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Are You Doing What You Love?

Do you get to do what you love at work? Not sure what you love to do? Let’s figure out how to discover your passions.

Right out of school, I had an internship at a large advertising agency in Minneapolis, and was able to experience first-hand what a “holistic” agency looked like. It had everything from business development and account management, to project management and production, to design and copywriting. It was pretty impressive, and I felt like a little kid in a candy shop. My internship was in account management, and while elements of it suited my strengths well, I knew there was another career path out there that would be a better fit for my passions.

I networked throughout the agency, asking why people chose the career they did and why they liked it…or didn’t like it. This helped me identify other possible career paths within the industry. There was only one problem, my interests and skill sets didn’t land within just one area of the agency, it landed among many. I could see myself managing projects (project management, of course), working with creative teams to identify the perfect photographers to use for their image needs (art buying), and a number of other roles in between.

I needed to take a step back and really think about what I enjoyed doing. Whether it was in projects at school, in my free-time helping friends, or in past internship and job opportunities. This stemmed from a thoughtful question posted by a colleague who saw my strengths. He asked, “What are the top three things you really enjoy doing, and would like to use in your career?” For me, these three areas had to do with communicating (written or verbal), being a part of the strategy and creative process, and executing details. By taking the time to physically write these down, it helped me to focus on a career path that allowed me to use my skills and talents. What I do today absolutely encompasses all three, but it took me a little while to get there.

What about you? Are you doing what you love? I’ve learned that many people pick a job that will give them the paycheck they want, but they focus on their actual passions outside of work. If you spend 40+ hours a week at work, and it’s at all possible to do something you love, why wouldn’t you? Think about it.

Sometimes it’s about walking away from a job that doesn’t feed your soul…even if it’s a scary decision. Now, I understand this isn’t always possible due to family or financial circumstances, but if it is possible…then why not give it a thought? When was the last time you evaluated your energy level toward your role? Are you showing up just to get a paycheck, or are you actually feeding your soul? Are there elements of your role that you love…and others you hate? Why not take a step back and look around – are there ways you could use your untapped skills and abilities within your organization that you have never looked into before? Only you know what you love to do the best, so you might as well make it known and see if the doors fly open!

At the end of the day, if you’re doing something you love…something that truly feeds your soul…your energy level toward your work will escalate, and it’s more than likely you’ll do a better job, causing you to have even more satisfaction. It’s a win-win. You get to do (more of) what you love, and you’re company gets an employee who is on board 110%. That’s an awesome chain reaction if you ask me!

Now, what are the top three things you enjoy doing, and would like to use in your career?