Some people gravitate toward change when the status quo becomes uncomfortable or unbearable. For others, change is thrust upon them. Perhaps you’re looking for a new career simply because you’re burned out on your current one—or maybe you’ve found yourself laid off from a job and you just don’t have the heart to look for the same job in another firm. Either way—it’s a sign that perhaps your career hasn’t been aligned to your true passion. That means now is the perfect time to make that shift into something that truly gets you excited to get up in the morning.
But what if you don’t know what that “something” is?
If you have never identified your true passions, you’re not alone. A lot of us simply have no clue as to what really floats our boat. Sometimes it’s because we stifled those passions at some point in our development—and sometimes it’s just that we’ve gotten so busy doing things we thought we needed to do that we never stopped to consider what we wanted to do. The time between jobs gives you a unique opportunity to figure out this haunting question, in part because you can’t use busy-ness as an excuse! And if you’ve not considered where your passions really lie, it’s an exercise worth doing because you’ll be much happier and more fulfilled in a job you really love than one that just pays the bills.
I believe we all have some sort of driving passion, whether it’s obvious or whether it’s somehow been buried. Here are three questions to ask yourself to help you discover yours.
Question 1: What would you do for free?
Another way of wording this question is, “What would you do with your time if money were no object?” If you answered something along the lines of lounging in a hammock by the ocean drinking a mint julep, you’re thinking the wrong way. That’s a vacation, not a passion. Eventually even that leisurely lifestyle would become boring if you did it every day. So think instead of something you love to do—something meaningful that makes you lose track of time when you do it. If more than one thing comes to mind, jot it down—at least this gives you a short list.
Question 2: What is in your book/magazine collection?
What do you enjoy reading in your spare time? Take an inventory of your favorite books and magazine subscriptions. The answer might not show up obviously, but occasionally you’ll identify a pattern. For example, if you love romance novels, that probably doesn’t mean you want a career as Fabio’s housewife—but it might point to a deeper interest of writing novels or starting a dating service. If you are obsessed with news articles and current events, this interest might point to a career in activism or even politics. Make sense? Look for the patterns beneath what you read to see what passions might be motivating those choices.
Question 3: What do you enjoy teaching others about?
When we love doing something, we generally love talking about it, also. Do you catch yourself telling other people more than they want to know on a certain subject? Has someone ever asked you to teach them to do something you happen to do well, and you found yourself getting a huge rush out of showing them how it was done? Subjects you can talk for hours about are good potential indicators of possible life directions.
There are plenty of other ways to identify your true passions, but these three questions form a good starting point for you—and they may be all you need to figure out a deeper passion from which to launch a new career. If you want more help, I’m glad to offer a free 30-minute consultation. Just fill out the form to the right!