pursue our passions. That doesn’t mean we can’t add purpose to our work by shifting what we do and changing our point of view. Here are a few articles to help you do just that:
- What if you can’t do what you love?
- 9 ways to add more meaning to your work
- Three elements of a happy career
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by Allison Jones