Think about it – you spend how many hours per day, per week, month, year at work? If you do the math, it’s probably around 2200 hours per year, give or take. Over 25% of your year. Are you spending this much time there because you’re in love with what you’re doing, or because, well, “it’s a job”? If it’s the former, that’s huge. If it’s the latter, what the hell are you thinking? Admittedly, it’s easier short term to put off making what can be a serious effort to wrap your passions and your career together, but long term it’s worth it. Kathy Sierra, author of Creating Passionate Users, has some great thoughts around why this matters, and how to get there.
If you’re looking for more inspiration, I’d like to introduce you to Sean Aiken, of oneweekjob.com – he’s a young Canadian that wants to find his passion as opposed to becoming a Sheepwalker. To achieve this, and do something good along the way, he’s volunteering to work one job a week at all sorts of organizations across Canada (and potentially here at ZooInfo, if I can nudge some stars into the right alignments). In exchange, he’s going to get a good look at his options and raise money to raise money to find childhood poverty in Canada.
I’m not saying you have to go to Sean’s lengths to work out what you want, but I am advocating that you work towards your passion. My wife was a sucessful project manager for a web design firm, and hated it. Loved the company & people, but the work was killing her – she had not passion for project management. Her passion was for web design/development, as well as early childhood education, where she has her masters. I encouraged her to look into educational technology – within a matter of months she was the Technology Specialist for the early childhood division of a major education NGO. The change in her was – frankly – remarkable. Her first annual review was the strongest I’ve ever read in my life (in my line, you tend to read a lot of those, as good ones are useful marketing tools in your job hunt).
We’re living in a remarkable time. Unlike out parents, we can try out new jobs/ fields without huge consequence. You aren’t supposed to spend your entire career or profession at one spot anymore. On top of that, there’s this thing called the Internet that’s made it possible for you to easily pick up new skills, and learn about career options that fit better with your passions.
So, why are you reading this? Get out there and change.