Think of something you’re truly passionate about. Now imagine getting paid, day in and day out, to engage in that activity or one closely related. Sounds great, right? As AirPR chief strategist Rebekah Iliff writes in a post for Entrepreneur, it’s actually possible — you just have to take the right steps to get there.
In “7 Tips for Loving Your Career and Working With Passion,” Iliff traces a path to career fulfillment, using advice from powerful women she admires. The fist lady on her list is Renee La Londe, CEO and founding partner of iTalent, who offers this piece of wisdom: “Make discovering what you love before you enter the workforce your mission.” It’s a big world out there, she says; do some exploring before you pick your major and settle into a field just because it’s “safe.” There’s something out there that stirs your passion — discover it.
Once you have some idea, says LinkedIn principal designer Yingzhao Liu, “Don’t wait to do what you love. Take risks.” When she was in her late 20s, Liu realized that you can’t wait until you’re ready to take chances, because by then, it’ll be too late. She also discovered that living an “extraordinary life” depends only on your willingness to branch out and try things other people won’t. She owes all of the “adventure, passion and empowerment” she’s since experienced to these revelations.
Following your dreams will, of course, lead to fraught moments, but that’s when it’s essential to remember the sage-like advice of Sabrina Horn, founder, president and CEO of HORN Group: “Stay positive, no matter what.” Horn was struggling with running a company and being a parent, but then she stopped trying to control every facet of her life, and that’s when things started to click.
Staying positive ought to be easier when you’re utilizing your talents in a manner right for you, and PopExpert Ingrid Sanders urges everyone to “Identify what you value in life.” Are you looking to be part of a team or work independently? Perhaps the ability to showcase creativity is your chief concern? “Once you’ve taken the time to understand your own priorities and talents, then do your research and have the courage to dive in,” Sanders writes.
You should also discover “the interaction between what you love and where you excel.” That’s according to LinkedIn director of user experience Kelly Bowles, who’s found that she feels most fulfilled “connecting with and helping others.” She looks to her team of coworkers to help her feeling inspired in this regard.
As you follow your muse, you’ll invariably interact with others, and as entrepreneur Kathy Foltner tells Iliff, “integrity is everything.” Foltner’s pro tip: “If you say you’ll do it, do it.” You’ve got to have good followthrough if you want people to respect you.
If you want them to believe in you, follow the advice of Ventureneer founder Geri Stengel: “Trust in the power of attraction.” By being enthusiastic about your work, Stengel says, people will naturally want to “rally around you,” in good times and bad. It’s what she calls “the magic of passion,” and it’s something anyone can tap into.