So says Vaughan Evans, a London-based economist, business strategist and author of Backing U! A Business-Oriented Guide to Backing Your Passion and Achieving Career Success. While the book was written in 2009, its premise still holds true today.
Evans cites a report on employee attitudes that found that more than half of American workers (55 per cent) and two-thirds (66 per cent) of workers under 25 are dissatisfied with their jobs.
Innumerable books and articles have been written about the importance of passion. It’s the mysterious crowbar prying open the door leading to life and career fulfillment. In The Occupational Adventure Guide: A Travel Guide to the Career of Your Dreams, author Curt Rosengren says that the “power of passion fuels success.” Variations on that phrase have been used countless times to promote the importance of passion.
Put yourself in an employer’s shoes, says Evans. Wouldn’t you be more likely to hang on to a positive, upbeat, enthusiastic employee? The answer is obvious.
As Evans sees it, if you’re stuck in a job you’re not passionate about, you’re faced with two choices. The first is to find ways to make the job more challenging, exciting, and fulfilling. The second is to search for a new job that fires your imagination, one you’re likely to feel passionate about.
If you choose the latter path, do some homework and find out what fires your adrenaline so you don’t make the same mistake twice. Evans offers the following helpful tips:
- Assess your strengths. Imagine that you are a business and your managers are your customers. What do they need most from service providers such as you? To what extent do you meet those needs? How would they rate you in relation to your competitors – that is, your fellow workers? In which areas do you shine? Where could you shine even brighter with a bit more focus? These are your strengths.
- Identify jobs that evoke challenge and fascination. Create a list of jobs that interest you. Look at positions held by friends, co-workers, and family members. Then explore careers that you’ve heard or read about, but know little about. Once the list is compiled, rearrange them according to how passionate you are about them. The tough part is determining how accessible they are. It could mean a simple fine-tuning of skills you already possess, or it might mean a lengthy and expensive career change. If it requires intensive training, licensing or a college degree, are you ready to make the commitment? If the answer is affirmative, the next step is to work out the details. It may mean holding on to your present job, or getting a job through a temp staffing firm so you can go to school at night.
- Talk to practitioners. Before you start making plans to either retrofit your skills or plan a career change, speak to people working in the field you’re considering. Better yet, try to observe and talk to them on their jobs. This is an opportunity to not only get a real-world picture of the job, but to ask numerous questions. This crucial step will either seal the deal or raise doubts about your decision.
If all your hard work pays off, you will have made a life-altering and life-enhancing move.
And once you’re settled into a job you love, never lose sight of the power of passion. Make no assumptions about the jobs you hold. Realize that there is no such thing as a [popup url=”https://troymedia.com/2016/12/29/perfect-job-doesnt-exist-2/” height=”1000″ width=”1000″ scrollbars=”1″]perfect job[/popup]. By the law of averages, you’re likely to change jobs several times throughout your career. The reasons almost always will be events beyond your control (erratic or cyclical economies, organizational mishaps).
But if passion is the impenetrable cement that defines you in your field, finding a new job will never be difficult. Without presenting supportable evidence of success in your career, prospective employers will immediately sense your value.
Interviews with heads of the world’s household IT innovators cite passion as the prominent component firing their persistence for achieving their goals.
Take corporate strategist Evans’ advice and use your “passionate interest” to sell yourself and get hired.
“Passion” is a powerful word, worth researching. It can mean the difference between mediocrity and excellence.
Dana Wilson is a freelance writer.