There’s no denying that following your passion is important.
But after the thrill of graduation, you may be wondering what you’re passionate about.
Maybe you dabbled a bit in university, taking a few courses in one subject and a few in another.
You probably had a few ‘ah-a!’ moments when you thought you’d finally found your calling. But as the years dragged on, you realized you didn’t know much about what you wanted to do.
How do you figure out your passion once and for all? These three tips will help you narrow down your interests and find a career that’s worth pursuing.
Consult a friend
When you’ve graduated from college with no clue what to do next, the world can feel like a scary place. It’s tempting to just hang out on the couch in your sweatpants all day. But a better idea would be to call up your friends.
Studies show that being social makes us feel better, especially if we spend time around happy people. So when our friends are upbeat, it’s hard to be anxious. And when we confide in our friends about our fears and insecurities, there’s a good chance we’ll receive the reassurance we need.
Friends can also help us narrow down our interests by acting as a sounding board. The next time you get together with someone you trust, ask them:
- What am I good at?
- When am I happiest?
- What ticks me off?
- What makes me unique?
- What people do I look up to?
These questions can help you figure out what you’re passionate about (and what you’re not!).
Of course, not everyone has a network of friends to fall back on. And it’s notoriously difficult to make friends after college, especially if you’ve recently moved.
Luckily, there are a ton of places to make connections, even if you live in a new city. You can always try the gym, an adult sports league, dance class, or even the local comic book store. Apps like Meetup and Foursquare also help you find people with similar interests and make new friends.
Attend a job fair
Another possible reason you can’t find your passion is because you don’t know what’s out there. There are literally hundreds of different occupations in North America (this article lists a conservative two hundred). Enter the career fair, which does much more than simply find you a job.
By signing up for a fair, you’ll get a ton of free information on available careers. Plus, if you already know where you want to work, you can talk to current employees about the hiring process and company culture.
Of course, job fairs are also an important site of career networking. Because getting a job is totally about who you know , it’s more important than ever to find allies in the workplace.
If career fairs seem overwhelming, you’re not the only one. It’s a good idea to have a plan before you go, so that you can make the most of your time. Research the companies that will be there beforehand and print off copies of your resume. And of course, pick out an outfit you feel confident in (business casual is usually fine).
After the fair is over, take some time for self-reflection. Did you “click” with anyone you met? Were you inspired by what they were doing? Or did meeting with employers make you want to grab a blanket and hightail it back to the safety of your couch?
Even if it’s the latter, you’re still making progress. Maybe you’re not ready to enter the workforce right after graduation, which is totally fine (as long as you can afford to take a break!).
Remember that finding your passion is a journey, not a destination. Job fairs are just one way to take that great big world of possibilities and narrow it down to something more manageable.
Pick something, and stick with it
Here’s something you don’t always learn in college: not everyone will find a job that is marvelously, unquestionably, 100% right for them.
It’s something of a myth that the perfect career will make you infinitely happy. So as long as you find it, the old saying goes, your world will be complete.
But the truth is, this isn’t always possible. Take multipotentialites, for example. Their interests are so diverse that they easily become bored with their jobs.
Pick something, even if it’s not ideal (and know you can always change your mind later). Become an expert in it, because it’s one of the most surefire ways to succeed. Then once you’ve mastered a skill, teach others what you know.
Don’t worry if you don’t love every day at work. Because as time goes by and your ability increases, you will start to like it more. And who knows? Maybe what you happened to choose will end up becoming your passion after all.
Image Source: Pixabay