Your passion can change over the years. So something that you might be passionate about in your 20s, can be the source of unremitting boredom in later life.
You can also develop new passions. It’s not inconceivable that you might find two or even more passions in a working life which is extending all the time.
Passion on its own is not enough!
Question 2: What am I good at?
The next step involves strategy, which brings us to question 2. Do you have the skills or can you acquire them? What are you good at?
It’s important to constantly assess our skills, strengths and development needs because these are changing or we need to update them. The days of anyone having a fixed retirement date when they kick back and head for the golf course or world travel are probably a thing of the past for all but a few. It’s projected that most people will now be working until they are 70, health permitting.
It’s important that we all recognise our strengths and skills and what we need to work on. If in doubt – ask for feedback.
Question 3: What can I do to earn money to pay my bills
At the age of 14, I was passionate about tennis, but there was no way I could make a living at it. Or had the skills. That is something that very often people misunderstand. I know one woman who was an excellent home cook and passionate about food. But she was unable to turn that passion into something that paid her bills. Some things like my tennis, are best kept as hobbies.
In times of crisis many have had to take jobs they are not passionate about to put good on their table and keep a roof over their heads. They should not be judged for that, but eventually they will probably find themselves out of alignment with their core values and other drivers.
This will be the same for someone who earns a high salary but feels unfulfilled. This suggests one or more of their other needs are not being met.
Organisations need to shift their thinking on this around the need for linear experience.
Question 4. What does the world or market need?
This is going to be one of the greatest challenges of the next normal. As our workplaces reshape we are going to need to keep abreast of new trends to sell our skills in a new employment market place. We need to know more than ever what our workplaces need. This will mean staying in touch and in tune with workplace innovation and making sure we have the right skills to find our place in it. The pace of change is also so great in our workplaces, that we have no idea what jobs will exist in 10 years that we may become passionate about.
One of the under valued soft skills that contributes to career success is a sense of curiosity
. Not only that, it is an age neutral attribute. It can work in every age demographic, from entry-level to seniors, which is always an added bonus. A sense of curiosity can be understood as: “A state of active interest or genuinely wanting to know more about something.”
Continuous and intuitive learning will be very much part of our career management strategies over the next decades.