Pursuing Your Passion: 6 Essential Tips from Someone Who Took the Plunge

Have you ever thought about chucking your job or career? Is this fall the start of your year? I’ve been there — I jumped off the career cliff in 2002 and have been happily following my passion — in career form — ever since.

You, Too, Can Wake Up Excited About Your Day!

Do you dread going into work? Do you watch the clock? The hands seem to tick by slower and slower every day. Or, are you frustrated because you work very hard to get the job done and yet you seem to go nowhere?

I practiced tax law for eleven very long years and then jumped off the career cliff.

I quit.

With no plan.

While I don’t recommend this strategy for everyone, it does have its perks. I took the time to figure out what I was (and still am) passionate about and what would be a good fit for my skills. Part of this process involved becoming Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (“MBTI” or “Type”) Certified — and then an MBTI Master Practitioner. I needed to know what was “wrong” with me that I didn’t love being a tax lawyer. I needed to know why I felt like a square peg in a round hole. Type answered that question powerfully for me: there was nothing wrong with me, tax law just wasn’t a fit.

And guess what? Not only did I stop feeling like a failure, but I created my own career path doing what I love most: helping others to create fulfilling careers and personal lives for themselves. As you might guess, I am passionate about everyone finding a career that’s a fit. I learned the hard way that life’s too short to suffer with a job or career that isn’t fulfilling.

Here’s How You Can Find Your Career Calling!

  1. Remember, You Don’t Have to Jump Off a Cliff! It doesn’t have to be scary; you can work with a career coach to ensure that you are making choices that will result in a fulfilling career while ensuring that practical considerations, like paying the mortgage, are taken into account. On the other hand, put yourself out there! Get comfortable taking smaller, rewarding risks. Read more in our last article about getting comfortable on the edge of the precipice.
  2. Have a Process: Your coach can provide the structure and process for you to collect data of yourself. You want to treat choosing your next career like any other problem. Search out and consider data about yourself, generate career options, analyze your options logically and practically, and determine which option inspires you most.
  3. Know Yourself: This is where using a tool such as MBTI is quite helpful — you will have objective criteria with which to evaluate your strengths and blind spots. You’ll also want to take an inventory of your skills, focusing on the ones you enjoy using. If you’re local to the Washington, DC area, attend the WGR’s Working with Different Personality Types seminar. I promise it’ll help you evaluate career options, too.
  4. Network: Your process will most likely include networking and discussing prospective career paths and jobs with friends and colleagues. Your friends often have a clearer sense of your strengths than you do.
  5. Create Your Professional Talking Points: Whether you want to secure a promotion, find a new job, or make a career jump, you’ll need to be able to discuss your strengths and skills confidently and memorably. WGR offers a program to help you do just that: Step Into Power: Create Your Personal Brand. For more information about how to create your personal brand, follow us here on Medium and watch for our next article.
  6. Interview Like A Rock Star: A coach can also help you amp up your interviewing skills. The keys are to be confident, prepared, and yourself. For more tips about interviewing, read Interview Like a Rock Star.

Want to Take Your Pursuit to the Next Level?

If you’d like help in making the most of your current position or finding a totally new career path, let’s talk! You can reach me at anne@arudia.com or 202–449–9751. If you’re in the DC area and would like help in developing your career — in Stepping Into Your Power, join me and your WGR friends on:

  • September 21 for Creating Your Personal Brand
  • October 19 for Working with Different Personality Types
  • November 9 for Improving Your Leadership Style
  • November 30 for Tactical Leadership Skills

Register today!

Women in Government Relations (WGR) welcomes people of all genders.

And for more tips on how to turn your passion into your career, check back with us here at Medium, on Twitter and on Facebook.