Is ‘find your passion’ good career advice?

Man looking out the window

It’s a piece of advice that you’ve probably received before from well-meaning friends or family: ‘Just find your passion!’ and all will be right in your life and career.

But is the old adage true? While there’s undoubtedly people who have successfully managed to turn what they are passionate about into a career, there are many others out there to whom the whole concept seems rather elusive.

If you belong to the latter group, don’t worry! A simple change of perspective can easily put finding your passion within your grasp.

Let’s start with the easy part. What is passion? Essentially it means that you enjoy what you do on a daily basis and get a strong sense of fulfilment from your job. Bad days may still occur, but that’s a given in any career.

Then for the slightly more difficult part: how do you find your passion? There’s an idea that passion is somehow predetermined, that deep within a person is a reservoir of a specific fuel, waiting for just the right spark to ignite a blazing flame. Naturally, this is the bit that creates the confusion and worry, often causing people to jump from job to job hoping to find that spark, usually without success.

So, let’s turn this concept on its head and view passion as something that isn’t necessarily already within you, waiting to be discovered, but something developed organically by building your skills and experience and genuinely becoming good at what you do. The confidence and satisfaction you will derive from this will encourage you to keep doing what you do on a daily basis, to progress, and as such find a genuine passion for your work.

This doesn’t mean that being good at something necessarily means you’ll be passionate about it, just as, vice versa, being passionate about something doesn’t have to mean you’re a pro at it either. However, seeing passion as something you can develop puts you in control, and as you work on becoming more competent in your role you will be able to figure out what you do and don’t like, allowing you to shift your career in the direction that brings you that sense of fulfilment and enjoyment which sits at the core of genuine passion.

Source: HN Global.