It seems like everyone wants to know how to turn their passion into a career, but very few people know how to do it. A quick Google search returns 119,000,000 results. Clearly, it’s a popular topic.
Why do we get so lost connecting the dots between “passion” and “employment”?
Stress. This is usually the biggest culprit. Stress about making a change, stress from the work involved, and stress about the unknown. Stress kills creativity. And when you’re less able to be creative, your problem-solving skills are hampered.
Stress impacts our thought process by narrowing our point of view. When we’re experiencing fight or flight mode, we’re physically incapable of exploring the myriad of options available to us. Under stress, we respond by instinct. Our body defaults to protection mode and will employ the safest response necessary. Our mind becomes blocked to all but a few, very limited responses.
This may seem extreme in terms of your career, but your career affects many aspects of your life – time, finances, family, and health. If any or all of these areas are threatened, we feel stress.
In a 2009 study on stress and creativity, researchers discovered that chronically stressed rats fell back into familiar routines and rote responses instead of using curious learning behaviour. Of course, this is the opposite of creativity.
With big life decisions – like a career change – we can also fall victim to the stress of perfection. A strong desire to make the right choice or perfect choice, can keep us from doing precisely that. The harder we work to make something perfect, the more likely we are to over think and deviate away from the options with the greatest potential.
There’s no quick fix for transforming your passion into a career and,sometimes, the best option is not the most obvious one. As a career coach and resume writer, I’ve spoken to many people who have found their way into an ideal career through highly unconventional paths. They often describe “falling into” their career, or their career “finding them”.
It’s not that they simply got lucky; it’s that they remained open to possibility.
My own personal career as a resume writer seemed to come about by accident. While it’s a career path that brings me immense joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment, it’s not a career that I had ever considered. Becoming a resume and career coach had never crossed my mind, simply because I didn’t know much about it. When I was searching for a career that would use my writing, research, interviewing, and story-telling skills to have a profound impact on people, I didn’t know that resume writing was an ideal fit for my personal passion and natural talents.
But, by remaining open to opportunities and not forcing my career to take a specific path, resume writing came to me through networking and I decided to try it. More than 5 years later, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made with my life.
Forcing yourself along a specific path can kill potential. Often, the best career options are possibilities you’ve never considered or jobs you didn’t know existed. Just because you like numbers doesn’t mean your only career options are in accounting or finance. Or, if you enjoy helping people improve their health, it doesn’t mean you necessarily need a career in medicine. If you feel that helping children is your calling, it doesn’t mean you’re destined to be a teacher or daycare worker. There are millions of opportunities to awaken and fuel a passion, and countless careers paths.
Traditional careers and professions (doctor, lawyer, teacher, accountant, etc.) are more top of mind, but they are just a small fraction of the options available to you. That’s why creativity and an openness to explore are incredibly important in your journey.
To foster your creativity and further develop your ability to truly listen to yourself, start by changing your current state to one of heart coherence. At Careers by Design, we have helped thousands of clients practice this simple technique and have seen startling results. If it's worked for so many, why not give it a try? Follow the simple steps below.
Quick Coherence Technique
There’s a HeartMath technique that can be incredibly powerful for shifting your emotional state and opening up the pathways of communication between your heart and brain, effectively removing yourself from a stressed state to an open and creative state. This technique can help you to achieve clarity and “heart coherence” for optimal decision making.
- 1Heart focus: Shift your attention to the area of your heart and breathe slowly and deeply.
- 2Heart breathing: Keep your focus in the heart by gently breathing – 5 seconds in and five seconds out – through the area of your heart – and do this two or three times.
- 3Heart feeling: Activate and sustain a genuine feeling of appreciation or care for someone or something in your life. Focus on the positive heart feeling as you continue breathing through the area of your heart.
Practicing this routinely will help you remain in a state of openness and exploration. You’ll be able to see possibilities and opportunities,that were completely invisible to you before. Of course, this doesn’t mean that your dream career will magically fall from the sky – it will still require some research, networking, and inner work – but new possibilities will start to appear. And then, you too, may feel like your perfect career has “found you”.
The coaches at Careers By Design are experts at guiding clients through this exploration process and uncovering opportunities that you may never have considered. Connect with Nisha, our Client Happiness Manager, to book a free chat to see how we can help you achieve your dreams.
In the comments, let me know how you’re making out with your search for more Happy Mondays! I’m here to help!
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