Awaken the Passion Within: How to Love What You Do and Do It Well!
By Lorie Rosenberg
Look around your work environment and you'll find people who are very dissatisfied with their jobs. They've lost their drive and motivation to perform at their very best, and their work has become mundane and meaningless. For others, they've become stuck in a job because of financial demands and responsibilities...and they can't seem to find any way out.
But take heart, because in this article, you'll discover ways to find your passion...whether it's reinventing your current job, finding a new one, or looking at new goals and challenges that can awaken the passion within and enable you to achieve even greater levels of performance and effectiveness.
Why Are You Unhappy?
If you've been trying to figure out why you're so dissatisfied at work, it may be because you've lost your passion for what you're doing. The question then becomes, "How can I determine if that's really the case and what can I actually do about it?"
Let's take a minute and do a little self-reflection to see what's truly causing your unhappiness at work. Think about your job, your career, and your life and ask yourself these questions:
- Are you satisfied with where you are and what you're doing right now?
- Do you see yourself headed in the right direction with your career?
- Does your work align with your values and goals in life?
- Are you working in a positive environment that encourages growth?
If you answered yes to all four questions, then you're probably right where you need to be. It's important to realize that your job may not revolve exactly around your main passion in life, but if you love your work more than you dislike some particular aspects of it, then you're probably doing what you need to do to feel satisfied in your job and fulfilled in that part of your life. It may just be that you need to readjust your expectations and attitudes and focus on the positive aspects of your job.
If you said no to the questions above, then you probably need to rethink what you're doing...or maybe how you're doing it.
Here are some ways to determine if you've lost your passion:
- I've done this job for so many years I could do it in my sleep. I'm completely bored and can't stand what I'm doing anymore.
- There used to be value in what I was doing but I don't see how I'm helping people anymore. That's what I really enjoyed about the job.
- With my education and experience, I should be able to take on more responsibilities, but I'm not getting any opportunities to do that in this position.
- I was on track to move up in the company, but I've become stuck in this position without any foreseeable opportunities for advancement.
- I was committed to the goals of this organization, but their vision has changed and is not in line with my goals and objectives.
If you've found yourself saying statements like any of these, then it may be time to rethink what you're doing and determine how you can make changes that will help you create more passion in your work!
Do What You're Passionate About!
We've all heard the career advice, "Do what you love, and the money will come!" But unfortunately that's not always the case, because passions don't always have monetary value attached to them. You may be passionate about something, but if you need to make money from it, then it's critical that someone will hire you for it or buy whatever it is you're selling. For instance, it can be difficult making a living as an artist. And while you may love to paint, sometimes that may not be a realistic job for you. What you could do is find work that incorporates some type of creative outlet and use that to fund your painting, which you can do in your free time.
You could start your own company that would allow you to work with your passion. But you also have to realize all of the risks associated with that type of venture. When developing any type of business, you need to be absolutely certain that there is a need for what you offer and that you have a viable business plan to get you started.
Now all of this doesn't mean that you have to work in a job that's a complete drudgery for you...one where you constantly think about how much you hate your job. If this is happening, then you may need to find ways to instill passion back into your job...or find another one that's better suited to your talents and skills.
Reinvent Your Job or Profession
Let's face it, it's difficult finding a job...any job. The work environment is more competitive than ever and finding work through internet searches and company websites is more impersonal than ever. Unless you know someone who can recommend you for a position, it can be difficult even getting your foot in the door.
So one option to consider is reinventing your current job so it gives you the satisfaction you need without having to move to another position or company...because there's no guarantee that a new job will fulfill your expectations any more than the one you currently have.
Readjust Your Attitude
One thing you can do is readjust your attitude about your job. You can start by determining what it is you like about your work and what you're unhappy with.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What is it that I like about my work?
- Do I like the people I work with?
- Is it a good environment?
- Do I have new goals and objectives that keep me motivated?
- Is there something I do well that I really get enthusiastic about?
- Do I enjoy helping my customers and clients?
Once you've determined the areas that excite you, try to focus your efforts in those areas. Incorporate more of those particular tasks into your work day. Find out what energizes you and let that recharge you and add new purpose and meaning to your work.
That doesn't mean that you stop doing those tasks you hate. But you may be able to talk with your supervisor about adding more responsibilities in some areas and reassigning others to someone else. This will enable you to focus on what you do best, allowing you to feel more fulfillment in your position.
Three Ways to Bring Passion to Work
Here are a few ways you can bring more passion to your work:
- Discover how you can make a greater impact, whether it's improving the lives of others, making a commitment to a particular cause, or taking on new challenges to improve your organization.
- Align your work so that it is focused on your personal mission or long-term life goals. This will enable you to move towards where you want to go.
- Continually reinvent yourself by taking on new opportunities, developing new interests and skill sets, and actively seeking ways to improve your performance and work environment.
Opportunities That Utilize Your Gifts and Talents
Unfortunately, for one reason or another, you may need to look for a new position or branch out into a new field or industry in order to find a job that truly makes you happy. If you're unsure what direction you should take, you may want to do some self-reflection to determine what you're good at and what you really enjoy.
Here are some questions you may want to consider:
- What are the top five or ten things I really like doing?
- What would I do if I didn't have to consider money, education limitations, or my current life situation?
- What did I enjoy as a child that I can incorporate into my current position?
- What types of jobs accentuate my unique gifts and talents?
- Who are people I admire and what do I need to do to get where they are?
- How can I make a significant impact to my organization?
One important part of any job search is to find a position that closely aligns with your educational background and work experience, but that also gives you the opportunity to grow and branch out in new directions. You should feel confident in your position, but also be able to strive for new goals and challenges.
If you're unsure which way to go, sometimes it's a good idea to work with a life or career coach that can help you identify potential positions that would align with your skills and background.
Once you've determined the direction you want to take, develop a written plan for how you'll get there. Jot down small steps you can take along the way and then reward yourself for the progress you've made.
The important part of any type of action is that forward motion helps your excitement and passion grow. And as your passion expands so will your happiness and overall job satisfaction.
Where passion flows...success grows!