Find Passion at Work

Last Updated Aug 20, 2007 6:45 PM EDT

Find Passion at WorkIs it really so unrealistic to want to love your job? Marci Alboher, who writes the Shifting Careers column for The New York Times, asked several career coaches how they would advise people who want to feel passionate about their work.
Alboher herself gives a great piece of advice: "Because advisers can give contrary advice, it can be helpful to collect ideas, try a few and see which ones work for you." Although the recommendations varied quite a bit, there were a few common themes.

Aim for fulfillment instead of passion. It's not necessary to feel passionate about your job. That's pretty intense. Michael Melcher recommends finding what brings you "consistent enjoyment" and trying to incorporate more of that into your life, both at work and outside of work.

Make the most of your existing job. "Work is about earning money, being productive, and accomplishing your goals," Julie Jansen says. "Learn what gratifies you about work first instead of focusing on the activity or content." Taking a slightly different tack, Marty Nemko says become an expert at your work -- no matter how boring it is. When your coworkers value you and your knowledge, you're more likely to feel excited about your job.

Look beyond your job duties. Jansen warns about turning a hobby into a job: "[The job] usually ends up looking very different than the actual activity you're excited about." You could always, as Alisa Cohen suggests, incorporate a financially viable aspect of that hobby into a "slash" career, such as web developer/illustrator or product manager/baker.

(Guitar Player Image by star5112, CC 2.0)