Career advice lately seems to be much like diet trends – what’s in and works today, is out and obsolete tomorrow.
The most common trend on career advice echoed by many over the past couple of years is that following your passion is a mistake.
Successful celebrities and public figures are often the driving force behind career advice and diet trends, but this doesn’t mean they’re always right.
Passion is defined as a strong liking, desire for, or devotion to some activity, object, or concept. My personal definition of passion is engagement without regard to time. If you’re passionate and fully engaged in something then you’re not watching the clock and counting down to quitting time.
Oprah Winfrey once said “If you can find what is your passion if you can find what you love, you never get tired. And if you do feel tired, you’re still fueled by the energy of your work.”
One of my favorite television programs is Shark Tank. For those of you who have never watched Shark Tank, the show has a panel of several extremely wealthy and successful entrepreneurs, known as “sharks.”
The sharks are pitched ideas by up and coming small business owners, who are seeking a financial investment in exchange for an equity stake in their company.
Mark Cuban is one of the sharks. Unless you’ve lived under a rock for many years, you know that Mark Cuban is an extremely successful businessman, who owns the Dallas Mavericks, and is worth over $4 billion dollars.
Mr. Cuban, who is extremely brilliant and outspoken, said back in 2018, “One of the great lies of life is to follow your passions.” Later in the same interview, Mr. Cuban says, “When I got one of my first jobs out of school using technology, it was like, wait, I love this.
I’ve taught myself the program, I could go seven hours, eight hours without taking a break thinking it was 10 minutes because I was concentrating so hard and so excited and really loved it. And that’s when I realized that I can be really, really good at technology”
Is it just me, or does it sound like he may have been passionate about technology?
Even one of the other sharks who sit beside Mr. Cuban most often on the Shark Tank, Daymond John, has gone on record numerous times talking about how important passion is regarding your career.
Mr. John says that you need to “Pick a career you’re passionate about and the rest will fall into place.”
Whenever I see businesswomen and men, entertainers, or athletes who are extremely successful, they’re often described as being passionate about what they do.
Jerry Jones owns the Dallas Cowboys and has a net worth of over $8 billion dollars.
Anyone who knows Jerry Jones will tell you that his two greatest passions in life are his family and the Dallas Cowboys, and he seems to have done pretty well for himself in both of these areas.
Best-selling author and world-renowned leadership expert John Maxwell says there’s a huge difference between a career and a calling.
He calls this difference between the two “a passion shift.” Maxwell goes on to say that, “A calling is about a purpose, and is deeper than a career. It’s what you’re passionate about.”
Albert Einstein once said, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
I’m sorry, but if someone tells me that Prince (God rest his soul) wasn’t passionate about music, Tom Brady isn’t passionate about football, or Stephen King isn't passionate about writing, I’m not buying it.
The fact is that truly successful people are very passionate about what they do.
Career advice to follow your passion is NOT bad advice, it’s just incomplete. Here are six other factors to consider when making your career decisions:
1) Figure out exactly what you want to do as soon as possible. I remember watching an interview on a late-night talk show many years ago where a very wealthy oil tycoon was asked what he most attributes his business success to, and his answer was, “Find out exactly what it is you want to do in life as early as possible, then spend every day after that working on it.”
Simple, but profound advice. Bill Gates knew exactly what he wanted to do as a teenager and founded Microsoft when he was only twenty years old.
2) Insist to persist. Having a relentless work ethic is a must in order to be successful in your career. I've rarely met anyone in my life who was highly successful at their job who didn't also work extremely hard at it.
3) What are your TSA’s (talents, strengths, and abilities)? All of us are gifted and have been blessed with the ability to do something at a high level. Some of your talents may be obvious from a very young age, while others may not be known or experienced until later on in your life.
Keep in mind that just because you’re good at something that doesn’t mean you’ll also enjoy it.
4) Similar to passion, what do you enjoy doing? What hobbies or interests do you have that could turn into a paying job?
Life is to short to spend in a job you don't enjoy. I know many people who have started out doing something on the side for fun, then moved into doing it for pay on a part-time basis, and then it eventually evolved into a full-time career.
My wife is a great example. A former professional figure competitor, she took her passion and enthusiasm for health and combined it with her skills as a board-certified behavior analyst to help people lose weight.
She started out helping a couple of people pro bono, then added a few paying clients on a part-time basis, and today KK Wellness Consulting has an entire team of wellness coach clinicians that have helped thousands of people lose weight throughout the country.
5) To delve further into point # 4, does your passion and career endeavor help solve someone else’s problem? If enough people have the same problem, then you’re more likely to be able to earn a decent living. This holds true if you work in the public sector, a privately owned company, or for yourself.
People need help solving problems on how to look and feel better, get their cars and computers repaired, do their taxes, tutor their kids, fix their air conditioning, clean their homes, walk their dogs, and on and on.
If you have a skill or provide a service that solves a problem for other people or businesses, and gives them the results they want, then you have something that can translate into a viable business.
6) What do you need and value most in a job? Job satisfaction and being appreciated for your work are at the top of the list for most employees, even before income. The company culture, work setting, benefits, and commute time to and from work are also important when choosing where to work.
The bottom line is that you can be successful, but still not be fulfilled in your job. Find a job that gives you both “fuls” and you’ll be full of content, happiness, success, and peace in your career.
Rob Killen is a Holistic Wellness Coach and founder of PeaceBenefits.
Mindset Training Palm Beach County | Rob Killen | Peace Benefits | Life Coaching Palm Beach County serving clients throughout Florida and the U.S to include Palm Beach County, Boca Raton, Boyton Beach, Coral Springs, Davie, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Kendall, Lake Worth, Loxahatchee, North Palm Beach, Parkland, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, West Palm Beach, Weston
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