Key to Success: Passion for Your Career

An important key to success is developing passion for your career. This means thriving in your work, not just surviving. When you have that extra spark that generates enthusiasm, others see it and want to be part of it. You become a leader who is sought after and valued because of your positive attitude.

But what if you don’t have that passion going for you in your current job? Or what if you used to have it but it has faded away over the years? There are some simple steps you can follow to develop or renew your career zeal as part of your leadership development.

Step 1 – Self Assessment
The first step is to do some in depth self assessment. Think about things that you really like to do and explore why those things generate such passion for you. Go beyond the activity itself and focus on the underlying reason why that activity is so appealing. For example, do you like the chance to be creative? Do you enjoy the variety, or perhaps the challenge? Do you thrive on the detail and complexity? Or do you like the rush of excitement and need for problem solving?

Now take your list of characteristics that make you feel passionate and match them up with the attributes of your job. Take a fresh look at your job and look for areas where your passions already exist so you can build on them. Think about which of the bad parts you can change and which ones you can’t change. Look for ways to infuse the bad parts with the attributes you find so invigorating.

Step 2 – Take Action
It may be tempting to just sit back and wait for things to get better, but if you do that you will end up stuck right where you are right now. Take steps to make improvements, even if those steps seem small or insignificant. Just the act of doing something is invigorating, which moves you away from being a victim and into a positive frame of mind.

For example, do you hate doing paperwork but love working directly with customers? Maybe there is a way to share some of the burden of that paperwork, or even swap responsibilities with someone who likes paperwork but is not as enthusiastic about customer contact. Don’t assume something is not possible – brainstorm, think of options, and ask someone else for their ideas.

Step 3 – Take In Energy
Think about things that you find energizing and make a point of including them in your life. Your job inevitably consumes energy, so it is important that you replace it somehow. The best way to do this is to add some variety to your life and find something fun to expand your horizons.

Examples of ways you might energize yourself include:

· Exercise
· Try something new
· Read a book just for fun
· Change the decorations in your office or cubicle
· Volunteer your time
· Go to lunch with someone you don’t know
· Take on a new responsibility at work
· Spend time with your mentor
· Make changes to your work schedule
· Take a personal day off to just relax
· Meditate
· Join a club or professional organization
· Write a letter
· Write in your journal or diary
· Commit a random act of kindness
· Surprise someone

Everybody gains positive energy in different ways, so think about what works best for you and add it to your leadership development plan. Even a little bit of something positive can go a long way toward reinvigorating your excitement and passion.