Reigniting the Passion in your Career

Passion. I love this word, especially around valentine’s day. It seems that this time of year our passion for everything is intensified. Passion for our partner, passion for sports (how about those Olympics?), passion for our hobbies, even passion for life. Before we go any farther, I want to define passion for you, Webster defines it as “a strong and barely controllable emotion.” We seem to have a ‘barely controllable emotion’ when it comes to the important things in our life, but do we have these feelings towards our careers? Why is it that we can be so passionate about football, something that we are able to enjoy for maybe 5 months out of the year, but it’s difficult to have those emotions for something we do year round? We’re going to dig into the why and how we can make this happen.

Why is this so difficult? There seems to be this overall negativity that surrounds the word ‘work’. It’s not our fault, we just fall into a routine. We turn on auto-pilot to make it through the work day then go on with our lives. A wise old man, my precious grandfather, once compared his career to his marriage. He told me that marriage isn’t easy; it takes work, dedication and constant self-reflection. Maybe this is why the passion for our career fades quickly. Our jobs just become a part of the routine. We don’t take the time to grow or nourish our jobs; the flowers die if we don’t tend to our garden.

Now that we have figured out the why, let’s dig into the how we get that passion back. Let’s go back the the marriage analogy. Everyone always says to continue to date your spouse after the wedding. Dating builds a stronger relationship between 2 people. It gives you an opportunity to learn about one another and also to re-engage. It isn’t a bad idea to begin dating your career again. Fall back in love with it, give it the time and the energy that you did when you first started.

  1. Dating your career could begin with reevaluating where you are now in your job. Take a look back to reminisce where you began and how far you have grown. Evaluation of yourself also includes constructive criticism. Where have you slacked and what areas do you need to improve?
  2. Setting goals for yourself is also a wonderful thing to do during the process of bringing passion back into your career. Setting realistic goals for yourself can sometimes be difficult, check out some tips for doing so here
  3. This might be the most important task when trying to bring back passion into your career, reflect on your why. Why did you take this job? Why have you stuck with it for so long? This reason could be your family, the people you help everyday, the deep love you have for your job. Make a list of your whys and keep it at your desk. Every day, take a glance at that list.

It makes sense that passion comes and goes in your career. Every day isn’t lollipops and rainbows, but we spend so much time working, we should love what we do, at least the majority of the time. Take these few tips and begin dating your career again.

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