Finding a career that aligns with your passion can be difficult. Often, fears and outside factors can make it hard to commit to moving forward with big picture plans and career goals. Nonetheless, it is possible with self-reflection and self-awareness to develop a plan that truly aligns with your passions and goals. In this interview with certified career counselor Megan R., we will discuss how to make your passion your career.
In this episode, you will learn how to get clarity about your passion. You will also learn the other factors and hindrances that stop you from pursuing it. Knowing these can help you better understand yourself and the path you have to take.
Tune in to the full interview to learn how to make your passion your career path in the happiest and most successful way possible!
In This Episode: How to Make Your Passion Your Career
- Learn how to take inventory of what’s going on in your life
- Learn how to break out of choice paralysis
- Understand how to reflect on your past experiences and make meaning out of them
- Find the importance of work-life balance in choosing your career
- Value yourself and practice self-care
- Discover the power of career counseling and how it can help you
- Find out why you feel burnout
Choice Paralysis and Getting Unstuck
While 2020 and the pandemic resulted in sudden changes in our lifestyles, they also gave us plenty of opportunities. This time at home allowed us to take inventory of what's currently happening in our lives (and what isn't). For some of us, this past year has been a form of an awakening – realizing what we may be missing or seeing potential areas of growth both personally and professionally. When it comes to “getting unstuck” and “getting started,” here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Are you managing your time in the best way possible?
- Are you on the right career path?
- Is your work in line with your passion?
While the answers to these questions can lead to a more precise understanding of where you're currently at and where you would like to be, they can also lead to choice paralysis (and more questions!). Now, we don't want to deter you from exploring these questions and really diving into your answers because this is an important step in the process of discovering your passion. However, it's important to be aware that this feeling of choice paralysis is common! And you're going to get through it!
As Denver Career Counselor, Megan R. puts it, “Sometimes we become so hopeful and so excited about what could happen next, [we] start to grapple with…paralysis analysis. Saying things like, ‘I put all of these options in front of me. And I don't even know if half these options are viable.'“
So, how do you get unstuck when you want to move forward in your quest for find the perfect career path? It helps to understand the problems that hold you back from making a choice.
When you want to get really clear about your next steps and make sure they are in alignment with your overall goal, career counseling can assist you in that step. A career counselor can help you unravel the worries and fears that you may be experiencing and help you find a clearer understanding of what your next move should be. They can also help you set things in motion once you find the right path.
Finding Work/Life Balance On Your Career Path
Some of us may be scared to pursue our passions because of the needed dedication that would take away from non-work related life. The best way to prepare is to have a plan. When it comes to work/life balance, it's important that you understand what changes may need to take place, especially temporary changes. This way you can be prepared for any challenges that may show up when you begin your journey on a new career path. Here are some questions to reflect on:
- Does your career change require additional schooling or higher education of some sort? If so, do you need to keep your job while in school?
- Do you have a spouse and kids? How will you balance your most important relationships?
- Do you have a roommate that is also sharing your workspace at home? How will the effect your experience and how can you set yourself up for success?
To better understand how your work/life balance may be affected by these changes, Megan suggests asking yourself, “What kind of timeline are we working with here?” Knowing the answer to this question will help you understand how to pace yourself through these changes and will help allow you some wiggle room along the way.
Megan refers to this process as “identifying the landmines.” Landmines are the sudden changes that may happen in your life. It can also help you prepare you when suddenly facing these challenges, making it easier to move forward.
Career Pathing: What Is It?
Career pathing is the process of determining the career development course of an employee inside an organization. Initially, the trait-factor approach determines where a person should work. It factors in your traits and the job you are most likely to succeed in based on other's experiences. While this may have helped before, it is essential to acknowledge that human beings and society are getting more complex.
Career counseling is beginning to shift into a life design paradigm. In this design, you take into consideration that your employee is a complex human being. So you must help them understand the answers to these questions:
- What are the roles that I hold?
- What are my long-term goals?
- What are my values?
When the answers to these questions are taken into account, the “employee” who holds a particular role, is now seen as an individual on a particular career path. This way of thinking can help employers better understand their employees career goals and help support them on their career path.
How to Find Your Passion
For some, their passion is clear as day. Others find it hard to understand and define what it is. The most straightforward approach is to start at the beginning and ask yourself these questions:
- What went well in my past jobs and hobbies?
- What didn’t go well?
- What would you like to replicate from previous experiences?
- What would you not like to happen again?
It is easier to work from the past because these are events that already happened. You don’t need to think about creating new answers; you only need to reflect. You need to make meaning of the past first for better self-awareness. Reflecting and brainstorming on the past can also give you a roadmap to follow when choosing your career path.
Burnout: How Does This Happen?
Unfortunately, many people don’t know what career counselors are. Even Megan shares that she didn’t know about them until she is already in the field of counseling. Because we skip this process of taking inventory of ourselves before we even pick our college degrees, we lack self-awareness. And so, along the way, only some of us stay on the path we chose. In contrast, others get bored or experience burnout.
Why does burnout happen? There are typically one of two reasons for burnout:
- We stop finding joy in what we are doing because we stopped reflecting. When you stop reflecting on your experiences, it's easy to lose sight of what you enjoy and what you don't. You can quickly find yourself in a monotonous cycle of going through the motions. By setting time aside to reflect on your day or week, you're allowing room for growth and understanding. You get to learn a little more about yourself, your passions, and even your dislikes.
- Outside factors also influence this lack of motivation. These outside factors could include sudden life changes like marriage, children, or sickness. When important life changes occur, we can revert to working out of necessity and not because we love what we are doing.
By finding meaning in your past experiences you can foster hope and make looking at the future easier.
Changing Your Career Path
Are you ready to make a change to your career path? Congratulations! This is an exciting and hopeful time. To best set yourself up for success when changing your career path here are some important career path tips to take into account.
1. Begin working with an expert career counselor. By connecting with a career counselor early, you can receive expert advice on setting up your career path, your timeline goals, and putting together the steps for achieving these goals.
2. Reflect on your experiences. When you reflect on your experiences you better understand what it is that you enjoy (and what you don't!). Setting aside time daily or weekly to reflect on your experiences will help you make more confident choices moving forward on your career path.
3. Know that it's okay to move slow. Instead of jumping into these drastic changes, know that it's okay to move slow and take small steps as you move forward. You don't have to have it all figured out on day one.
4. Make space for a healthy work/life balance. If quitting your current job means financial instability, then maybe it's better to wait to fully quit your current position until you're more financially stable. Also, keep in mind your most important relationships. How will these changes affect your family, your partner, your friends? Make space in your career path for those you care the most about. Although your time together may change a little in the meantime, it's still important to maintain these relationships throughout these changes.
- Interested in learning more about Megan R and her career counseling services? Read her bio and schedule a free consultation with Megan here: Meet Megan R!
- Growing Self – Learn more about our free online career resources for you!
Megan R., M.A., LPCC, NCC, CCC has shared invaluable information about finding your passion and choosing your right career path. What did you connect and relate to the most? Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment down below.
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How to Make Your Passion Your Career
The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast with Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby