“If you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” If just reading that familiar adage makes your skin crawl with jealousy for those of whom this rings true, you’re not alone.
As The Great Resignation has employees leaving the workforce in drones, many employees say they’re resigning in order to focus on more purposeful, passion-aligned work. Afterall, marrying your work to your passions has been proven to create better alignment and consistency in all parts of your life. But earning a paycheck for doing what you love doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Instead, there are ways to weave your interests into your career to spark creativity each day as you gain a stronger sense of purpose in the work you do – and want to do. And that all starts with identifying what your passions are.
Not sure where to start? Keep reading as we Guide you through it.
Consult With Your Inner Child
To build a career centered around what drives you, you need to first identify what that is to you. Grab a journal and think back to what you loved most growing up; what made you happy, excited, energized? What would you be doing if money or a paycheck were not a factor?
Write down everything that comes to mind, and get back in touch with those first instincts to spark your passion(s).
Choose an Industry Aligned to Your Interests
Aligning your career to your passions doesn’t mean you have to narrow your job selection to exactly match your interests. It also doesn’t mean you have to start your entire career over from scratch. Instead, you can start by exploring roles you have the current skill set for, but in new industries that excite you.
For example, if you work in tech but really want to start pursuing your long-time dream of becoming an independent photographer, score the job boards for apprenticeships and offer up your tech skills (like website help, for example) in exchange for mentorship.
In the meantime, start tapping into your current network and offer up your photography services for team photos, headshots, and more. By merging your work with passion projects, you may not only notice that you feel happier, but also find more meaning and value in your unique skills and talents. And who knows… maybe your pics will get noticed and a job might land your way!
Identify Your Career-Hero
Goals and aspirations are great, especially when you have positive role models to look up to as you get there. That doesn’t mean they have to be famous. This person could be someone well-known in your field, or just a colleague or executive who has followed a career path, and has the characteristics of the professional you’d like to strive to become.
Once you’ve identified your career celebrity, reach out to them to try and learn more about their background and how they leveled up to get where they wanted to be. You never know what they may be up for sharing!
Don’t Make an “All or Nothing” Decision
Finally, it’s important to remember that finding purpose and meaning in your work doesn’t have to happen overnight, and it’s completely okay to make it more of a gradual shift. You may start a new role and absolutely hate it, or end up in a role you never even considered and love – and both outcomes are great!
Either way, you’ll be learning new things and adding new skills to your toolset to point yourself in the right direction, so be sure to pause and celebrate the small wins along the way.