This week I was approached by someone looking for advice about how to make a career pivot. When someone says a pivot, I hear “this place is sucking the life out of me, and I need to find something else to do where I actually feel happy to get out of bed.” There’s a lot to unpack there. Sometimes it’s that you need an employer or job you believe in. Other times it is that you don’t feel inspired by your work.
Also, I think its important to note that there is a difference between engagement and passion in your work. Engagement is about showing up and having a good attitude. It’s about liking what you do for work, or at least not having the kind of job that has you crying in the parking lot before you step through the doors. It’s the difference you make by sharing your positive energy with your coworkers and customers, and then coming home at the end of the day feeling good.
Passion, on the other hand, means that maybe you don’t necessarily like what you do every day, but it is a love for the long game for whatever it is that stirs your soul. I think that sometimes people assume that passion means incessant longing or a crazy drive. I think that’s where we get it wrong. Passion for your work rests in your drive to fulfill a dream or inspiration from your creative side. It’s much more fiery, exciting, and often intense – but it can also come in the form of a slow burn over time. Just like anything else, there will be parts that are not very fun, but if you are truly passionate about what you do it helps you weather the long game.
How can you do more of what you are drawn to? My advice is simple, to find your passion pay attention to what you are drawn to – what sparks joy, curiosity and creativity for you? Write it down. Also, write down the things that you don’t like to do. It was when I got serious about making a career out of what I am drawn to that things really started to change for me.
As far as making a career pivot, I wish it were an easy thing to do. It’s taken me a lifetime to decide what I want to be when I grow up. I hope you get there faster than that 🙂