SWIPING RIGHT ON YOUR CAREER PASSION
Passion and purpose are terms constantly thrown around in the personal development and career coaching field. What is your passion? What is your purpose? What is your passion’s purpose? It’s enough to give anyone a complex.
I was talking with a web developer about the subject of career passion and he admitted that he didn’t think that he found his yet. He felt like he was falling behind because so many others seemed to have found their passion. That web developer isn’t alone. I have worked with many people who panic because they haven’t found their passion yet.
It’s a heavy question, isn’t it? Up there with the meaning of life.
I have struggled with that question because I have gone through a few passions before the age of 30. I changed my major in college to history before doing something completely different later, I changed careers from librarianship in my mid-twenties, and I am reconnecting with my love of writing. I am still passionate about history and libraries. I still use many of the skills that I learned in both those fields. I just use them in different ways as a career coach.
I also am one of those people who want to live as many lives as possible. We only have a one-way ticket on this rock and I want to make the most of it! It is as hard for me to say what my passion is as it is to pick my favorite book or place that I have traveled too. I very much sympathize with my clients who are still looking for their passion.
We build up this idea of a career passion as much as finding a soulmate. Millions are swiping through dating apps with the same desperation as a job seeker on a job board. We assume that everyone else has perfect jobs that blow their skirts up 24/7. We expect this romantic idealized experience with the breeze blowing through our hair and the angels sing as birds chirp in time. This only leads to disappointment because nothing is 100% amazing all the time.
Even if you are doing a hobby like surfing, you still have to deal with sea water burning your eyes. Reading a book can still lead to paper cuts. You can find your passion purpose and still have days when you want to give it all the middle finger. That is called life, amigo!
And that is okay.
Your passion might not be something that you can make into a job. Find work that you can get satisfaction and pride from and then do your passion after hours. Some passions are destroyed after you monetize them.
It’s okay if your job isn’t your passion or your purpose! Work to life, if you gotta, chica! You don’t need to live to work.
Social media creates the illusion that everyone else is living these amazing lives. Don’t forget: most people just share the highlights of their day. You can be a personal development master and still have a meh day. Let yourself laugh and find joy even in the mundane because it is still there even during the gloom.
It’s okay to be human, to be confused, to still be seeking.
Isn’t the journey what makes life fun?
Don’t sweat finding your passion or your purpose. It will find you!
Going a step further, I would argue that you should find a collection of skills that you like to do, that you are good at, and that produce the kind of impact that you want to bring to the world. Then you can mix and match when it comes to job titles, industries, and career paths. When you have a flexible approach to your career, it prevents career stagnation and boredom. Let yourself evolve!