Are you bored at work? Do you often think about what else you could be doing but don’t really know where to start? If you are one of the many people at work who do not truly enjoy what they are doing and wish that they were doing something they were passionate about, read on.
It can often be difficult to identify precisely what you are passionate about and then once you know what this is, how to turn this passion into a viable, sustaining career. That’s why we’ve put together an easy-to-follow workbook on Identifying my career passions. You can also get more tools and advice to help you explore this further with our Career Passions toolkit.
To get you started, however, here are 10 ways for you to re-discover your passions now:
1. Use Employer Perks:
A great way of finding your passion is to try out new activities and experiences. The opportunity to do so could be right under your nose. Depending on the size of your current employer, it may organize lunchtime activities or weekend outings for its employees. Maybe staff members get vouchers for certain external activities or venues as part of their compensation package. Even smaller organisations may have informal special interest groups run for and by staff. Look into what’s available to you—you never know, your current job could indirectly lead you down a new career path.
2. Join a Club:
Just as there were plenty of clubs and societies to join at your school or university, there are also many such groups out there in the ‘real’ world now we’re grown up. In fact, there’s a club or group for every activity or interest area you can think of so there is plenty of scope for experimenting with different clubs to find something you’re passionate about. The majority of these groups are open to all ages. To find out what’s on offer in your area, check the local print and online press, look at notice boards in the supermarket or library, or ask neighbours and nearby friends.
3. Stop Being Passive:
Perhaps your passive interests could be turned into active passions. It could be that you’ve been fascinated by a certain subject or issue for a long time, but you’ve never involved yourself in any actual activities to do with it. Consider doing so, because it really could inspire you in coming up with new career ideas. For instance, if you love history but have only ever read about it in books, try volunteering at a historical museum or interviewing veterans about the War. This will give you a taste of what it’s like to involve yourself deeper in a subject you‘re interested in. Explore this article on Discover what your dream is.
4. Go on Holiday:
When we travel to somewhere we’ve never been before, we’re often inspired by the newness of our surroundings to try an activity we’d never do at home, or to go to a museum, historic place or conservation area that focuses on an issue we’ve never fully explored previously. Book a trip somewhere where there’s plenty of opportunity to try new things. If you enjoy something in particular whilst you’re away, look for ways to keep up your new hobby upon your return home, and see what it leads to. Think also about what you have enjoyed doing or visiting on previous holidays.
5. Revisit Your Childhood:
What did you enjoy doing as a child that you no longer do? A major reason for giving up childhood hobbies is no longer having the time for them once we go off to university or start full-time work. But if we can combine our old passions with our work, we get the best of both worlds, so think back to your childhood activities and reflect on how they could translate to grown-up careers. If you’re finding this difficult or want to explore this in more detail, why not go on a self discovery journey to re-discover what’s really important to you and what you really enjoy? See our self discovery toolkit for more advice and tools on this.
6. Get Feedback:
The people in our life know more about our passions than we realize. When we get passionate about something, our appearance and attitude both change. Our face lights up and our body language is more positive. The people who know us really well—such as close friends, immediate family and long-term colleagues—notice these changes. Over time they’ll also start noticing what triggers the changes. So if you don’t know, ask them. It might sound silly to have to ask someone else what you like, but if you ask, “what do you think I’d really enjoy doing as a career?” it sounds very natural.
7. Seek Professional Guidance:
Feedback from a career coach or guide can be just as valuable as that from our personal contacts. A career professional worth their salt will ask you pertinent questions and listen to the answers, before giving you constructive feedback. They will discuss your whole life with you, which helps you to recall any hobbies, strengths and interests from different stages in your life that you may have forgotten about. To find a decent career professional, ask people you know who’ve recently made a career transition if they used a good guide as part of the process. You may also want to explore getting career guidance and advice through online communities and clubs.
8. Do Voluntary Work:
If you’ve found something you enjoy doing in your spare time but you’re wondering if you could turn it into a career and stick at it for the long haul, try it out in a work context. Look for volunteering opportunities around your chosen activity or interest and volunteer frequently over a substantial period of time so you get a taste of what it’d be like as a regular full-time job. Other ways to gain work experience in a new field is to work shadow someone who’s already in the profession you’re considering or to do pro bono work for your friends and family.
9. Return to School:
There may be something you’ve always wanted to study at college or university but couldn’t because you didn’t have enough money for the fees or you came under pressure from parents or teachers to study something else or pursue a particular vocation. Now you’re exploring the possibility of a new career, this could be the ideal time to do a weekend course or evening class in the subject that interested you in the first place and see where it takes you. Get in touch with your local further education college to find out what it has to offer or consider distance learning.
10. Experiment at Work:
Try doing different things in your current job. Your present line of work may not excite you but in most workplaces there’s always the opportunity to switch up your tasks and duties. Speak to your boss about doing different types of work on a temporary basis or for just a few hours a week. If you enjoy the change, you may be able to pursue a new position within your current company where you’re doing this new kind of work all the time. There are many benefits to finding a new job in your old company in this way.