How to Find Your Passion

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Finding your dream job is a journey of self-discovery. Although there’s no guaranteed route for finding your passion, a proactive search can speed you towards your destination. You only need to know how to direct your unique personality and interests into finding a job you love.

Step 1 - Make a List of What You Enjoy

Start by writing down a list of things you enjoy. Take several days if necessary, and write absolutely everything that comes to mind. It doesn’t matter if you don’t see an immediate career path for something on the list, write it down anyway. In the interest of being rigorous, you might consider asking family and friends for feedback. Sometimes our friends know us better than we know ourselves.

Step 2 - Figure Out If Your Passion Can Make Money

Even your most obscure interests can clear a path for prospective job opportunities. Some people play beach volleyball for a living. Others play video games or speak on niche passions in a podcast. But before you set out to become a professional table tennis player, it’s important to set some realistic expectations.

You shouldn’t allow your career choices to be dictated solely by financial considerations, but you will want to account for the difficulty of monetizing an interest. In some circumstances, you may find yourself working more for less. If you’re so passionate about something that it doesn’t feel like work, then that may not matter to you. But you shouldn’t lose sight of your financial prospects, and you shouldn’t forget that it’s not necessary to get paid for a hobby to find a job you love.

After looking over your list for more obvious job opportunities, you’ll want to look for overarching themes between your interests. You may enjoy volleyball, the Japanese language, being outdoors, and organizing a fantasy football league. Try looking past each element for common denominators and underlying themes. You may find your sports interests actually mean you value working with others. Similarly, your interests in foreign language or passion for animals may lead to careers such as a translator or service animal trainer.

Step 3 – Continued Learning

Once you’ve got a passion in mind, do some research to find the concrete steps you can take to develop skills necessary for your prospective field. For example, an aspiring illustrator might have much of the artistic skill necessary for gainful employment, however, they may lack some of the technical skills or experience required in a job posting. You can solve this problem by identifying the kind of skills useful to prospective employers, and then seeking them out on your own.

A good place to start looking is through college course books and certificate programs. However, even freelance work and volunteering can be a great source of continued learning because they provide real experience. For more tips on taking steps towards finding a career you love, check out MyPath’s Career Wizard to be sure you’re on the right path.

How To Find a Job You Love

People are more connected than ever, and that means you have unprecedented access to interact with people from around the globe. People who share your interests, people who work in the fields you want, and people who have answers to niche industry questions. The internet and networking on social media makes it easy to find former employees or interns who’ve been down your career path, and seek out their firsthand experience. And you’ll find no better assurance that you’re on the right job path than talking to other people doing the same thing.

  • Tap into Twitter Hashtags: If you’re into Twitter, try exploring hashtags within your niche to seek out industry leaders. A marketing student might search for #DigitalMarketing, allowing them to join ongoing conversations and make industry contacts. If you’re not sure where to begin, try reaching out to discuss their recent work, or ask what kind of jobs they enjoyed working at in the past.  

  • Seek out Facebook Groups For Your Interest: Facebook fans can do the same thing by finding Facebook groups related to their interest or niche. Find people who are further along your prospective career path, and ask what hasn’t and hasn’t worked for them.

  • Expand your LinkedIn Network: LinkedIn is a good for keeping up with thought-leaders within an industry. You can get up-to-speed with trends in your niche, and pick up some of the buzzwords and talking points necessary to get you into industry conversations. If you’re feeling ambitious, try to conduct an informational interview with someone working in a job that interests you. How did they get started? What did they wish they knew at the beginning of their career? You may get lucky and find unique insight that can save you months of years of effort.

Making big life changes can be tough, especially if you’re not completely sure about where you’re headed. But once you know your current job isn’t working out for you, every day spent in your position will only make the problem worse. Waste as little of your precious time as possible. Once you know things aren’t working out, as long as your sudden absence doesn’t leave your employer in the lurch, everyone involved will be better off parting ways sooner rather than later.

While there’s no guaranteed route you can take to discover your passion, the search is well worth the reward. Follow these steps and you can ensure, at the very least, you’ll be moving in the right direction.