Pinpoint Your Professional Passions
Thriving in a Job You’re Truly Excited About

Time and time again my clients tell me they feel uninspired by their careers.  They say they have lost interest in what they do and feel completely unmotivated.  One of the most common refrains I hear from my clients is they want a job they are passionate about.  

Your authentic professional fit is a career that combines your skills, passions, work style and values.  This article is devoted to helping you pinpoint your top professional passions so you can have a job you are truly excited about.  One that allows you to enjoy your workday rather than dreading each moment at the office.  

What do I mean by “professional passions?”  Your passions are the issues and ideas you care most deeply about.  They are the things in life you’re most interested in and energized by. 

For example:

 

  • Do you enjoy conceptualizing and designing new software?
  • Are you passionate about environmental conservation?
  • Do you feel driven to advocate on behalf of children?
  • Are you crazy about the movies and want to write your own screenplay?
  • Are you inspired by food and the culinary arts?

 

 

For me, coaching is definitely my professional passion.  As soon as I began coaching others, I felt like I was doing exactly what I was born to do.  Every day was an effortless flow and I knew I had truly found my ideal career.

Another piece of confirmation came when I attended my first coaching conference.  The conference took place over the course of a three-day weekend.  I was energized by the entire event and never lost focus or interest (rare for me as far as professional conferences went).  By Sunday night I was even more energized than when the conference began.

This was in stark contrast to every other professional symposium I’d attended.  Past conferences, while interesting at times, usually bored me on the whole.  I would lose interest during the never-ending agenda of speakers and presenters. 

Inevitably I would lapse into multi-tasking and working on my “to do” list.  I would arrive home exhausted and then would spend the next day on the couch attempting to recoup my energy.  That first coaching conference, however, was an entirely different experience.

When your job involves something you’re deeply passionate about, it doesn’t feel like work and it makes you feel energized rather than drained.  This is when these wise words from Confucius come to fruition in your life:   “Find work that you love and you’ll never work another day in your life.” 

Instead of feeling like heaving a huge boulder up a mountain, working in your ideal career fit feels like rolling a rock down the mountain with momentum – the joy for what you do and the rewards it brings you – easing you along. 

 

How to Identify Your Professional Passions

At this point you’re probably wondering:  How do I identify my professional passions?  It just so happens, I have developed a few power activities to help you figure that out.

But before we move into the exercises in this career success guide, let’s address some doubts you may be feeling at this point.

 

As stated previously, the professionals I coach want careers they are passionate about.  However, they say they don’t know what they’re passionate about.  Or at least, they think they don’t know.

Experience has shown me that most people do know what they’re passionate about.  The problem is, something prevents them from acknowledging it.  What could possibly be getting in the way, you ask?  You guessed it!  The evil twins named:  “Yeah, but” and “What if.” 

 

When people think about careers they would love to pursue, these evil twins come to town.  And they bring negative thoughts with them such as: 

 

  • Yeah, but … I can’t make enough money doing that.
  • Yeah, but … I won’t be respected if I work in a career like that.
  • What if … my friends think I’m crazy?
  • What if … my parents don’t approve?

 

 

Whenever you face something new, you will inevitably have questions, concerns and fears.  This is completely natural.  Some of your concerns will have merit.  However, many will be baseless and serve only to steer you away from achieving your dreams. 

 

To be sure, each valid concern needs to be addressed.  However, don’t let your fears stymie the entire process before you even begin.  Your negative self-talk loves the status quo and will use your fears to prevent you from moving forward with your most precious goals. 

 

I realize this journey can feel completely overwhelming.  You may doubt it’s even possible to find the right career for you.  Feelings of doubt are normal, however I’d like to make a special request:  Please have faith in the process. 

 

Indeed, you’ll have many valid questions that need to be answered.  For example, the salary issue prevents many people from even entertaining the idea of their dream career.  They automatically assume they cannot make enough money doing what they love. 

 

However, the fact is there are lots of ways to have a career that fits all your most important criteria.  I would like to request for the time being you table any salary worries you may have.  Let the process flow and see where it takes you. 

I address salary in this Career Success Guide …

Let’s move on to the first power activity in this career success guide.

 

 

 

Power Activity:  Career Interests Brainstorm  

 

Approximate completion time:            20 minutes 

                                                 

Exercise Overview: A series of thought-provoking questions  

 

 

Step One

 

This exercise will get your creative juices flowing!  It is designed to help you identify the professional issues you’re most interested in and energized by.  Simply take some time to thoughtfully answer the following questions.  As usual, there are no right or wrong responses.  Just be honest with yourself.

 

Thought-Provoking Questions

 

What are my top three favorite ways to spend my free time?

 

            1.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            2.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            3.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

 

What would I like to do more of in my free time?

 

            1.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            2.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            3.)  ________________________________________________________

How did I like to spend my time as a child?

 

            1.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            2.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            3.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

 

How did I like to spend my time as a teenager?

 

            1.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            2.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            3.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

 

What subjects did I enjoy the most in school? (All stages of education – primary, secondary, university, etc.)

 

  • Grammar School _________________________________________

 

 

  • Junior High _____________________________________________

 

 

  • High School ____________________________________________

 

 

  • College ________________________________________________

 

 

  • Graduate School _________________________________________

 

 

 

What types of books do I like to read?

 

            1.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            2.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            3.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

 

What types of movies do I like?

 

            1.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            2.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            3.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

 

What are the types of people I feel most comfortable around?

 

            1.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            2.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            3.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

 

What makes me mad?

            1.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            2.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            3.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

 

When I was young, what did I want to be “when I grew up?”

