“Wow! What a powerful statement,” I told myself. I was so focused on this statement and went off to reflection land while the meeting facilitator’s voice began to fade out and all I can hear were my inner thoughts, my self-talk. The conversation I had with myself while everyone looked like they were “engaged,” went something like this:
“This must be the feeling people get when doing something they love. Is this what Mother Teresa felt as she lived her life as a humanitarian? Do I really feel this way about my work? What are the things I do in my life that have caused me to feel every word of this quote? Do I need to re-evaluate my profession?”The questions went on and on in my mind. The question that has been nagging at me for the last week and half is, “Is it time to find my passion and make a career out of it?”
Finding Your Passion
- Who Am I? Before you can truly find your career calling/passion, you need to “know thyself.” What are your skills? What do you like to do and why? What are your values, passions? What motivates you? What are your strengths? What subjects did you like in school and why? If you’re already working or can draw from recent work experiences, what do you like/don’t like about your job and why? Write these thoughts down. You may learn a few things about yourself.
- Consider your options. After doing some self-discovery, make a list of career options based on your new level of self-awareness. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have experience or a degree in the field. Look at your transferrable skills and consider how they can be applied to a different field. This is a brainstorming exercise so feel free to list all the possibilities and throw that inner critic out the window.
- Research. Build a network of people in the field that you’re interested in exploring. LinkedIn is a great professional networking site. Conduct informational interviews with people in the fields that may be a career option for you. Search the web for information. Check out the career sites (Monster, CareerBuilder, etc) to see what kind of job postings are out there. Read the postings. Do the job descriptions interest you? Why? Why not?
- Try it out. Look for volunteer opportunities, look for an internship, or join a professional organization. If you’re already working, look at job opportunities within your organization and consider a transfer.
- Keep an open mind and a positive attitude. If you keep an open mind and a positive attitude, your opportunities are limitless. Test your boundaries. Tread in areas that will require you to come out of your shell. Have patience as this journey may take some time to truly determine your passion and make it part of your life every day.
Since attending this meeting, I have been going through my own self-exploration process. I realized that after investing 15 years into my HR career combined with an undergraduate and master’s degree in HR, it may be time to consider doing something else in my life (hey, I’m not ruling out being stay at home wife/mom). I have met with career coaches who are part of my professional network. I have been building a network with people in fields that I am exploring. The same conversations I have stimulated with employees around their own career desires, I now need to have these conversations with myself.
Reflective questions of the day:
Consider your job (stay at home moms are full-time jobs too). Are you passionate about it? Do you ever question your career choice or what you are doing today? Do you feel like there’s something else that you would enjoy doing? If you could do it all over again, would you pursue something else? What would it be and why?PS – When considering these reflective thoughts, get rid of that inner critic – stay open to possibilities. You never know what you may stumble upon.