Job vs Work

The secret to finding your passion. 

Whenever I feel myself getting into a rut, that feeling of stuck or the itch to try something new. I find myself googling how to find your passion or what is my passion. I am following people on socials who, to me, look like they have found their passion and are using it to build a business that (again to me) is totally killing it. I find myself stalking people on linkedin and reviewing their work history to see if there is a any link or resonance to their story. 

I used to think that if I was not in a role that completely lit me up and I jumped out of bed for every morning, I was not in the right job. I used to chase the titles, and the thought of being in a successful corporate role. I thought the idea of having a high profile role would be it for me. I would have made it, been successful and living a passion filled life. 

Now... I do believe you can live a passion filled life, it just may look a little different to how I expected it to. It is not all about your job, career or profession. It is a combination of both. 

I don’t believe we should be in a job that does not light us up or in a toxic situation, whether that be your boss or work culture. And I don’t believe that you should be in a position that is unethical or does not sit right with your values. 

I am not talking about those situations. I am talking about the times you feel that your not servicing the passion in you. The times where you feel like your not being challenged or lit up and your looking outside of yourself to fulfill this (ie, your job). I am talking about the times that your job as a means to an end (you may need to be in your role for X amount of years before you can move on or up or around). 

But I do believe there is a difference between your work and your job.

This is also a nice reminder if you are someone like me when I started my career and always looking for the next best thing. 

Your job. Is the place that you work. This does not have to be your passion, your life’s work, the work you are destined to do. This can simply be your job. We all need to work, we have all bills to pay and we generally all have ambition. Your job can still incorporate your work and add value to your passion. There is a difference. Let me explain further. 

Your work. That is your purpose. Your passion. The drive. What lights you up. This can come in various different forms but - this is important - it does not have to be your job. In some cases, yes but in others it just doesn’t pan out that way. For example, if you love yoga, it is what lights you up, you talk about it all the time, you get up at 6am in the morning to practice yoga, it does not mean you need to become a yoga teacher. That might kill the passion for you and you lose the drive and energy around it. Disclaimer here: you might not and you might just love teaching yoga, but my point is, you don’t actually have to turn it into your job. You don’t have to find your passion in your job. 

Your job might be a makeup artist. You are a really good at applying makeup and that is your job. You work with women on their wedding day and for their school formal and make them feel fabulous and at their best. But your work is helping women who have been affected by domestic violence feel beautiful and raising awareness around this issue. Being available and open to opportunities and scenarios that allows this to happen. That is your passion. 

Your job might be a high school teacher. You teach science, health and PE and that is your job. The day to day activities that entails reporting, marking and education which don’t necessarily light you up. But your passion, your work, what lights you up is seeing your students make a positive impact on society and simply be good people. They don’t have to be a brain surgeon to do this. It isn’t the physical education or the grade point average of the class (that is the job), what keeps you going is witnessing students grow into positive adults by listening, conversing and modeling healthy relationships, keeping situations light and allowing them to have space to contribute. What light you up is observing your students when they experience that feeling when they get something right, building on that and cultivating that that feeling to show your students how to look for that every time - that is the work. 

Your job might be a student engagement officer at a university. The day to day jobs of project management, answering emails, following up with students, calendar appointments and liaising with various stakeholders. That is your job. Your work is being an advocate for student as partners and providing opportunities for them to build their leadership and professional development skills. Mentoring students to build their confidence, group work and team building and seeing their success and growth. 

Your job might be a pharmacy assistance. This job has a means to an end while you are studying. You job is customer service, stocktake, orders and counting tills. Your work is connecting with customers, finding that customer that never smiles and making it your mission to break that grin. It is learning customers names and ensuring they feel confident and comfortable in your presence. Knowing you will not be doing this job once you complete study but understanding that you can use this to practice your work and find those opportunities that light you up within that situation. What is it that you can learn. How can you build your confidence. What can you do to make this experience enjoyable. 

These examples are intertwined. Other examples can include when you are doing you day job but you passion is outside of this. Your job may be in retail but your work is women circles. You job may be in hospitality but your work is pottery. 

You job and your work do not have to match. The takeaway here is that you can ensure you have something that lights you up. In your job or outside of this. And to take your job for what it is, if it doesn’t light you up, ask yourself:

  • Do I need to look within and see if I can cultivate this? 

  • Do I need to find something that lights me up outside of my job? 

  • Is there a bigger picture here? Is this a means to an end? 

  • What would have to change to create a passion within my work? 

  • Is it the actually work? Is it my mindset? Is it the company? 

  • If I have a job that incorporates my work (my passion) what would that look like? What does that feel like? 

This concept help me in find the work within my job. It helped me build on my current situations to ensure I had what it takes to be able to create a positive experience and find the lessons in the situation.

Do you seek passion? Can you find the work in your job?