How to Find What You Love to Do for Work and Pursue a Career
Updated November 19, 2022
If you're thinking about your preferred career path, then considering your passion and interests is essential. Making a career out of what you enjoy doing can lead to fulfilment and a healthy work-life balance. Recognizing how to find what you love to do can help you understand how to make your passion your work and start a productive career path. In this article, we outline how to discover what you love doing, explore how to begin doing what you're passionate about and provide some tips to help you pursue a fulfilling career.
How to find what you love to do for work
Follow these steps to learn how to find what you love to do and turn it into a career:
1. Identify what you enjoyed during your childhood
True passions often emerge at a young age, making your childhood interests among the career choices that can make you feel fulfilled. If you're starting your search for your passion, you can begin by reflecting on what you loved doing most during your childhood. For example, if you enjoyed writing, you can consider becoming an author or look for careers like freelance writing or editing.
2. Speak to your friends
Your family and friends are usually the people who understand you best and can offer valuable advice to help you recognize your interests. After all, they've witnessed your happiest moments and they can recognize issues you're enthusiastic about in life. You can speak to them and request insight into what they believe can be a fulfilling career choice for you.
3. Identify what you'd prefer to do if money wasn't an issue
The financial aspect is always an important consideration when making career choices, but to identify what you love doing, leave that factor out of your assessment. Ask yourself what you'd prefer doing if money wasn't an issue, and your answer can direct you toward your interests. If you love working with children regardless of the financial remuneration attached, that may be your passion.
4. Identify your professional hero
Identify a person you admire, then evaluate and outline what inspires you and why you want to emulate them. The answer to this question can help you determine the focus of your passion and identify a fulfilling career choice. Where possible, reach out to your professional hero and discuss their growth and development to see if you can explore a similar path. If your hero is unreachable, you can use available resources, such as books and articles, to help you understand how they achieved professional success.
5. Consider your strengths
What you excel at is often something you're enthusiastic about. It's essential to consider what you do well, as it ensures you can be productive in your preferred career path. List every talent you have, regardless of whether you think you can make a career of them. Then evaluate how these talents overlap with what you enjoy doing. You can narrow this list to your top three options and use it as a guide when making career decisions.
How to start doing what you love
You can follow these steps to start a career doing what interests you:
1. Identify what's necessary to start
Once you've identified what you enjoy doing and decided to make a career out of it, highlight the steps necessary to achieve this goal. This can include specific academic qualifications or developing soft skills. You can divide your long-term goal into short-term career goals with actionable milestones that you can easily track. For example, you can set a date to complete your education or get the certification needed to pursue your career choice.
2. Surround yourself with supportive people
While pursuing your preferred career, it's essential that you keep supportive people around you. These individuals can offer positive remarks and support that ensure you remain dedicated to your goal. Supportive people can help you overcome challenges and encourage you to stay motivated when pursuing your career goals. This can be important, especially if you want to make a career change in the later part of your life. You can speak to your family and close friends about your career goal and ask them for support.
3. Find a mentor
Getting a mentor is an important aspect of getting started, as it allows you to gain insight into your career path from an experienced professional. You can identify professionals within your network holding your dream job. You can then inform them of your interest in what they do and how you plan on pursuing the same path. With the right approach, you can convince a professional to guide you in pursuing the same position and succeeding.
Ensure you request clarification on the preferred education and experience required to advance in that industry. You can also ask about the most sought-after skills within the industry. Finally, ensure you demonstrate you've completed preliminary research, so the professional can see you're serious and dedicated to success.
Read more: 11 Questions to Ask a Mentor
4. Speak to a career counsellor
The next step is to speak to a career counsellor about your career interests. Career counsellors represent experienced professionals who can offer specialized information about your preferred career path and provide guidance. They can also provide access to resources and tools that help make your career journey easier. For instance, they can recommend closely related career options to prepare yourself for your career choice.
5. Maximize social media
After deciding on a career path, you can leverage social media to network with other individuals interested in the same area. Suppose you're pursuing a training program. In that case, you can join communities of people studying the same course on social media and get first-hand information about opportunities that you can use to develop your skill set and expand your knowledge.
6. Take classes
Changing your career path for your passion can sometimes require you to take extra courses to improve your qualifications. Even when additional education isn't a requirement, pursuing professional certifications can position you for better opportunities within your industry. It can also present you as a unique candidate during job applications. You can speak to your mentor or career counsellor to identify educational opportunities you can take advantage of within your industry.
7. Pursue your interest
Once you complete the necessary training and meet the educational requirement of the role, you can now pursue your interest. This involves applying for a job in your preferred industry or starting the business venture that excites you the most. A resume and cover letter that aligns with the role are essential for success if you're applying for a job. You can also prepare for an interview by identifying commonly asked questions and rehearsing impressive answers before the meeting.
Tips to help you succeed in doing what you love
Here are some tips to consider when preparing to pursue a career doing something that you love:
Before and when pursuing what you love doing, ensure you save money to cater to your financial needs. Adequate financial security is important, as it can make you more confident in your decision to pursue your interest. It also eases any financial pressure during the waiting period to develop yourself and gain relevant competencies for the new role. Your new role may involve a lower salary, as you're likely starting an entry-level employee. Having adequate funds in your bank account to cover your expenses ensures you feel positive about your decision and can stay motivated.
Especially when changing careers, continuous learning is vital to ensure you have the necessary skills to deliver on the job. Ensure you maximize learning opportunities as they arise. For instance, you can subscribe to newsletters that allow you to learn about industry trends. You can also read job descriptions on job boards, identify the relevant skills and competencies and develop yourself in those areas.
Read more: How to Improve Your Learning Skills
Go to networking events
An effective way to discover career opportunities is by networking with people. One of the best places to achieve this is in networking events. Look for networking events in your industry and attend them. While networking with people already in the position you want is important, ensure you network with your peers. This allows you to build positive relationships, get an independent and objective evaluation and identify other resources that your peers use.
Finding what you enjoy doing takes time, persistence and resilience. For instance, obtaining a new education to meet your interests can take time and effort. Prepare yourself to encounter obstacles and challenges along your path. This ensures you can remain determined when these challenges arise and stay focused on achieving your career goals.
Now that you know how to find what you love to do, the next step is taking action. By following the steps and advice in this article, you can be on your way to finding a fulfilling career doing what you love.
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