In the realm of careers, finding passion and fulfillment isn’t always easy. It is easy, however, to get swept up in the daily grind—and that’s how people find themselves in careers that are paying the bills, but not necessarily offering anything more rewarding beyond monetary goals.
That’s why Niranjan Shah of Chicago, IL speaks about how to find passion, and how that passion can lead to a more fulfilling career. Careers that are about more than money are rewarding in a variety of ways. When people love what they do, they’re inspired to pursue these things to the best of their abilities—and that leads to not only greater earnings, but a sense of fulfillment and wellbeing that is difficult to attain any other way. Work becomes less of a chore and more a part of life that is to be enjoyed and perfected just the same as the passions people pursue outside of the time that they spend at work.
How does one find passion within a career? Here are several tips that will help!
1. Where is Time and Money Being Invested?
This is an important aspect of life to think about. People typically spend their time and money on the things that are most important to them. This doesn’t refer to bills paid and errands ran, but rather to the leisure items and activities pursued. It helps to analyze spending and look at things like books and magazines that have been purchased, or paid activities that people have been spending on. These are good indicators of where a person’s passions are, and thus, this is a well of ideas for potential careers that may spark passion within an individual.
One thing to note is that it’s wise to look at these expenditures over the long term rather than the short term. Years of financial statements can reveal the passions that have been around for a while versus the smaller interests and hobbies that come and go over weeks or months.
2. What are the Best Parts of the Day?
For most people, there are certain parts of the day that are the high points while others are less enthralling. Some people will experience the most enjoyment on certain activities at work like weekly meetings or while working on favorite projects—and that’s a good sign that there is passion and fulfillment here. For many others, however, these high points come outside of work hours, often while working on hobbies, while spending time with friends and family, or while engaging in some other sort of activity.
Spend some time thinking about these high points because these are valuable clues toward where each individual’s passions may be.
3. What Would You Teach if You Could?
This is an important question for each person to ask themselves. Most people have a certain area of interest, whether inside or outside of their careers, that holds enough interest that they could teach this area of interest to others. As an example, consider the hobbyist musician who has learned enough about music to be able to pass that knowledge on to others.
When there are areas of interest that a person has pursued long enough to be able to teach them, these are yet more good indicators of where that person’s passions lie.
4. Hard Skills Versus Soft Skills
Each person has a balance of strengths and weaknesses in the areas of hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are technical things, like knowing how to develop apps or experience in accounting. Soft skills focus more on interpersonal things like interacting with coworkers and clients.
It’s important to determine where each individual’s strengths are in terms of hard skills and soft skills because this can help shed light on a fulfilling career path. For instance, someone who isn’t as invested in soft skills may not enjoy a customer-facing career, but would perhaps prefer something that focuses more on a particular set of hard skills.
5. Keep an Open Mind
One of the biggest things that prevents people from pursuing their passions is the idea of failure, or the lack of openness to new opportunities. It can be easy to get swept up in thoughts like, “This will never work. I can’t do something like this.” That type of thinking is self-defeating, particularly when seeking out passions.
It’s better to approach career fulfillment with an open mind. Examine possibilities and opportunities as they present themselves and ignore the self-doubt that may arise in order to pursue those opportunities.
6. Look for Unusual Connections
Some of the most brilliant careers are built on pieces that are seemingly unrelated. One person may look at their interests and find a lot of diversity. For instance, they may love tea, photography, and community leadership. Is there a way to connect these seemingly unrelated interests into something on which to build a career? As an example, someone with these interests could look into food and beverage photography as a career, or perhaps writing about these things for community or regional publications. It may take some creative thinking to connect seemingly separate interests, but where possible, this is a path that can lead to a career that one is passionate about.
7. Be Realistic About the Difference Between Hobbies and Careers
When examining passions, it is tempting to look at hobbies as avenues of potential profit. But it’s also important to keep in mind that even though most hobbies are something that can become profitable, there are a few things that are unlikely to do so. Start by simply looking around at what others are doing. If a variety of people are pursuing a particular interest at the career level, then this can be a good sign that it is very possible. However, if only a few people specialize in a particular niche, there may not be as much demand for it, which signals that it may not be a profitable venture.
Also think about doing things for enjoyment versus doing them for a living. In some cases, turning a hobby that one is passionate about into a career takes the passion out of the original activity. A painter, for example, may love creating the occasional painting in his or her spare time. However, once painting becomes a career, it may begin to feel like work—something that a person has to do rather than an activity that they love to do.
8. Creating a Plan
The most important step to finding career fulfillment is to create a plan. This involves looking at passions and interests, then developing a path to turn these things into something profitable. Each person’s plan should be detailed, listing all of the steps needed to turn their passions into a career. This may involve things like gaining certifications or education if needed, and it will certainly include developing a financial plan along with marketing strategies and so on.
Most of all, each person’s plan should be flexible. Finding passion within a career is a long and winding path. It’s important to expect the unexpected and to be prepared to make adjustments as obstacles or new opportunities crop up along the way.
These are some of the steps that Niranjan Shah has used to find passion in order to create for himself a more fulfilling career. As an engineer and businessman, he’s currently the CEO of Globetrotters Engineering Corporation, a venture that has brought him much fulfillment over the years. Today, he uses the knowledge he’s gained to help others pursue their own successes.