How to Find Your Passion in 13 Steps (and Why It Matters)
One common piece of advice you may hear when looking for jobs is to “follow your passion.” To do that, it’s important to define what you’re passionate about. Evaluating the work, ideas, and projects that make you feel fulfilled and motivated can help lead you to jobs you can be successful in and enjoy. In this article, we discuss why finding your passion matters and how to find your passion in 13 steps.
Finding your passion is valuable because it can lead to a more enjoyable and fulfilling career. Whether you’re just thinking about your career or looking to change fields, it’s never too late or too early to discover your passions.
Identifying things in your life that make you feel satisfied, excited, motivated, or fulfilled is key to finding your passion. Translating that passion into a career happens by searching for opportunities and finding roles that appeal to your interests. Some people choose to pursue their passions during their free time outside of work, while others prefer to dedicate their day-to-day work life to their passions. The choice you make may depend on many factors, including:
How to find your passion
1. Look for highlights in your day
There might be a certain day of the week or time of the day you look forward to more than others. For example, it may be a specific meeting, task, or time you’ve set aside. You might also notice certain surprises or unexpected times that end up being the best part of your day. Pay attention to both seemingly significant and insignificant things that you consider as the peak of your day.
While many of these high points may happen during work, you may notice them occurring in the time you have for yourself, friends, or family. Noting where and with whom your best moments take place may bring you one step closer to knowing whether your passions relate to your career or other parts of your life.
2. Pay attention to what you spend your time and money on
People often focus their resources on things that are meaningful to them, including time and money. Look at your credit card bill or bank statements and see if there are any themes. Evaluate the topics of books, magazines, films, or podcasts you consume. Notice how you’re spending your free time and what activities bring you joy. In addition, recognize if there’s a particular genre, subject, or theme that your hobbies and interests have in common. The interests that have remained with you through the years may relate more to a passion rather than a newly emerged interest.
3. Think about topics you like to discuss with or teach others
Consider your interactions with others. Think about the types of conversations you enjoy or engage with the most. It might also be helpful to consider if there are any tasks or topics you often teach others about. These are often the things you find most important to you.
4. Examine the details
As you explore the things that naturally draw your attention in day-to-day life, consider what exactly about those things you’re passionate about. For example, you might find that the highlight of your day is volunteering as a teacher for adult night classes. Ask yourself, “What about doing this activity makes me happy?” Some of your answers might include:
Deeply exploring these factors may help you identify exactly what motivates you. When you understand what inspires you, you may find more specific job opportunities that involve your interests.
5. Think about your strengths
Consider your best abilities and personality traits. Identifying both your soft and hard skills can help determine things you’re not only good at, but things you may also find interesting. You may also have a natural skill that makes you feel confident and motivated when completing certain tasks.
6. Talk to others
Talk to other people about how they found their passion. If you know friends, family members, coworkers, or others in your network who’ve found their passion, ask them about what strategies or steps led them to find it. If you know this person well, you can also ask them what they perceive as your strengths, interests, or best qualities.
7. Explore career options
Explore various career options. Read through job descriptions or articles about how to pursue various careers. If you find a task or role that sounds interesting, research that position and related jobs further. With so many types of job positions available, it’s possible that you haven’t discovered the right one for you. Reviewing job descriptions might help you find roles best suited to your interests and skills. Reading about a certain task or responsibility that sounds interesting may also help you research related roles that might be an even better fit.
Consider talking to your current supervisor or manager about career options, too. If you enjoy some aspects of your current role or company but want to discover a better fit, your manager may help you learn about other career opportunities within your company. Your manager may also give you additional responsibilities that align more with your interests or strengths.
8. Examine your perspective
Consider your perspective toward finding your passion. Make sure that you have realistic expectations about what it means to find a fulfilling career. Additionally, be open and accepting of the idea that it’s possible to find your passion, even if it takes longer than expected.
9. Reflect on your childhood
Think about what activities or interests you enjoyed as a child. While you might have different interests or activities now, rediscovering the things that made you enthusiastic as a child can help you find joy in your new career. For example, if you enjoyed playing with model trains during your childhood, you might look into careers that involve the railroad, construction, or engineering.
10. Ask yourself hypotheticals
Ask yourself different hypothetical questions or scenarios. These can help you determine your most important values or interests. Consider asking yourself hypothetical questions such as: