Following your passion is much easier said than done. In fact, it feels like a roller coaster sometimes, with good days and bad days. There are days when it’s very easy to be hopeful and positive, and there may be a few days where you feel hugely overwhelmed and stressed.
Almost immediately after our Find & Follow Your Passion conference, I took a leap and went for it – the act, the journey of finding and following my own passion. I had a really cute exchange with Julie Clow, as well. I thanked her for helping me to make the tough decision of leaving my job. She was very tickled, actually.
Friends sometimes ask if it’s the money that worries me. It’s not. In my experience, following your passion frightening because of all the second guessing. Did I make the right decision? Am I doing the right thing? Do I even know what my passion is? These doubts occasionally creep up, and I have to calmly find a way to manage them.
Must Haves for Following Your Passion
Exactly three things have proven to be extremely useful in this time of soul searching and job searching. They are: insiders, spreadsheets and music.
Insiders. In my particular case, I’m trying to break into an industry and shift my focus. There’s really no way I could quickly land a new career without the help of a few good insiders. With just one great insider, you’ll be miles ahead of the competition. You should ask these industry experts, “insiders” as I like to call them, for recommendations with: website resources, event listings, basically any opportunity to help you understand the landscape of the industry or lead you to where you can meet new people. If s/he can introduce you to people, all the better, but you may have to work your way up to this. Time spent networking is probably as important, if not more, than filling out applications on job boards. Combining both aspects is really the most effective way to find work.
Spreadsheets. My survival kit for processing and organizing this influx of information consists of Google Docs, the Evernote app and in some cases paper notebooks. Using spreadsheets while networking may feel awkward and unnecessary, but to me, they are a constant reminder that what I’m doing is serious work and that I have goals to achieve and a strategy to guide me. It may be worth your while. You can start simply – with just a few columns, indicating name/company/contact info/interactions. The point is to eventually grow your list and strengthen connections (increase interactions).
Music. By music, I don’t mean just any old music. We can’t be boring data crunchers all day and tediously keep up with networking spreadsheets. Music influences our mood. Therefore, having upbeat, positive music to listen to while on your computer or on the train will work wonders. Moreover, music that inspires you will help develop the mindset and perseverance for your job search and passion search. Hopefully they’re one in the same, right? Yet whether it’s a broadway musical, top 40 or electronic dance music, the right tunes can keep you on track and on bad days, be your inner cheerleader.
Now I’m only on Week 2, so I’d love hear from you about what you’ve found helpful in your journey of following your passion. How do you tailor your approach and make it sustainable, and is there a particular song or album that charges your search efforts?