Putting Pause on “Passion”
It seems as though all the buzz surrounding “the job search” is focused on identifying one’s passion. How does one really identify a passion? Many times the search for passion is presented as an inward, self-reflective process that one should meditate on before looking for or applying to jobs. This phenomenon is especially true among those just out of college, eager to apply all the idealism of the classroom to the real world (also, the six figures you just invested should come with some return, right?)
While some of us are so focused on finding that one true passion that everyone talks about, and becoming increasingly frustrated when this magical state does not reveal itself, there are countless opportunities passing by. In his article “3 Better Things to Do Instead of Obsessing Over Finding Your Passion” Nathan Tanner speaks to the problem of pouring over the search for one’s “passion” and provides some useful tips. Here are of our favorite points:
- Put the pause on passion. Yes, you read that correctly. The best thing you can do to stop obsessing over finding your passion is to simple pause your pursuit. Tanner says it best:“Stop pursuing your passion—at least for now. Take that energy and invest it in being amazing in your current field. Here’s why: Cal Newport, computer science professor and author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love, argues that to be happy in your career, you should focus more on developing skills rather than on pursuing a passion. Newport found that the strongest predictor of an employee seeing their work as deeply meaningful and a part of their identity was the number of years spent on the job. In other words, the more experience someone has, the more likely they’ll love their work.”
- Diversify your specialty areas. Who says you need to find one single passion and become the very best in that particular field? You could become very good (in the top 25%) in two or more fields and develop multiple areas of strength. Tanner points out that “All experience matters, and even if you don’t love what you’re doing now, the skills you’re refining today may lead to a unique competitive advantage down the road.”
Above all, we at Contemporaries recommend putting yourself in different working environments to test the waters, gain new experiences and skills, and start your career path now. With our connections and your skills, we can forge a mutually beneficial partnership.