So how do we find our passion? Unfortunately there are no easy answers, and the path to discovering one’s passion is rarely clear. Don’t worry though, all hope is not lost; there are a few things we can do to kick start the search for what excites and inspires us!
A good beginning point is to consider the things you enjoy doing. Ask yourself what you daydream about the most, what work you would do for free and what activities fulfill you the most. Those things are likely what you are most passionate about. Amy, a hiring expert from Textron, puts it this way: “If money weren’t an object, what would you spend your time doing? Once you have a clear idea of those things, start making connections with future career paths.”1 These passions may not transfer directly into a job, but it is certainly possible to incorporate some of the most important aspects. Think outside the box about what elements of these passions you could find in a career and remember that what motivates you is not relegated to only one field, but can be found in a diverse array of careers.
Next, try writing down every job you’ve had along with the pros and cons of each. James, a hiring expert from Broadridge Financial, suggests: “Take the time to list everything for each area of the roles you have had. Once you have your list, determine why you listed them in their prospective column.”2 This will help you to identify the elements you enjoyed in each position. Whatever you’ve appreciated about past work may be a good indicator of your passions.
If after all of this you’re still struggling to identify what motivates you, try starting from square one! Explore an eclectic sampling of fields or learn something new. Ashlyn, a hiring expert from Worthington Industries, says, “Explore many options and take classes outside of your major to gain experience in other fields. If you know that something isn't the right fit, try out something else.”3 It can also be beneficial to get experience through different internships or volunteer opportunities. It may not be the first or second thing that you try, but don’t get discouraged! If you stick with it, you’ll find something you love doing and want to spend the next 40 years mastering!
Finding a passion is something that looks different for everyone, and it almost certainly won’t happen overnight; instead, you’ll need to put in some time and effort. By being intentional with self-reflection and research, you’ll be able to find those things that inspire you, motivate you and make you want to get up in the morning to accomplish!