The destructive power of finding your passion.

Thanks to Josh for this photo.

Thanks to Josh for this photo.

A friend of mine lost her job recently due to downsizing. The parting was amicable. The change was welcomed. She also received a great severance.

And yet…

“I can’t find my passion”, she lamented, and “I don’t even know where to look”.

I couldn’t have been more surprised. This friend is a wonderful designer who can create beauty in all media from print to digital. She’s also skilled in a number of complex online design tools. In addition, she’s a smart business person, which isn’t entirely common among those in creative positions. Beyond that, she volunteers for the elderly, is a long distance cyclist and likes to knit. She’s an immensely talented and well-rounded person.

Still, there she sat feeling inadequate.

I’ve experienced this with clients too. While helping them craft their LinkedIn or About Me profiles, I’ve coached them through the thick mire of insecurity brought on by their lack of “a” passion.

How could they look for work without looking for their passion first? How do you find a passion? How fast can you find a passion? What kind of future would they have if they didn’t find a passion? What kind of misery and squalor would they be facing?

Oh the drama of not having passion.

Certainly having a passion can be positive. But let’s consider its potential negatives, as well.

 Debunking the benefits of finding your passion.

1) The notion of finding your passion can lead you to overlook your overall value as a professional. In other words, your whole is greater than the sum of your parts.

2) There can a fine line between passion and compulsion, ardency and balance. Having a passion can leave you so single focused that you lose the quality of being well-rounded.

3) Finding that one most rewarding preoccupation can prevent you from engaging in various disciplines and building other skills that could also bring you joy.

4) In the same vein, by foregoing a passion-fuelled direction and, instead, exploring interests fuelled by pleasure, you leave yourself open to discovering your vast potential.

5) Passion can be very demanding. Pursuing it may seem romantic, but it can come at the expense of relationships, physical health and, depending on the passion, financial stability.

6) It’s easy to confuse lack of passion for lack of job satisfaction. Sometimes it’s not that you lack a passion for your work. It’s that you lack a passion for your workplace. A lot of clients, including my friend, actually love what they do. However, they were in an environment that either affected their moral or didn’t provide enough opportunities to do what they love best.

7) Finally, sometimes you can find contentment versus passion at work, if you engage in personal passions outside of your work hours. If you love adventure sports, movies or reading – you don’t need to find a job that includes these loves. You can just make sure that you engage in them every chance you get. The more pleasurable your personal life, the less critical you’ll be in general – and that includes with regard to your professional life.

A final note about your future.

If you’re out of work, or simply want change, then don’t worry about finding your passion. Rather, take stock of what you’re good at and move forward with it. Generally speaking, it’s our competencies – and the satisfaction we get from being good at something – that foster a passion.

So start there.

Better yet, start here with a consultation or with one of my LinkedIn, About Me and professional profile writing services. Going through the process of a professional inventory and then seeing a summary of your value can be powerfully confidence building. Even a 15-minute consultation can do a world of good to how you sell your worth to everyone – including yourself.







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