Yes, you do. (A tale of the office girl who has had enough)
The past few years I have been looking for a career change. Something that could support my family, but keep me sane. I’m lucky to work for a great company with great benefits, but after working in a call center for close to 5 years, I felt like I had entered a certain level of hell. If you’ve ever worked at a call center, I’m sure you can relate.
I want a career that was more than a paycheck. I wanted to be proud when I talked about my company and my job. I wanted fulfillment, I wanted happiness, I wanted a challenge. Let me tell you, I spent plenty of time looking for answers. I was low, and I mean real low. I would cry, silent tears from the time I woke up all through my 40 minute commute and in the elevator to my cube. I would fantasize about getting into a car accident so I could avoid work. These are not healthy thoughts, which I recognized after a few weeks, and sprang to career boards to find out about career transition.
One trendy topic that kept coming up on career sites was the topic of passion. Articles would advertise that if you took a quiz, you would find your passion! Go to a career seminar, only for $50, and see what you are passionate about! Talk to a career counselor to find your passion! All this talk of passion had me wondering if I was even passionate about anything at all.
After listening to a few TED talks about careers and reading the anecdotal stories of others who found a satisfying career I came to realize a common thread. People who valued their job, who brought home a paycheck and felt great about it they were living their passion.
The thing is, you don’t even have to search for passion. You already know what you are passionate about. Think about it.
What experiences I read had in common is they would go back to their childhood, and dig into their more innate and pure character. Some people saw a theme of teaching, they loved to teach other kids, and were only happy with their adult career when they could pursue teaching. Some found a theme of healing, playing doctor to stuffed animals, reading anatomy books in elementary school, and nursing ill family members with ginger ale and crackers. Story after story, I found so many people look into their pasts, and remember “oh yeah, I used to teach/nurse/explore all the time!”
For me, it’s teaching. I would always foster new kids in class (from pre-kindergarten to college) and get them caught up on academics. I would befriend them until they realized I was not a cool kid. I loved learning, even now, and sharing the new knowledge with others and seeing the inspiration it creates is so satisfying to me. I’m now 26 and starting to work on getting into teaching (although I may do it for adult learners with my experience in insurance).
If you are ever stuck with the thought that you have no passion, no desire, nothing that drives you, I suggest taking time to reflect on your childhood. It may not be there for everyone. However, own yourself. Take control of your story, and learn from your past to guide your future.
You got this fellow passion finder, you got this.