Most of us have heard the idea, “find what you love to do, and then find a way to make money doing it.” This makes sense—if you are passionate about your work, you will have a self-driven attitude and be more successful at your job. But what if you don’t know what your passion is?
Some people know their dream job from childhood, while others get through college and their first two jobs still not knowing. Here are a few ideas to help you pinpoint your passion.
- Think to yourself, what would I do if money were not a factor? We all have bills to pay, but to initially pinpoint what it is that you love, don’t make money your primary consideration.
- Ask your friends and family what seems to make you the happiest and what they see you doing. Sometimes those that know us best see things we don’t.
- Look through a list of college courses, read some job descriptions, or job shadow friends or family to get ideas of what you like. Maybe you hate “science” but would love working as a physical therapist. Whether or not you like a class is not always a good indicator of if you would like the job, and vice versa. Learn about as many jobs as possible, and see if you like what the day-to-day looks like in those positions.
- Review your strengths. We tend to like doing things we are good at, so make a list of what skills and abilities come naturally to you and find careers that utilize those strengths.
- Consider what kind of work environment you would most enjoy. Do you like working with a lot of people? A few people? Alone? Do you thrive in a fast-paced setting with lots of due dates, or do you prefer a calm environment? Do you like constant change or do you prefer consistency? Do you like to lead or follow? Sometimes factors such as these can affect whether or not you like a career just as much as the work you’re doing.
- Try taking a personality test or career test to see what path would be recommended for you. Don’t take the results as your destiny, but you might find some good ideas you hadn’t considered yet.
Sometimes finding your passion takes some trial and error, but don’t give up. Have fun exploring!
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