Let your sense of play lead you.
There is a real shift in workplace dynamics happening lately. People are (rightly!) questioning whether they want to remain at their job, or if the “grass is greener” somewhere else. (HINT: it is often not)
There is a lot of pressure for companies to keep quality employees, giving those employees greater power to negotiate how they work. And that is great; the world of work has been broken for so many people for so long now.
Time for change.
But — so much career advice centres around the idea of “following your passion”, like work is going to consist just of doing things you want to do. This is a mistake.
The meaning of the word passion has evolved. In today’s age, most people interpret it as meaning an intense desire or enthusiasm for something. “Passion” derived from the Latin word “pati”, which means “to suffer” or “to endure”. You may notice that is not at all the same meaning as “doing what you love”, which is how we interpret the idea of “following your passion” today.
If you want to know if you are doing work that is right for you, figure out what you are willing to suffer for. What are the things that you believe in so much that you will do them no matter what? That is the work that you should be doing.
But what if you just don’t know? How can you figure out which things you will suffer for?
Follow your interests and curiosity. You don’t “discover” passion by searching for it. Instead, you put forth effort in learning and exploring things that interest you. You dive into topics you find interesting. Surround yourself with people who do things in that space. You contribute.
Stop taking yourself so seriously. And just play.
If you spend enough time and energy making contributions on things that you find interesting, you will add value to the world. While enjoying how you spend your time. The contributions that you make will require hard work and sacrifice; not every aspect will be enjoyable. And that is okay. Because you will make the world better while pursuing your interests.
And that is the stuff that a dream career is made of.
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