A lot of intelligent people have said for greater success in life, follow your passion.
What’s my passion?
Here’s a simple method to find out both what your passion is and what you are good at. Obvious advice to young entrepreneurs deciding what type of business to start, it’s commonly advised to “do something you love.”
But what if you don’t know what you’re passionate about? Here’s a good one-question test that works almost every time:
Ask a trusted friend what you’re good at.
I guarantee, if you ask your wife, or you ask your oldest friend what things you are really go at, or what kind of business they can see you starting, they will find it really obvious.
Another tool to really find out what you are passionate about is to keep and discuss a journal. Write down your reactions to what’s going on (what makes you angry, what makes you happiest, what ideas do you love) this will help you understand your point of view, you’re unique perspective, and then share these with trusted friends to help you think through the implications of your perspective. Can you turn this view of the world into a business?
There is a potential trap here… what happens if your passion is reading books, or playing video games. Its a little tough to build a career around this.
So lets add a third element to “what you love” and “what you’re good at” … “what people will pay you to do”
What Pays well meets What you love
For many young professionals or those who are looking for a new career, this is the bracket you immediately fall into. You enjoy writing, selling, or any other marketable skill, but are just starting to become proficient in them. Its a dream job, you just suck at doing it.
The good news is that you could be very close to reaching “WIN”. But to ensure you do, its hard work honing and improving your skills. If you can do this, and push yourself until you are an expert at this, then you’ ll likely find yourself in a career that you can enjoy for the long haul.
What you’re good at meets What you love
For most of us, building a career around playing video games or football, reading books, or watching movies isn’t going to happen. Although we may be very good at it and enjoy our time used on these activities, the market isn’t very likely to pay for it- you’re likely to end up happy but poor.
Although I have just told you to follow your passions, please be realistic in your career decisions. You can save yourself an incredible amount of time and energy by reserving the interests that fall into this category as hobbies.
What pays well meets What you’re good at
Many people who are unsatisfied in their current careers probably fall in this segment. You are brilliant at the work you do and you can make a living doing it, but you don’t really feel fulfilled. The end point is rich but bored… not really a great life plan, unless you have sufficient leisure to do what you love for free.
My advice if you currently are in this field is to work on improving one of the skills in the “What you love” and “What pays well” bucket segment to reach your passion. If you don’t love what you are good at, its tough to force yourself to love it.
It’s okay to have a job that falls in this area but it won’t be a fulfilling career. You will find it reasonable working here for a period while you take your spare time to build up the necessary skills to get you to a career in the middle.
Well, some interesting career advice for managers in the middle, have you found your passion or just realized that you’re bored in your chosen career; share your views below.