How many times have you been told to ‘follow your passion’? To ‘do what you love’? To ‘find your bliss’?
Probably too many times to count.
At this point, it’s nothing more than an eye-roller. An empty phrase that people repeat without even knowing what it means. Can we finally admit that it’s bad advice?
What if, rather than following your passion, you followed your strengths?
Where would that take you?
I want to be clear right from the beginning: I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from following their passion. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it. I am, after all, a writer—and I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a kid. So, in many ways, I’ve followed my passion into a career that I love. If you want it, go for it.
At the same time, my job isn’t only about writing. It’s also about managing a team of writers. It’s about making strategic decisions. It’s about developing new products that will improve the web presence of thousands of small businesses across the US and Canada. Sure, writing is an important part of my job—but it’s only one part!
And every job is like this. It’s not enough to be passionate. It’s not enough to be good at one thing. Success in the workplace stems from a range of habits, behaviours, skills, and talents. These are your strengths. Develop them. Personal success will follow simply because what you’re doing will be suited to the multi-faceted and dynamic individual that you are.
Most people think following your passion means turning your favourite activity into a career. Unfortunately, this is a great way to close yourself off to your own potential. What if you haven’t discovered the thing that will define your life? What if you only discover that thing through trial and error?
And what if other people see it before you do?
Following your passion might lead you to ignore the suggestions or opportunities that other people offer you. Imagine missing out on something you don’t even know you’re missing out on—just because you were so fixated on one ultimate goal?
So, what’s the best advice for young people starting their careers?
Assume that you don’t know what you really want. Set yourself goals and achieve them. Develop your strengths and build your skill set. And of course, free yourself for the chance encounters and random opportunities that might come your way.
Remember that few people end up where they started!
If you’re looking for a fun and exciting career in sales, digital marketing, web design, development, customer service, or content writing, check out our current opportunities page! We’re always on the lookout for talented individuals to join our team!