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3 Steps on the Road to a Passionate Worklife

3 Steps on the Road to a Passionate Worklife
Haley Isleib
Written by Haley Isleib

Are you ready to start the journey toward a passionate worklife, but not sure which direction to take? It is possible to find work that is uniquely satisfying to you?

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Are you ready to start the journey toward a passionate worklife, but not sure which direction to take? It is possible to find work that is uniquely satisfying to you? Before you research the Occupational Handbook, here are three steps that will help you narrow down the search and find an excellent fit for you.

1. Start by dreaming.

What brings you joy? Don’t focus on whether it’s something you’ve ever been paid to do. At this point, any source of joy is valued.

  • Write it out. List everything, even if you don’t see how it could possibly be related to work. In this phase, you’re tapping into joy. Don’t censor yourself.
  • If you find yourself stuck with a blank piece of paper or a blank screen, set a timer and do a fast freewrite — never letting the pen lift off paper, never pausing as you type. Try 10 minutes and let it flow.
  • Look at your calendar or appointment book and consider each entry. Which ones make you smile? Frown? What is it about that event that causes your reaction?

2. Feel your competency.

What marketable skills do you possess? What comes easy to you and what do you excel at? Here are some examples of skills that transcend any specific field:

  • Project coordination. Many jobs require project coordination skills that are easily translated from one field to another. Have you arranged work retreats for staff or been the point person for the implementation of a new service?
  • Writing skills are always in demand, all across the job market. What kind of writing do you do best? Are you a good proofreader and editor? Are you creative?
  • Computer skills aren’t limited to knowing your way around Microsoft Office. Are you the person who sets up the projector at meetings? Do you play video games on your phone? Think about every interaction you have with technology — it’s likely more than you think.
  • People skills. Are you a good listener, attuned to what others need? Do you enjoy working on a team? Meeting and relating to new people is a skill that comes more naturally to some.
  • Are you a self-starter? Self-motivated? If you can work independently, that’s a skill not everyone has.

3. Combine passions with skills to identify possible careers.

What will people pay you to do? What types of positions will pay you to live out your passions and use your skills? Here are a few examples of how combining multiple sources of joy with your skills can lead you to a new career path:

  • For those who have a genuine interest in helping others and love to travel, consider teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) abroad. Your writing skills and creativity will be fully employed in this career. Teaching ESL is a very rewarding career for many, but does come with its own set of challenges. People in other countries may have very different ideas about all kinds of issues — and your job is to help them talk about it. Fortunately, there are ample resources to navigate controversial classroom situations. Some countries will welcome almost any native speaker. Depending on where you are willing to go, you may benefit from teacher certification.
  • For those who have an interest in working with animals and love being outdoors, consider starting a dog walking and pet sitting business. Physical fitness is also a requirement in this field; you’ll be walking, a lot. But there’s more to walking a dog than just walking. You’ll be working with new dogs on a regular basis, and there is a lot to learn about dog behavior. Volunteering at your local Humane Society can help you determine if this is for you.
  • For those who have a strong interest in health and love to workout, consider becoming a personal trainer. You also need to love talking with people, as you’ll be spending time with clients and keeping them motivated. Listening skills are important as well, as your client is the key source for information about what they can do. Depending on where you live, there are a variety of paths to professional certification.

Make sure to weigh the benefits and challenges of any job before you sign up to determine whether each is a good career fit for you. Consider job shadowing or volunteering in the field to get a taste of it.

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

A very conventional lifestyle sang its siren song, and I listened — for a while. I am a writer, and eventually my Muse threw a hissy fit because all that Normal was taking a toll on her. I accept her judgment, and work consciously to find a balanced life. I am speaking figuratively, in case you’re wondering.

2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?

Gratitude is my superpower. People are amazing. And weird. People are so weird, and I appreciate the heck out of them.

3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

My garden has gone from all lawn to all lush plantings of herbs, roses and other flowers, and vegetables–entirely organically. It is lush and a little overgrown, but every perennial has survived is suited to the climate. I pull weeds but without rancor, and the mature plants keep them from getting out of hand. What I find rewarding is that I do this entirely only for me; nobody asked me to. I have accomplished this bit by bit over the years. I’ve changed this tiny piece of Earth and it is more resilient than the standard lawn. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere, and I leave it for you to consider.

4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?

Sometimes my brain will make exciting connections between disparate things and it won’t be until I’m talking and people are looking at me with puzzled expressions that I realize my brain is full of it. Chock full of it. Nevertheless, I usually keep talking. I love my patient friends.

5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

I love my sense of humor. I crack me up. I also probably think you’re pretty funny.

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About the author

Haley Isleib

Haley Isleib

Haley Isleib writes in Portland, Oregon, where she studied filmmaking at the Northwest Film Center. She loves travel and is an early adopter of any tech she can afford.