I met someone the other day who is in a very intriguing position in her life.
She was recently laid off. She has a successful 20-year career behind her. She can take some time before moving onto the next thing. She's ready for a change and believes that now is the right time to discover what really lights her fire.
The only thing is, she has no clue what that might be.
She's been working hard for years, intensely focused on the everyday challenges of her career. Who's had the time to think about fire, sparks, and true creative drive?
When we reach a pause in life and feel ready to create a new idea about how our career life could be, how do we uncover the passion?
You may worry that the well of creative ideas and inspiration is dry, but be patient.
You do care about something, probably many things. You may have forgotten what they are, and you may not have a clue about how to connect them to making a living, but there are people, ideas, and/or activities that inspire you. And when you've spent some time reacquainting yourself with these things or engaging in new introductions, you will be able to think a lot more creatively.
But first, to find a career passion you need to let the analytic, problem-solving side of you take a little break. This is because passion is a feeling!
Also if you put a due date on finding your career passion, that sort of kills the mood.
So, first you connect with the inspired feelings, then you invite your analytic side back in the room to help you make connections between the exciting feelings/visions/dreams and the opportunities in real life.
For many of us, our interests are not crashing cymbals but are more elusive whispers. It takes patience to notice them.
To begin, small acts of shaking up your routine can lead to more connection with the more inspired, engaged part of yourself. Here are a few examples:
1.) Notice what you care about, especially if you don't think you have time. If you haven't thought about what you really like about your job and what you really care about in life since 1994, first plan plenty of time to get to that place where you can focus on that.
It's ideal if you can make a habit of noticing what you care about. This can be as basic as keeping a short bulleted list of what you like about your job on the fridge, or thinking about what you loved to do as a kid. You can keep a gratitude journal for a week every other month. You can meditate on the question for 60 seconds a day.
2.) Get out of your head and into your body. Break a sweat, let your mind wander while you do so, and notice where your mind goes. Or mellow out with a massage or other bodywork if that's more your speed.