You may have heard the saying before:
If you love what you do, you will never work another day in your life.
It is so true. We hear story after story about people finding their true passion in life, and then excelling to levels never thought possible. They find what truly motivates them – what their calling is and they go after it with gusto. In career terms, they have achieved leadership in their career.
The unfortunate truth is that the mass majority look at their job as just work; a means to a paycheck and meeting their responsibilities. They haven’t broken out from the pack yet to define who they are and what they want to accomplish. It goes on for years, and then in a blink, it’s time to make a change. It’s often forced on them so they are not prepared. The results are often a significant amount of stress, concern and, of course, fear – the one thing that stops people right in their tracks.
If I am describing you or someone you know, perhaps these steps will be helpful in letting go of the fear and getting connected with your true calling:
1. Give yourself permission to grow (or change, or prosper – whatever) – This is usually the BIG step – telling yourself it’s okay to take a step forward in your life or career, and take risks, if required. Many stumble at this point and don’t accept that it is the right thing to do for them and those around them. So, if you are at this point, it’s time for the gut-check and the “release”. Give yourself permission, and you will be on your way before you spend countless hours pondering what to do next.
2. Discover what you are really passionate, about – Everyone has passions in life, those things (or people) that ignite their drive, fuel their energy and not only motivate, but excites them. It may be:
Helping others in needs
Being a leader
Presenting to others
Doing good for the community or an organization.
Working on something (with animals, technology, hands, buildings..the list can go on).
When you can identify and articulate your passion, you can then begin to work toward it as part of your vocation.
3. Identify jobs or careers where you can apply your passion – this is the “connect”. Utilizing the resources you have to identify job and career options (job boards, websites) that align with your passion(s). It will take some research for sure, but start to find the answers and find your way.
4. Talk to others in the type of job, career or business you are passionate about – and continue learning. You will find that most people are very helpful and will provide guidance. Just don’t cross the line at this stage of the game and make it look like you are trying to get a job with them or steal their business. Your sole purpose is to gather information. That’s it.
5. Re-evaluate what you have learned and “re-test” your passion – You may find, and I hope it isn’t so, that the choices to parley what you are passionate about aren’t readily available or just might not be the right time for you. Better to know now, rather then jump in with both feet and sink or swim. If this is the case, work on putting a plan together to put you into an area, a point in life or a situation where you can begin to work toward a role you are passionate about. Yes, it sometimes does not happen overnight.
6. If you find it and the match, go for it with gusto and full steam ahead – Don’t let anyone or anything hold you back if you have vetted through the re-test and know the facts through your research.
We spend a good deal of our waking and living life engaged in our profession. Doesn’t it make sense to be fulfilled, happy and love what one does? You bet it does! Good luck. For a great read on this subject I suggest Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow: Discovering Your Right Livelihood by Marsha Sinetar.
Dan Moran is president & founder of Next-Act, a career management & transition firm located in Colonie. You can reach him at 641.8968 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.next-act.com.