Finding your career passion isn’t easy. You don’t even know where you see yourself in 5 years – how are you supposed to know what you want to do for the rest of your life?
You’re definitely not the only one asking this question. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, 70% of Americans aren’t particularly jazzed about their jobs. That doesn’t mean that you have to settle: You can find your passion – you’ll just have to be open to the hints (and your own behaviors!) that will guide you toward the type of work that will make you want to devote 40+ hours of your week to your job. Here are our 3 steps for finding the answer to one of life’s most difficult questions.
1. Stop saying, “I don’t think I would like doing that.”
To a certain extent, you know yourself well enough to identify your preferences. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean you should rule out new opportunities you’ve never tried before. College is your chance to try out as many things as possible, so join an organization, or choose a class that’s the complete opposite of your major. You may discover a new passion just by opening yourself up to new interests.
2. Often times, the things you’re good at are the things that will make you happy.
What are your favorite classes? What types of projects excite you? When you feel like you’re directly contributing to something (and doing a great job at it), it’s extremely fulfilling. Ask your friends, professors and families about your strengths so you have a better idea of the areas where you’re absolutely killing it.
3. What are you doing in your spare time?
There is such a thing as productive procrastination – and that’s certainly something that can help lead you to your passion. What are you doing outside of the classroom – maybe even during class? Which of your extracurriculars would you never give up – no matter how much the time commitment grows? Think about the things you love to do in your spare time, and see if they’re related to a career. At the very least, see if there are certain aspects of your interests–like team-building or creativity–that are applicable to the jobs you’re applying for.
Moral to the story? You’re going to be just fine. Finding your career passion takes a lot of effort (and trial and error!), but no job is a waste of time. You’ll either be happy with what you’re doing, or you’ll come away with a valuable learning experience that will guide your career decisions in the future.