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  • Writer's pictureJenny Ward

Rethinking "Following Your Passion" in Career Planning

For much of my 20s and 30s, the advice to "follow your passion" dominated career conversations. It sounded wonderful in theory—as if a single, clear passion would lead to a blissful and obvious career path. But reality doesn't always unfold that way. Many of us find ourselves without a clear, monetizable passion, unsure of what our dreams are or how they could translate into a sustainable career.


The Changing Nature of Passions


Passions are fluid. What thrilled you in your early twenties might not ignite the same enthusiasm in your thirties or forties. Our interests and desires shift, and that's perfectly normal. Anchoring your entire career on a single passion might limit your growth and exploration. Instead, embrace the idea that your career journey can evolve alongside your changing interests.


Unrealistic Expectations


Society often romanticizes "following your passion" as the key to eternal happiness and success. But let's face it—work is work. Even in our dream jobs, there will be challenges and mundane tasks. Putting too much pressure on finding the perfect passion-driven career can lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointment.


Diverse Interests and Multiple Paths


Many of us have multiple interests that we are passionate about, and it's okay to pursue more than one path. You don't have to choose a single passion and feel stuck with it for life. Embrace your diverse interests and seek ways to integrate them into your professional life. This approach allows for a WAY richer, more varied career experience!


Personal Reflection


Throughout my own career, I've encountered countless individuals who've navigated diverse paths, each with unique experiences and lessons. These people are so incredibly interesting and I love hearing their stories! Remember, your career is like an like an ever-evolving tapestry, woven together by your passions, skills, and life circumstances. There is no ONE thing, and embracing this complexity has led me to my true calling as a Career Coach, helping others find their path and achieve their goals.


Conclusion


Let's rethink the conventional advice to "follow your passion." Instead, focus on finding purpose, embracing diverse interests, and staying open to the unexpected. Your career journey is yours to shape, and it can be a fulfilling and dynamic experience, even without a singular passion driving it.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Share your experiences in the comments below or reach out to discuss how we can navigate this journey together.


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