Passion is a funny thing. All of us know what passion looks like and most of us have felt what it was like to be passionate about something. Yes, even if you were just passionate about the delicious cheesecake you had for lunch. When it comes to careers, most people would agree that doing something you’re passionate about is way better than working a job.
With that in mind, is passion something you’re just born with or is it something that can be developed?
On the one hand, it’s easy to see how some people have an innate passion for certain things. For example, I’m extremely passionate about healthcare and technology. Was I just born with it? It’s funny to even say it like that when it’s something like healthcare and technology. It’s not like that’s something you can be born with. How would I have known in high school that I had a passion for the way technology transforms healthcare? I couldn’t.
Does that then mean that passion has to be developed?
The simple answer is that passion is and can be developed in something. That’s a powerful idea because it means that you might take a job that you’re not “passionate” about, but you could grow a passion for that thing. You don’t have to pigeonhole yourself into something just because you’re not passionate about it at the start.
While I think passion for topics can and have to be developed, I think we are each born with certain general passions. For example, one person might be born with a passion for creating while another might be born with a passion for entertaining while another might be born with a passion for competing.
There’s a subtle difference here that’s worth noting. Passion for a topic, an industry, or a type of job can be developed. However, you are born with certain general passions that can apply across a wide variety of industries. These general passions are usually hard to suppress and usually align with the type of job you want in a specific industry. When these things aren’t aligned, that’s usually when you see someone say that they’re not passionate about their work anymore.
As you look at your current job and where you want to go, think about the general passions you have and how your current job is helping you enjoy those passions. If they’re not, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to change industries. It may just mean you need to change jobs in that industry. Understanding this can be key as you think about your future career path.