How to find your passion (and choose a career to match)

“Find your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life” so the saying goes. But uncovering what your passion actually is and then deciding which career pathway to follow is not always an easy task.

Finding what lights you up and turning your passion into a career takes effort. First is the challenge to identify what fills your cup and makes you feel excited, happy and motivated. Then comes searching for opportunities and jobs that align with what you enjoy doing. 

If you’re feeling a little unsure about what field to enter or study for after high school, here are some ideas and exercises to help you find a satisfying career.

Observe what interests and excites you

Take a moment to reflect on yourself and the things that interest you, that you invest time into and that get you hyped up. 

There might be a certain day of the week or time of day that you enjoy the most. Or a genre of books or podcasts you enjoy most. Things like this can start to reveal passions and interests.

This week as you go about the world, pay attention to the high points of your day. This might be at school, at home, at work or while spending time with family and friends.

Making notes about the highlights of your day-to-day life can help unearth passions that might relate to a future career.

Ask yourself:

  • What was I excited about this week? 
  • What types of tasks or activities did I enjoy most?
  • What did I spend my time doing most?
  • What was the highlight of each day?
  • What did I want to talk about at dinner each night?
  • What types of conversations did I enjoy the most?
  • Taking a look at books, films, podcasts, TV shows and magazines I consume. The topics that interest me most are...? 

Find and unlock your talents

No one is born a master. It takes time, effort and resources to develop into the legend you will become. 

Some people have natural and obvious strengths and others work hard to achieve them. 

At school you might have topped the class in English, but received super average grades in Music. Safe to say, English is a strength of yours.

You might have seen someone in your class never studied for the Maths exams but always received top marks. Meanwhile, you received a B despite studying all week. Sounds like your classmate has a natural talent for mathematics.

You can also have strengths with soft skills, like the subtle art of persuasive communication. You may have spent time developing this skill, or you just might be naturally confident and tactful. 

Identify your strengths with both soft and hard skills.  

Ask yourself:

  • What classes at school did I get the best grades in?
  • What tasks do I find easy to complete?
  • Do I have any obvious natural talents?

Ask your family and friends for ideas

Finding your perfect career path doesn’t have to be a solo task. Do the work by asking yourself the questions above, and then ask your family and trusted friends for advice and ideas too.

Your family and friends might notice or point out talents, skills or interests that you had forgotten about or hadn’t realised yourself. 

Remember that your family or friends might come to you with a strong bias though (hello pushy parents who want you to study law or go to med school, or friend that wants you to become a nurse too).

So try and have an open mind and take what they say with a grain of salt. At the end of the day, it’s your career and the next 40-50 years of your life (not theirs).

Explore career paths

You’ve observed yourself, looked at your strengths and asked your family and friends for ideas. Now for the important part - exploring different jobs and careers.

If you’ve identified some topics or fields you’re interested in, or decided you enjoy using a particular type of skill or being in a certain environment, look for a way to transfer that to a workplace.

There are dozens of ways to get a taste of different jobs and careers. Why not try these ideas….

Browse jobs websites and read the descriptions of different roles. 
  • What jobs are you drawn to? 
  • Which jobs get you excited?
  • What technical courses (like a degree) are required to do those jobs?
  • What soft skills (like teamwork or communication skills) are desired for the role?
  • How could you work towards being a candidate for such a role in 2, 5 or 10 years?
Get a taster of the working world with work experience.
  • Ask your parents and teachers if they know anyone in the industry or field you want to explore
  • Seek out work experience programs, like ours here at Grandshake! Best of all, they’re all free 
  • Brush up on your soft skills with microprograms and short courses
  • Volunteer at a charity that aligns with your interests
  • Get a casual or summer job
  • Attend career expos and events

The best thing to do is try. As you explore different jobs and career paths you will find that some are not for you. That’s great! The more you explore, the more you learn about what you do and don’t like and uncover your career passion.

Getting real world experience is easier than ever. Check out our programs page to find more than a dozen totally free Virtual Work Experience programs and micro-courses. Sign up, do the work and find your career match along with industry mentors.

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