When planning a career path, advisers are likely to ask what you are passionate about. Many people feel the pressure to come up with something big and impressive like saving lives or space travel, however, it’s ok to be passionate about less dramatic things!
Some people are passionate about organisation, others are passionate about stationery, smartphones, shoes or even solving problems for customers. Animals, art, food, travel, helping others, building things, cars, and fashion are are all things that people may feel passionate about.
In some cases, a passion for something has a logical pathway into a job and sometimes our job is what funds our passion outside of work time.
Don’t be blinded by passion
Every job has bits that you won’t be passionate about, even your ‘dream career’. Consider all aspects of the job such as rate of pay, hours or shifts, opportunities for progression, job availability, cost of study, work environment and so forth.
If you want to work with animals, for example, you are unlikely to go straight into a position as a zookeeper. Working or volunteering in a pet store, vet clinic, boarding facility, stables, or on a farm are all going to give you practical experience towards your career goal and also give you an edge when it comes to course selection and further work experience and networking opportunities.
Try different angles
There’s often more than one way to find work in an area you’re passionate about. Perhaps you love to travel and would like to focus your career around that. Although some jobs involve a lot of travel, such as cabin crew or airline pilot, you may find job satisfaction in a position on the ground at the airport, soaking up the atmosphere.
Make full use of the many services available to assist job seekers to find, explore and train for a role. From high school careers counselors to government assistance, much of the help available is free. Make use of it so that you are fully informed of all the opportunities associated with your passion.
Try before you buy
If you’re passionate about customer service for example, and like the idea of eventually managing a retail store, then find someone already doing that job and ask if you can observe their role for a day. If they say no then ask someone else and keep doing so until you get a yes. As well as making a good contact, watching someone doing the job in real life will help you decide if it’s right for you.
What else is important to you – other than passion?
It is possible to have meaningful and enjoyable employment that you are not ‘passionate’ about. Things like job satisfaction, earning potential, flexibility and working conditions all contribute to the overall work experience. A job within a field you are passionate about, but on low pay and in an unpleasant environment is likely to be disappointing.
So, should you follow your passion into employment? By all means yes, however, do so armed with as much information as you can. Know the reality of the job you want, how to get there, and take the time to look at other options and career pathways that also reflect your passion.