5 Steps to Inserting Passion in Your Work

If you've come across any of the blogs, articles, books, and speeches about finding your passion, you've certainly heard the advice to quit your job and follow your passion

While that's great for some, as so many people really don't like their jobs, I think there are plenty of people out there who would benefit from just finding what they're passionate about, and then seeing if there is something in their job responsibilities that will fill that need.

Additionally, what you may find is that while your passion may not lie with your current position, branching out into another department or moving to another company might be all it takes for you to love what you do. 

In essence you want to find passion in what you are already doing. 

If you like your job, you may learn to love it. If you hate your job, you may learn to be able to tolerate it. This is especially important if you need to stay at your job for other reasons (e.g. health insurance, family obligations, serious financial troubles).

Here are a few steps to make that change: 

  1. Find out what you're passionate about. This is an obvious first step, but many people, myself included, often assume they know it already without actually knowing. In this case, you have to be very specific. As I mentioned before, saying you love to paint is not enough; you have to decide if you like to paint murals or on small canvases. Landscapes or portraits. Or maybe abstract. You get the idea. 
  2. Think of creative ways your passions could be added to your work responsibilities. Think about all of the different ways that your passion could be integrated into your daily work like. Don't limit your thoughts to what you think you would be good at or what you think your manager would go for. Right now you're just looking to brainstorm and come up with all the various possibilities.
  3. Pick your favorite solutions to focus on. Here's where you start to whittle down the list based on a little reality. Let's say your favorite embodiment of your passion is to connect with CEOs at other companies to help build partnerships with the company you work for. If that is a little far-fetched, then you can start thinking of ways to tone it down a little, but still fulfill your need to connect people and ideas. Maybe the CEOs are a little inaccessible, so look a few levels down at some of the Vice Presidents at the companies you're targeting. Or maybe you can look at meeting with people working on other projects at your company that might benefit from the connections you can make.
  4. Get your manager on your side. If you're going to start working on something else, it really helps to get your manager's approval. This might take some convincing, but if you can frame your new responsibility as a benefit, rather than a time sink, that will help the company and especially your team, there's a much better chance that you will gain support. And getting that support will be very important when it comes time to receiving resources to help you. It might be additional training, additional help from other employees, or mentorship from someone who has a bit of experience. Not mention maybe a good word when it comes time to look for the next candidate for a promotion.
  5. Work your plan Now all you have to do is start doing what you love. Do it well. You may need to learn a little more about your passion if you want to succeed in bringing it into your job, but it will be worth it.

These steps are designed to help find passion in your current position, because well not everyone needs to quit their accounting job and become a florist (though kudos if you do, and feel free to share your big jump in the comments).

What are the ways that you find passion in your work? Or have you found ways to add it above and beyond your regular responsibilities? 

- Ryan