There's an old saying that if a person works at a job or
career that they find unfulfilling, they're simply trading
time for money. And since time is our most precious
resource, your really have to ask yourself if it's a
Have a look at this scenario: a person drags themselves out
of out of bed on Monday morning, pumps themselves full of
coffee, and then drives to their office or other place of
They spend the next eight or nine hours performing work that
neither challenges them nor fully utilizes their talents and
abilities. They take breaks, chat with co-workers, go to
lunch, drink more coffee, and shuffle a few papers or turn a
Finally, after what seems an eternity, they clock out and
drive home, only to repeat the process all over again on
Does this sound familiar?
If it does, what you need is a "passion transfusion." If
you're considering a career change, and you want to do more
than just trade time for money, you need get in touch with
the things you're passionate about. Then see if there's a
way you can match your passions with a new job or career.
A brainstorming session is a good place to start. Find a
quiet place where you can sit and think for an hour or so,
and bring along a legal pad and something to write with.
Then spend some time writing down everything you're
passionate about. Don't worry if it's something you could
make a career out of - you'll take time to decide that
Some people tell me that they have a hard time thinking of
anything other than their family, or their spouse, or their
boy or girlfriend. But everyone has something they feel
passionate about, they just have to remember what it is.
For some people, it's a hobby or activity that they enjoyed
when they were young. Others are passionate about helping
people less fortunate then themselves. Some people are
passionate about music, or art, or cars, or fishing, or
working with kids, or performing in front of others.
Whatever it is, write it down. Write down everything that
you enjoy about that activity - how it makes you feel, how
it makes you excited, how you lose all track of time when
you're doing it. For some people, this is all it takes to
re-discover a passion that they'd forgotten they even had.
Now see if there isn't some way you could find a career that
utilizes your passions. Is there a business you could start
in your area of interest? If you're passionate about
working with kids, for example, you could start a day care
service or work as a tutor. If you love old houses, you
could buy distressed homes and renovate them for resale or
for use as rental properties.
Even if you can't find a way to fashion a full-time career
out of your passion, maybe you could start a part-time
venture and build it in your spare time. Many successful
businesses were begun on shoestring budgets in people's
garages or basements.
Now your ideal or "dream" career should be about more than
just your passions, of course. Many people are passionate
about hang gliding, but you might have a hard time making a
living at it. And you need to consider your core values,
your talents and abilities, your motivations, and your
family when choosing a new career path.
But passion is a good place to start. And if you have to
start out by pursuing your new career path in the evenings
or weekends, so be it. Just make sure you clear it with your
After all, if it's your passion, it won't feel like work,
will it? And isn't that the whole idea?
Kent Johnson - author, publisher, career coach.
"Helping people realize their dreams one career at a time."
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