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3 Alternatives When "Follow Your Passions" Isn't Working


The most common career advice around is to "follow your passion." But for some people, this is easier said than done. They may have lost sight of their passions or they may have a bunch of them. Sometimes it's a matter of re-framing things. So here are a few other strategies for re-defining your career that may work better than "follow your bliss."

Focus on a Problem

Maybe instead of following your passion, you need to find a big juicy problem to work with. Look around. Is there something in the world that you'd love to fix? Often this can be the best guide to our sense of purpose.  And working on important problems can lead you to doing your most important work. 

Find Your Positive Core

Where do your deepest talents lie? What is it that people come to you for again and again? Often who you are will provide the best clues to new career ideas. If career satisfaction comes from being authentic, then a career based on your unique gifts makes sense. That's where it becomes important to define your positive core. 

One great way to explore your positive core is through Marcus Buckingham's latest strengths book and assessment, Standout. It helps you identify your two core strengths and gives detailed information on how you can use these to get yourself to the next level. I took it and found that I'm a "Stimulator/Provider." It gave me some great new insights into my strengths and how I could use them more effectively. Definitely worth a look. 

And for the more visually inclined, one of the best tools I've used is the VisualsSpeak Image Center Career Clarity process. It gives you deep insights into your greatest strengths. Plus you can print it out and hang it over your desk for daily inspiration!

Don't Choose One Passion

Sometimes what keeps people from following their bliss is not that they can't find it, but that they have what they perceive to be, too many passions. They want to find that ONE thing, but can't seem to settle because several passions draw them in. 

In today's economy, I think it's smart NOT to choose just one passion. If you have the energy and commitment to pursue career opportunities in several different areas, I say do it. This is how I've built my career and it's worked well for many people. 

Career clarity can come in many different forms. If the "follow your bliss" frame isnt' working for you, try another route. 


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