Should Your Passion Be Your Career?
This week I went to an event where Kelsey Ramsden was the keynote speaker. She was impressive on many levels – a successful entrepreneur, a cancer survivor, mother of three little kids, and so very real and down to earth. One of the things she said that really resonated with me that I’m still wrapping my mind around was that you don’t necessarily want your passion to be your career. I have heard this before, but then I’ve also often heard that you should follow your passion. So which is it, my logical mind wonders?
Kelsey went on to explain that it’s her belief that your career must be centred on something you are good at. Okay, I can get on board with that. Her message went on to explain that you not only have to be good at what you do, you also have to care about it in such a way that some may describe this level of caring as being passionate about it. Maybe that’s where I’ve been getting confused….. Following my passion, versus just really believing in what I do, which I also happen to be very good at.
She then gave an example to differentiate a passion that should not be her career versus one that would be a better choice. She loves music, but knows making it as a singer is not in the cards for her no matter how passionate she is about it. She further explained that she not only is extremely adept at math, but also has a knack for forming trusting relationships and communicating ideas, and negotiating deals and plans. No surprise then that she was a successful construction business owner for many years. Now she has taken some of those finely tuned skills and has established a successful speaking and self development career and her message is one that she believes in deeply.
To put these concepts she spoke of in perspective, I considered what I loved about previous job, and my current one. First, when I was in public practice as a tax consultant, I loved working with the clients. Helping them was the best part of that gig by far. Now in a finance management position, I still love the people element, which in this particular role is about developing my own finance team. A challenge I can get passionate about exploring is how to empower my team to bring their best to the job each and every day.
I do also love the coordination element of my position. So many things to do with limited time that I need to determine how to best plan each day and prioritize the things that must be done so that the most value added work is what we are focusing our attention on. I love taking a big project and breaking it up into manageable pieces that anyone can digest. And honestly, I also love the budgeting part of the job too (the geeky accountant part of me, that is!). I love planning a budget that takes into account the corporate objectives and I love checking in to see how we’re tracking and how any change in direction may impact the overall financial plan of the organization.
Taking the time to think this through and really reflect on the elements of my “work” that I enjoy has solidified some things for me. Maybe not the detail of what is next for me, but possibly how I got to where I am today and why it still works in my formula right now.
If you find yourself wondering why you do what you do and if it’s a good fit for you, I’d encourage you to think this through just as I have, and see what you come up with.
Want to learn more about the tips and suggestions I have for effectively and efficiently managing competing priorities and people in an office environment? Check out my guidebook - How to be a Superstar at the Office in 35 Hours Per Week!