Oftentimes, we enter our first - or second or third - jobs and are shocked to find that it doesn’t align with our values, skills, or passions. It’s almost as if we were sold The Dream, but end up drowning in emails instead.
Of course, there are aspects of work that will never be enjoyable - like taxes or back-and-forth scheduling - but given that we spend over 90,000 hours at work across our lifetime, the majority of it should be fun. Interesting. Passion-driven.
Sadly, this isn’t the case for most of us. Over 80% of Americans today say that they are not passionate about their job. So, if you feel like you’re the only one who is confused or frustrated by the lack of passion for your career, you’re not alone.
But, it is possible to do something you love without sacrificing your values, skills, or sanity. Trust me - as a career confidence and conscious decision-making coach, I’ve helped dozens of humans align their passion and purpose into a long-lasting career.
Here are five things you can do right now to get started on that journey:
Look back to your childhood days
Our passion isn’t something that we need to “discover.” Oftimetimes, the things we loved doing as a kid are directly aligned with activities that still bring us joy. We’ve just been forced into a certain career or lifestyle because of society’s rules about what we’re “supposed” to do as adults.
So, spend time looking back on your childhood hobbies. Ask yourself: What did I do just for fun? What activities were I really good at - even if I can’t picture it as a career right now?
Reflect on what you can’t stop doing *right now*
Take a step back from your current day-to-day and think about the moments that bring you joy. That you do without anyone forcing you to complete them. That de-stress you or simply make you feel really good.
They can range from giving advice to a friend, or doing watercolor painting. Again, don’t worry about how you can create a business from them just yet.
Give yourself one minute to write down as many ideas as you can based on your gut feeling. Then, fill in any gaps that you may have missed.
Spend time connecting the dots
Now, it’s time to bring that strategic thinking into play. Spend some time alone, reviewing your two pieces of “homework” from earlier. Become a trend spotter - what similarities are there between your childhood self, and the version of you who is free and uninhibited?
Oftentimes, our truest self comes out when we’re in a childlike state, or have no other purpose than simply having fun. Although “finding” your passion may have seemed overwhelming before, it’s clear that your passion resides somewhere deep inside of you - you just need to listen a little more.
Spend time asking yourself: How can I inject more of this into my career and daily life? If you love connecting deeply with others - assess if your current role allows you to do that often. If you love painting - but can never imagine yourself becoming an “artist” - are there ways that you can support others in that space?
Get an accountability partner
Changing your life is downright difficult! It’s okay - and important - to admit that making these changes is hard to do on your own.
Take some time to figure out your best course of action - is it finding a friend in a similar position and having weekly calls to hold each other accountable? Is it joining a mastermind group? Is it investing in yourself and hiring a coach?
Be honest with yourself and assess what is most realistic for you right now. Most importantly, don’t feel ashamed that this is something you need extra help with.
Take your first step - no matter how small
One of the most difficult parts about discovering our passion isn’t the journey of finding it - it’s doing something about it. This is often where our fear and limiting beliefs come into play. We believe that we don’t have the right skills or enough experience. Imposter syndrome hits us real hard.
Take this as your sign that no matter where you are right now - you are enough to get started. Create a plan to take that first step, no matter how small, towards living in your purpose. Whether it’s writing your first blog post, or creating a shop on Etsy - trust yourself.
You’ve got this!