Finding a job that speaks to your passion can be stressful. Some people are anxious when they realize that their passions are difficult to identify, seem ambiguous or elusive, or feel non-transferable to actual jobs. Instead of trying to match your passion to your job, I suggest aligning your values with your work.
I like the concept of values because knowing our own values provides centeredness. It is like having a big net underneath you when you are making decisions. Identifying your values requires introspection that is useful not just for work but in all aspects of life.
When I get a gnawing feeling about a situation that doesn’t feel right, I usually find there is something about the people involved or the activities that don’t align with my values. If I stay in that situation, it often leads to circumstances that are not meaningful to me or that might even be frustrating or challenging.
Alternatively, when a situation excites me, it usually aligns in some way with my values, igniting my passion. Situations are not always black and white; however, knowing if something aligns with your values can be a great indicator of continued satisfaction and can help you determine your path forward.
There many how to guides that describe ways to identify your own values. Many begin with reviewing a list of common values such as respect, freedom, integrity, optimism, etc. Creating your own list is a fun exercise, but the real worth comes when we remember to intentionally consider our values to guide our decisions big and small, personally, and professionally.
It’s never too early or too late to know and practice incorporating your values into all aspects of your life. When you do, you will find your path to enjoyable and meaningful activities personally and professionally.