 

            1.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            2.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            3.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Imagine I suddenly have a free day off.  What would I do on my free day?  (Money is no object and house chores, errands and work are not options.)

 

            1.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            2.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            3.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

What would I do on a free three-day weekend?  (The same rules from the above question apply.)

 

            1.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            2.)  ________________________________________________________

 

 

            3.)  ________________________________________________________

 

Now let’s move on to the next power activity to help you clarify your professional passions.  

 

Power Activity:  Magazine Cover

 

Approximate completion time:            30 minutes 

                                                 

 

Exercise Overview: Creative visualization of yourself on the cover of your favorite magazine   

 

 

A key step in successfully reaching a goal is visualizing yourself achieving it.  Creating a vivid mental picture of success allows you to experience the positive feelings – pride, happiness, satisfaction, etc. – that go along with that accomplishment. 

 

The more you “see” your success in your mind’s eye, the more likely you will be to make it a reality.  The deep emotional connection you make with the outcome solidifies your intention and thus your actions.  This exercise will help you make that emotional connection.

 

 

Step One

Think about your favorite publication.  The one that inspires you the most and sparks creative ideas you can’t wait to put into action.  (If you don’t have a favorite magazine, go to the book store and browse the periodicals section and select one that grabs your attention.)

Now, put yourself on the cover of your favorite magazine!  That’s right; your smiling face will be smack dab on the cover.  This month, the featured topic is you

 

Let your creativity flow.  Do not put any restrictions on this imaginative exercise.  For example, say O Magazine is your favorite publication.  It’s true that Oprah is the only person ever featured on the cover.  However, for the purposes of this exercise, you are on the cover this month.  Or, if your favorite magazine is PC World, which typically doesn’t put people on the cover, that’s okay.  Let your imagination take over and forget the rules.

 

 

Clients of mine have chosen magazines such as:

 

  • Time Magazine
  • Business Week
  • The American Lawyer
  • Architectural Digest
  • Gourmet Magazine
  • Rolling Stone
  • S. News and World Report

 

 

Step Two

 

Envision you are being interviewed by the magazine’s top features reporter.  The topic is: “The greatest achievement of your career.”  This is the achievement you feel completely excited about.  It gives you goose bumps just to think about it.  The goose bump factor is very important here because that’s when you know you’re on to something big.

 

Visualize yourself throughout the interview.  What questions are asked?  How do you respond?  Remember, the title of the article is “The greatest achievement of your career.”  Respond as though you’ve already achieved this big goal.  Most of all have fun with it!

 

Here are some interview questions to get you started.  Add additional questions as you wish. 

 

  • Tell me about the greatest achievement of your career so far.
  • How does it feel to have achieved this accomplishment?
  • Once you determined your goal, how did you create your success plan?
  • What obstacles did you face along the way?
  • How did you overcome these challenges?
  • What advice would you give to other professionals who want to pursue a similar career path?
  • What’s next for you?

 

 

 

 

 

Use the template below to record your answers. 

You can complete this exercise entirely on your own.  However, if you do your best brainstorming while engaging in conversation with others, ask a friend to play the role of the journalist.  You are also welcome to schedule a one-on-one coaching session with me and I will conduct your interview.  Either way, make sure you complete this exercise.  It’s a lot fun and I guarantee you’ll find it eye opening.

 

Click here to schedule a private coaching session.

 

 

 

 

Your Magazine Cover Interview Template

 

 

Interview Questions

 

 

Tell us about the greatest achievement of your career.

 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

How does it feel to have achieved this accomplishment?

 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Once you determined your goal, how did you create your success plan?

 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

What obstacles did you face along the way?

 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

How did you overcome these challenges?

 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

What advice would you give to other women who want to pursue a similar career path?

 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

What’s next for you?

 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Insert any additional questions you’d like to add to this exercise here:

 

 

            Question 1.)  _____________________________________________________

 

 

 

            Question 2.)  _____________________________________________________

 

 

 

            Question 3.)  _____________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post-Magazine Interview Debrief

 

 

 

Now it’s time for a little editorial review.  After you’ve completed the role play, reflect on your experience.  Ask yourself:

 

  • What did I discover about myself?
  • What success strategies were revealed?
  • What tactics for overcoming obstacles were uncovered?
  • What surprised me?
  • What additional observations did I have?

 

Use the following template to record your answers.  By fully participating in this fun exercise, you’ll tap into your professional passions, and be well on your way to working in your ideal career fit.

 

 

 

Your Post-Magazine Interview Debrief Template

 

 

Post-Interview Questions

 

 

What did I discover about myself?

 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

What success strategies were revealed?

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

What tactics for overcoming obstacles were uncovered?

 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

What surprised me?

 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

What additional observations did I have?

 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

How to Analyze Your Results

 

 

To effectively analyze your results and put them to work for you, ask yourself the following questions:

 

What themes emerged?

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

What professional passions were revealed?

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

What professional interests I already knew I had were reinforced?

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

Did I identify career aspects I’m definitely not interested in?

 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

Your Top Professional Passions

 

 

Review your answers from the power activities in this guide.  Upon completing your review, list your top professional passions. 

 

 

 

Passion # One  _____________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

Passion # Two  _____________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

Passion # Three  _____________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

Excellent work! 

If you feel you’d like assistance with pinpointing your professional passions, I invite you to schedule a one-on-one coaching session with me. 

Click here to schedule your personal coaching session.

Now, let’s move on to your Career Success Guide to Identifying Your Career Must-Haves

© SkylarSaint.com

 

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