When it comes to career advice, there’s a huge consensus that you should find your passion, follow your heart and do what you love. But what if you don’t know what your passion is? And once you do know, how do you determine the best possible job for you in today’s marketplace? This can be especially challenging if you’re already in a career you don’t like, or if you’re a millennial, a military veteran, or simply in transition between careers. It can be too easy to find ourselves chugging along, spending our lives stuck with whatever job happens to come along when we need it, and never finding the time to dig deeper and discover a match that’s truly fulfilling, offering us work that we love doing every day.
Good news! There is a solution: It’s called The GrowthX Career Canvas. At GrowthX Academy, we’ve found that 90 days is just enough time for you to dig deep inside yourself and figure out where you want to go in the future, without losing your focus on getting a tangible result in the present (a job you’ll love).
In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing excerpts from the Career Canvas on the GrowthX Academy blog, letting you know exactly how to find the position that’s perfect for you.
THE SWEET SPOT
There are two parts to this GrowthX Academy career equation. One is about you and your passion, the other is about the companies and the roles available today in the job market. At the intersection of these two lies the job that you’ll LOVE.
We’ll walk you through the exact steps you can follow to come up with these two pieces. To get you started, here’s our step by step process for figuring out exactly what your passion is!
WHAT WERE YOU BORN TO DO?
The first portion of this process requires you to spend some time being introspective and figuring out what you enjoy spending your time on.
Exercise 1: Define Your Personal Vision
Time needed: ~20 minutes
The first step in this process is to delve into your past and highlight your most deeply held beliefs and values. This exercise will help you find your own inner child again — the one who wants to dream and who knows no boundaries. Here goes!
For a moment, I want you to suspend all your doubts and fears and write down what your ideal life would look like five or ten years from now. Just make a list and describe everything from where you live to where you work and what you do with your time.
If five or ten years doesn’t feel right, substitute whatever time frame feels best and that you’re most comfortable with. I tend to write down the most fulfilled reality I can imagine, without putting a specific time to it. Let your imagination run wild. Go for it all. There are no “can’t dos” or “should dos.” This is your daydream, and within it you can truly accomplish anything you put your mind to.
This ideal vision will become your daily companion. For the next 90 days, I want you to review it at least once a day.
If you’re a reader (meaning that you process information better by reading it), read it after you get up in the morning or before you go to bed. If you’re a listener (meaning that you process information better by listening to it), record it on your smartphone and play it back at those times.
Mornings after getting up and evenings before going to bed are the most powerful times and have the maximum impact.
Exercise 2: Find Your True Passion in Three Steps
Step 1: Rediscover the Child Within
Time needed: 15 minutes
List the five things that you were most passionate about as a child. To get you started, write down the very first thing that comes to mind. Then take it a step further, and think about other things and activities that excited you most when you were young. Be sure to come up with five.
If you are not immediately successful at this, don’t give up. Set aside another time and go at it again for five minutes. Be patient. Sometimes many layers have to be peeled away before you can get to the obvious, especially if you’ve spent years burying your dreams and passions deep down inside you. You will find that the second time will already be a lot easier because your subconscious will have begun to work on the answers.
Step 2: Take This Exercise to Your Teenage Years
Time needed: 15 minutes
Now skip to puberty and your teenage years. If you are honest with yourself, most of your natural inclinations, spontaneous leanings, and greatest passions will again surge visibly and clearly during this period. It doesn’t matter whether you acted on them or not. For now, remembering them will suffice. Compare the two lists, and see what obvious parallels there are and merge them to create five activities.
Step 3: Take It to the Streets!
Time needed: 5 weeks (yes, weeks!)
It’s a bit of a cliche, but it’s true: the more you put into this, the more you’ll get out of it. If you invest five weeks now, you’ll find yourself living a life filled with passion and purpose. This is going to be a life changing experience, and it can all happen within your comfort zone.
Start small. Choose one of those five activities you identified in Step 2, and schedule it in your journal as a “passion field trip” for the upcoming week. Don’t chicken out! We will get you back to what you love, but you have to be patient and stick with it: this your exploration phase.
Then, the following week, take another activity from your list and schedule it.
There is no reason to assign priorities to these activities or to put them in a particular order. Just do them one by one, and that will be enough.
Bonus Tip: Partner with an accountability buddy — he or she will keep you on track.
PAVING THE FUTURE IN THE PRESENT
Exercise 3: Assess!
Time needed: 2 Hours
After completing the last step of Exercise 2, take a good look at yourself. Which activity excited you most? Which one filled you with a strong sense of discovery and purpose? Write your thoughts in your journal, and continue to think about those experiences. Don’t forget to go back and review what you discovered about yourself in Exercise 1. Do you see any connections between the two?
Regardless of the immediate outcome, over time, this simple exercise will bring you closer to discovering your true passion and what you love most. It may take a while, but you’ve set wheels in motion that are unstoppable.
Those five weeks of exploration will have astounding effects. Like small ripples in an ocean, they will soon produce giant waves that will take you to your paradise island. It won’t be long before you are sailing through life with a newfound energy that you never thought possible — an energy that will be unlimited because you feel the winds of passion blowing your sails!
In our next post, we’ll cover the other half of the GrowthX Academy Career Canvas equation: How one can go about discovering, analyzing and filtering target companies.
Learn more about our GrowthX Academy Career Development initiatives on our blog. We also use tools like Predictive Index at GrowthX Academy to dig deeper into the strengths and values for our students.
Click here for part 2 in this series on getting a job you’ll LOVE in 90 days.