These days, it’s not enough to find a job – many people want a career that’s meaningful to them. It’s not just about work-life balance; it’s about work-life integration. And why not? We spend around a third of our time at work. So, it should ideally be something we enjoy doing (at least most of the time). Some people are lucky to have found a passion that easily translates into a job description.
But some of us feel like we’re not that interested in anything. If you’re like me, you struggle to pin down any one thing that you’d describe yourself as passionate about. So in the meantime, you’re just waiting. You’re waiting to feel so much joy and energy that you could burst with excitement over doing that thing. You might be thinking that if you can’t automatically pin down your passion, you must not have one yet.
But I don’t think that’s true at all. I think everyone has a passion, but we don’t always recognize it because it doesn’t stand out to us like a mythical unicorn.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Your passion might not be the “one thing” you absolutely love and that you will love doing your entire life (although it could be).
- Your passion can change over time as you learn and grow as a person, and this is part of the reason why it can be so hard to pinpoint.
- Your passion might not immediately stand out and slap you in the face the minute you find it.
Sometimes we can’t figure out what we’re passionate about because we’re waiting for something to stand out in our lives without us looking for it. Sometimes, though, we have to put the pieces together ourselves if we want to figure out our passion – and especially if we want to turn that passion into a career.
5 Ways to Find Your Passion
1. Browse job openings
Even if you’re not in the market for a new job right now, it doesn’t hurt to keep your eye on what’s out there. You might find an interesting opportunity that you weren’t even aware existed. If you can’t find any jobs that seem just right for you, read through the descriptions and make a list of any aspects of each job that do interest you. See if you can think of a new way to combine anything on this list into a new career. This could be particularly helpful if you’re interested in starting your own business.
2. Review your resume
Think of all the jobs you have had and your job duties at each one. Make a list of all the things you enjoyed doing at each job – even if you hated the job overall. Pay particular attention to anything on this list and that you also do (or have done) in your spare time. If you find overlap between things you enjoy doing at work and things you do in your free time, it’s likely that this is something you’re passionate about. Look for ways to do more of those things in your current job, if possible. If not, do some career research and see if you can find a job that encompasses more of the things you love doing.
3. List your hobbies
Make a list of your past and current hobbies. Does anything stand out that you wish you still did or wish you had more time to do? If so, try to carve out some time for these things and see how it goes. If you make time to do the things you use to love, you might find yourself passionate about them all over again.
4. Do some research
If you want to make money from your passion, it’s worth looking into how others are making money doing similar things. Find out if people are making money doing things that you enjoy and if so, find out as much as you can about how they’re doing it and what their lifestyle is like. This will help you figure out if a certain career path feels right to you. If you think you’ve found something you’re passionate about, but you’re not interested in the lifestyle described by others who are already doing it, you might want to look for another path.
5. Try new things
If you’ve tried everything and you’re still not convinced that you have a passion, maybe there’s something you haven’t tried yet that you’ll love – if you’re willing to take some risks. I’ve found it easiest to try something new with a friend. If you have a friend who’s totally obsessed with, say, biking, but you’ve never gone on a ride with them, try it out one day and see if you like it too. Sometimes we need others to push us outside our comfort zones a little bit at a time so we can find a side of ourselves we never knew we had.
Remember, it’s different for everyone…
No one else can tell you what you should do with your life. The whole point of passion is that it’s what you enjoy doing. It’s probably something you already do (or have done). You probably overlook it because it’s so normal in your everyday life. It can be hard for us to realize the things that make us unique because they come naturally to us.
On the other hand, it could be something you haven’t tried yet. Maybe you haven’t made time for it or maybe you’re scared to try. Pushing your limits will help you see things in a new light. You might surprise yourself with what you’re capable of accomplishing. And this will certainly guide your journey to a passionate life.
So, if you’re unsure of your passion and you feel like something is missing in your life, take some time to yourself to work through some or all of these 5 steps. Make more time in your life for the things you enjoy doing and you’re sure to discover your passion. And once you’ve found it, you can begin to create a career and a lifestyle that you love.