I've heard it phrased several ways, but it always hints at the same point: "do what you love and you'll never work a day"; "do what you love and the money will find you"; "do what you love and do it often." The ideal job is one that you love to do, and the best way to ensure that result is to simply do something you're passionate about right off the bat. The trouble is, job seekers are often unsure of how to translate a beloved personal interest into a real job that earns them money.
If you find yourself in a career transition and wanting to explore your interests, or even if you're not totally sure what those interests may be, here are a few tips:
- Passions must be made: It's easy to think that your life's passion is just going to fall into your lap, but if you ask me, it isn't quite that simple. The trick to finding an area of real interest-- real enough to become your passion-- is to develop both interest and skill in the same thing. A healthy interest in painting is just fine, but in order to make a living you need some kind of skill to go along with it, and incredible math skills will get you no where if you truly despise doing math. To find your passion, go out and look! Try new things or spend more time doing the things you already enjoy. Once you've built up that balance of skill and interest, you'll be in the perfect position to do what you love and get paid for it.
- Ask questions: In conjunction with previous tip, forget what they say about curiosity killing the cat. Curiosity is the perfect attribute for someone trying to find work they're passionate about. Does someone you know do something that you're not totally sure about? Do they have a hobby that seems interesting or even a little weird? Did you read about something recently that caught your attention? Ask questions! Learn more and you may find a fantastic new interest to pursue-- this tactic works even better if you know someone who already does what they love.
- Education is still a must: It has become a fact of life that the right credentials can impress potential employers, co-workers, strangers, etc. There may be rebellious souls out there who scoff in the face of convention, but the fact remains that academic and/or professional experience are a must. After all, these institutions can give you some of those much-needed skills that you'll need become a success, so before going rogue, think about the eventual opportunities presented by education and experience.
- Immediate payoff is not guaranteed: But don't let that stop you! The truth is, getting paid well to do what you love probably won't happen right away. Most people start at the bottom, then become so good at doing what they love that they're paid accordingly; or they start off getting paid to do something they're good at, and develop their love for it over time. Regardless of the path you take, it is important to remember the end goal (making a living off what you love) and that it doesn't happen overnight or without hard work.
- Don't force it: If you think you may be passionate about something, but later find out that it isn't quite your cup of tea, drop it. Don't waste your time doing something you've really lost interest for. It's ok, not to mention totally normal, to one day decide that you want to take up the guitar, then decide that you aren't all that into it a few weeks down the road. Again, you need both skill and interest to do something you're truly passionate about for a living, and if the interest dries up, there's no use forcing yourself to continue on that path. Whatever the activity or area of study may be, it is clearly not your life's passion. Just be careful to know the difference between losing your interest and hitting a learning plateau.
It seems like everyone's goal is to do what they love and get paid for it, but it also seems that not everyone is willing to put in the effort is takes to get there. They say that finding a job is a job in itself, and finding a job you're passionate about is no different, but the rewards of achieving that goal are worth the effort.
Careerminds provides scalable, strategic solutions to organizations seeking affordable, web-based outplacement services. Using a Web 2.0 e-learning platform that delivers affordable, online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly.