A hot topic in recent years is “I want to follow my passion!” and “I want to do something I am passionate about”. There are two specific age groups who scream these words either from the mountain tops or from under their sheets at night while sleeping. These two groups are 18-32 and post or turning 50 years old.
What does ‘follow your passion’ mean to these people or to anyone in fact? It would seem to me that to ‘follow your passion’ would be doing something with your life that you enjoy doing. With that being said there might be some people who would say, “Well I enjoy sitting on the couch watching sports and drinking beer.” This is not typically what my clients say when I ask them about their passion and what they are looking for.
Someone else might say, “I love to go shopping and buying the newest fashions!”. Again this is not a response I ever hear from my clients when I ask them what it is they are really passionate about.
A passion when related to your career or work might be described as something which excites you or you are enthusiastic about this thing you want to do.
The next point to consider is this one and it is not easy to realistically answer until you are in the foxhole doing the thing every single day, which you are passionate about and that is this: “Would you remain so passionate about it once you are doing it every single day all day long?” It is highly possible you would be better served obtaining a job or staying in your chosen career and have your passion be your hobby or what you do for volunteer work. Another point is all about money and income. This means new money coming into the door directly to you. We all have bills to pay, the need to buy food, clothes and more and the question is will your passion be something which people or a company need and be willing to pay for?
This point means you must consider if you are willing to become one of the best at this thing. In essence to develop a mastery of the thing you are passionate about. After all, it is highly likely that only the best are able to obtain or derive any type of income from their passion alone.
The reality is that getting into the work force and getting started on a career path is the best way to not only find your passion but to have the time and resources to act on your passion. For those in the younger age group there is no better way to get moving along on your career path than to have a job and become the best in the company at what you do. No one is asking you to lose sight of your passion. Who knows you may find you actually are passionate about your work that you are doing?
For the older more experienced group it is not a wise move to walk away from your job without a solid plan of action. Even if you are ‘let go’ from your position, the best course of action is to immediately get moving and find another position. The passion you have not acted upon all these years is something you should and will work on when you are not at work where you are currently or will be soon again getting paid.
In summary, take action and get moving in a career or a position where there is cash flow. If you wish to follow your passion run through a few questions first and do this with another person working with you together.
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Mitch Tublin is a speaker, certified coach and trainer based in Stamford, CT.