Purpose then Passion
So I struggled majorly right out of college in figuring out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. After a 2 month fun-filled Euro-trip right after graduation it was time to snap into reality as all my friends were starting to get big people jobs and starting their careers. However, I was stuck in my parent’s basement googling, “What career is right for you?” and I was coming up short and disappointed every time.
Here are a couple suggestions that might help if you feel you haven’t found what your true passion is and how you might apply that to a career..
Don’t seek passion, seek your purpose
I never thought of it like this coming right out of school. I listened to the classic, “follow your passion,” advice that you get from your parents, friends and career counselors. However, this can be tough if you don’t really know what your true passion is and even tougher, how you might be able to apply that to an actual career. It wasn’t until I read, “Are You Fully Charged?” by Tom Rath where a passage from his book struck a chord with me:
“One of the rightful critiques of all the ‘follow your passion’ advice is that is presumes you are the center of the world, and pursuing your own joy is the objective of life.”
If you are looking for a career where you want to make a difference, begin by asking what can I give? Think about your talents as a person and what makes you special. Now go ahead and direct those talents towards what matters most for others and companies that need someone like you. When you are giving something back to the world you are creating happiness and purpose in your own life, but at the same time coming up with real ideas of a future career where you can earn $$$.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box
Once you are out of school, you have the whole world to conquer. Up until now, you’re used to a pretty set path – middle school to high school to college. It’s all generally the same environment. Go to class on time. Listen to teacher. Do homework. Get good grades. Graduate. Once you’re out in the real world, there are no rules or set path. There’s no right and wrong way to do things. With every victory and failure there is a learning experience to go along with it. So don’t be afraid to get risky by putting yourself out there and trying something out of your comfort zone. The only thing you can do wrong is to do what everyone tells you to do and not listen to your inner self.
Listen to your inner voice
That voice inside of you that’s always telling you your true conscience. Have you ever dated someone and you couldn’t really put a finger on it, but you just know it wasn’t meant to be because you had this small, yet distinct voice inside of you telling you to get out of it? Listen to that voice when it comes to figuring out your first job out of school. Are people telling you to be in sales because you’re smart and personable but you know you wouldn’t like it despite what everyone is saying? Stop yourself right there, trust yourself, and transition to listening to your inner voice. Listen to it during the whole interview process too. Did the interview seem off to you? Did you not think you would click with the manager? Did the office culture not feel right when you were there?
Whose life are you jealous of?
Are you constantly and almost obsessively fantasizing over someone’s life? It could be a celebrity, popular figure, or travel personality you follow on Instagram where you are always saying – “Damn!, they are so lucky..how do I get that life!?!” By you envying someone else’s life it’s actually an honest indicator of a profession you might what to try and go for. (QB for the Patriots is probably not in the cards though).
You can get that life by imaging it as a realistic possibility. It just has to start with a vision. You have to believe it can be real and then you go out, create it and make it a reality.