Finding your Passion

Karen Mosier, Research Coordinator and Navigator, University of Saskatchewan

   

Have you ever thought what interests you and puts a smile on your face? While passion is an important factor to consider when choosing a job, it is not the only factor to consider. On the flip side, doing a hobby day in and day out can take the fun out of it. One also had to consider the importance of maintaining a good work-life balance. Drawing a line between what you love and what you do in your profession allows you to build and connect with communities who share your interests. Many people spend their whole life looking for their perfect dream job but have never found it. This has led many to reframe how they think about their work. Instead of trying to find that perfect job that will make you happy, why not rather think about how your career can be a conduit to follow your passion. Consider also looking for a job with flexible work arrangements so that you can structure your job around your hobbies, art, or activities that you love.

Here are some undeniable benefits to feeding your passion:

  1. It Makes You Better At Your Job: One of the best ways to be good at your job is to make sure that your job isn’t your entire life. Having a passion outside of work has been show to increase job performance.

e.g., I love writing. I decided to write a self-help book. It took a lot of work but my book was well received among my peers. I was surprised that writing a book led to the development of many other skills that can help me in my current job or in any future positions, like designing a website, writing an ad, and speaking at public events. I loved the writing process so much that I decided to start writing fiction books for children. My first fiction book was just published and I am already writing my second book. I love writing because it takes my mind off the stress at work and it makes me feel so alive when I tap into my creative abilities.      

  1. Joy Leads To An Overall Productivity Boast: Passion is all about finding something to do that makes you happy. Happiness and joy have a huge impact on our well-being and can also help us to be more productive at work. Find your passion and use it as a secret weapon to increase your productivity in the workplace.  

  1. g., Bill loves model airplanes. He uses every spare minute that he isn’t working either building model airplanes or researching facts about model airplanes so that he can recreate them in painstaking detail. He really likes his job. It pays for his expensive hobby and his five weeks holidays a year allow him to take frequent trips to hobby shows around the country. His work stress just disappears when he is engaged in his own little world building his planes. At the same time, when he returns to work every Monday morning, he feels rested and ready to face the challenges of each day. He attributes his productivity to having a pleasurable hobby outside of work.       

  1. A Greater Sense of Freedom and Autonomy: The day-to-day of doing the same job over and over can have detrimental effects. Having a sense of autonomy is key to one’s sense of happiness. Living life on your own terms and having a sense of control over our daily activities is important for our sense of well-being.   

e.g., Mary decided to work half-time and she also sells cosmetics on the side. She does her work in the morning and then she has the afternoon to work on her paintings and make crafts. Establishing a business to sell her artwork and crafts was necessary to make money to supplement her income. She also did up her own website to sell her art and crafts. Mary also spends a fair amount of time on social media. She advertises her art on Pinterest and she also sells some of her items on Etsy and frequently buys a booth at local craft fairs to sell her wares. She also does a blog (with the occasional video) to teach others and get them interested in doing their own art or craft projects. So far, she has developed a modest following on social media. Mary is glad for the freedom that working part-time gives her to pursue her passion and she feels more in charge of her life.

Change your thinking and look at your job as the catalyst to give you the resources (e.g., time, money, energy) to pursue your passion. Don’t feel guilty when you allocate time for your hobby rather than getting ready for work the next day. And remember, whether it is knitting, sewing, cooking, rebuilding cars, painting, running, or anything else, there are many undeniable benefits to tap into your creative abilities.   

References

  1. Lauren C. Howe, Jon M. Jachimowicz, Jochen I. Menges (June 4, 2021) Harvard Business Review. Your Job Doesn’t Have to Be Your Passion. https://hbr.org/2021/06/your-job-doesnt-have-to-be-your-passion
  2. Stephanie Burns. Forbes. The Importance of Cultivating a Passion Outside of Work. https://www.forbes.com/sites/stephanieburns/2020/03/07/the-importance-of-cultivating-a-passion-outside-of-work/?sh=606877ba339e