When you enjoy the nature of your work, your potential for true career fulfillment skyrockets., positioning you for greater success. In reality, many people are not in “work they love” but in jobs that they need simply to pay the bills. They diligently move through their work week doing what needs to be done to meet the required performance standard. You know the scenario: hanging onto a job even when you are burned out or yearn to be spending your precious hours focused in another direction. You slog through your days and gaze eagerly at your weekends so that you can do the stuff you are passionate about.
The question is, do you even have enough energy at the end of your day, your week, your long stint without a vacation to really enjoy your time off when you have it? Can you keep working the “day job” week after week, month after month, year after year without something else in your life to energize you? Probably not.
One of the recommendations I make to my clients is to identify what they are passionate about and then find a way to spend time on that passion. To clarify what you are passionate about, try to remember the last time you were really engaged in an activity that brought you joy, made you feel exhilarated, excited, or energized. The things that bring us to that place of feeling more alive or more in tune with our joy are our passions. They feed us, and give us energy, rather than sapping it away. We all have things we have to do in life that sap energy, so we must balance them with things that create more energy for us.
One of my clients shared that she just didn’t have enough juice at the end of the day to do anything but go home, eat something and either zone into the TV or go to bed. Susan is only 24 years old, way too young to be feeling that way at the end of the day. I asked her to think about the last time she felt really energized in her life. She told me it was when she was acting in community theater three years ago. Had she tried out for any parts since? No, she was too exhausted from working which is why she came to see me in the first place. She figured she needed a new job.
Sometimes it is not the job, it is the lack of balance in our life. Susan needed to get in touch with her passion again. She needed to “feed the muse” inside, to get that fire going in her belly again, to be excited and enthused about something in her life. It was quite evident that just talking about her experience in the theater raised her energy level. I swear her eyes sparkled and she became more animated as she talked.
She left our session with a spring in her step and a promise to start looking for play auditions. Within a few weeks, not only had she identified a play she was interested in, she tried out and was cast in the lead role! Even though the rehearsals required a two hour commute four days a week after work for months, Susan persevered. The very act of engaging in her passion fueled her through her work week. I had the great joy of attending her play a few weeks ago and seeing her alight with joy as she masterfully applied her craft.
The play is now over but Susan is fired up to find more opportunities to act. It doesn’t need to be how she earns her living, but it needs to be in her life. She does administrative work and thought it was at odds with her passion. Now she is looking at administrative positions within the arts, media, and entertainment communities. Who knows, she may find an admin position with a theater company and have an opportunity to expand her role.
What energizes you? Identify it and do it! Who knows, a new career direction may evolve from your participation in YOUR passion!
If you want some help with this see “4 Ways to Discover Your Passions”.