It’s often said “do what you love and it will never feel like you are working again”, maybe it won’t but for a lot of people this can just seem unrealistic.  In my personal experience, this statement is banded around too much and for some, it can actually keep them trapped in a draining job as they don’t believe a career change is possible for them. Finding your passion is only one option and doesn't work for everyone, understanding the bigger picture is an approach that can work for all.

“Do what you love” or “find your passion” are strong statements; they can be scary, firstly they assume that you actually possess such depth of feelings towards something and secondly if you don’t have a passion, a love, what’s wrong with you!  Maybe you start to feel the pressure to find one and what if you don’t choose the right thing!  If this is ringing bells, let me reassure you that you aren’t heartless; there isn’t anything wrong with you.  In this situation, it is about letting go of this idealistic concept and adopting a more realistic approach.

Perhaps you do feel passionate about an interest, however, you can’t imagine taking this interest and making it your career and maybe you don’t actually want to.  This is your thing and you want to keep it to yourself, this is how you relax and escape the mayhem of life.  What would you do in your downtime if this became your day job? 

Or maybe you would love nothing more than to take your interest and make a career from it and then boom, reality hits you.  How can you make enough money to feed the kids, run a car and pay the bills let alone, go on holiday and contribute to a pension?

And this is exactly why doing what you love doesn’t work for everyone (and why I personally steer away from this philosophy in my work with clients) – and that’s ok!

However, it doesn’t mean a career change is out of the question for you. 

Let’s remember why you want to make a change; you are looking to move towards a more positive state, there are improvements you want to make to your life (and often those around you).

This approach is about looking at the bigger picture and instead, thinking about building your ideal life and the role your career plays in this.  For some, their career will be forefront and for others, their career is a catalyst to achieving the life they want.  Furthermore, this can change as our lives evolve, it may be that your career is central to your life and then as responsibilities change such as kids leaving home it may be that other aspects of your life take centre stage.

The key is about getting clear on what you want from life.  What are the things that you value and make you happy?  And as we think about what is important, being mindful of working with our own list, being honest with ourselves and letting go of things we feel ‘should’ be on our list. 

As you think about building your ideal life, consider:

  • Who do you want to be as a person, and how do you want to show up to the world?
  • What is it that you would like to be able to do with your life?
  • What is important for you to have in your life, tangible and intangible?

As we get clear on the direction we want to travel with our lives we can then start to think about what this means for our careers.  As we explore different options we can assess if saying yes to an opportunity will take us closer to our ideal life and if the answer is negative it’s about holding the mirror up and asking the challenging question – “what is making me say yes?”  The chances are it is some fear that you need to work through – but then that is a subject for a blog another day!

If you know in your heart a career change is your next step, yet you are struggling to take action and know where to start then check out these resources and why you are there book yourself in for a free call and I can share more about how I work with clients.

Finally, you may find these blogs are a good starting point for inspiration.