Have you asked yourself, "How do I find my passion if I don't like anything?"
People are bombarded with the message to figure out what they are passionate about and then find a job and career that matches it.
From best-selling books to bloggers, to career coaches, to business superstars, we are blasted with messages like “to be happy, you must follow your passion“ or “do what you love and the money will follow“.
For the people without a clear passion (which is MOST people), that’s misleading, soul-crushing, and terrible advice that leads to self-doubt and job-hopping.
The message wrongly makes people feel they NEED to have a passion to have a job and career they’ll enjoy and excel.
It gives a false impression that if you know what your passions are, you can immediately recognize the job and career that ‘you are meant to do’.
Think for a minute about the people with incredible careers who you admire. If you look behind the curtain into their early years in the workforce, you’re likely to see they started their career with a LOT of confusion. They bounced around between jobs. Many of them were fired or unemployed for stretches.
Their career trajectories were MUCH more complicated than ‘follow your passion’.
Sure, you can find examples of people who knew their passion from an early age and had incredibly interesting careers. But that’s not typical.
One problem with the ‘follow your passion’ premise is that it assumes that people have a clear passion – which just isn’t true for many people of any age.
In my work with thousands of professionals who had no idea what the right career was for them...
… I’ve discovered for many people, their passions become clearer over time as they work in the right types of jobs in the right industries that let them identify and develop their unique strengths and areas of interests.
Extensive research shows that the people we think of as ‘superstars’ in business, creative and athletic fields (from Bill Gates, to Mozart, to the Beatles, and to Wayne Gretzky) slowly developed their unique skills and passions as they accumulated about 10,000 hours of experience.
As they developed their skills and passion, the right opportunities ‘appeared’… and the rest is history.
The same academic research couldn’t find ANY examples of superstars from any field that achieved significant ability and accomplishment before investing about 10,000 hours of focused work and effort.
So how do people in their 20s often achieve young stardom (making you and me feel like we’ve ‘behind’ the curve in our careers and success)? They often start on their path of 10,000 hours in their early teens - or sometimes sooner.
That wasn’t my path, and it probably wasn’t your path either.
The good (and accurate) news is that it’s NEVER too late to start on YOUR path to a fulfilling and rewarding career.
In my mid-forties, I discovered career coaching and helping people identify the right job and career for them. By now, I’ve probably logged about 40,000 hours into it. I’m passionate about what I do, and I’m good at it.
I know you can do the same thing. Regardless of your career situation, irrespective of your age, regardless of your past work experience, if you start investing your time now in the right areas in the right way, you too can develop skills, passion, and exciting opportunities that lead to a career that you’ll love and excel in.