Stop Asking Yourself “What’s My Passion?” and Start Asking This Instead

Whenever you’re unsatisfied with your job, people advise you to figure out what you’re passionate about and then just turn that into a full-time gig.

Honestly, how tired are you of asking yourself, “What is my passion?” I’m pretty sick of it myself, and I’m a career counselor. (Am I even allowed to say that?) The question is so big that it’s completely paralyzing for most people. In fact, it’s too big, and it therefore doesn’t usually help.

But, if you are unsatisfied with your work or really have no idea what step to take next, what else is there to focus on besides this elusive passion? I’ve thought about this a lot and come up with three questions that I think are a little simpler to answer and (hopefully) a lot more helpful .

1. What Can I Do to Help Other People?

Sometimes it’s easier to think about what you can do for others than it is to focus on what you can do for yourself. There are probably a million things that you want to do, but likely fewer that you can do, and even fewer that you can do for the greater good.

If you speak with a career counselor, the conversation is eventually going to revolve around your skills. It’s surprisingly tricky to identify them, but it’s an important part of figuring out what all your options are. Considering this in the context of what you can do for others frequently helps with that.

2. What Does My Ideal Day Look Like?

Or, more specifically, your ideal workday (and no cheating and picking a vacation day in Bali). The word “career” conjures up a pretty specific image for most people. It usually involves an office, more than 40 hours a week, and uncomfortable clothes. To break away from this restrictive perception, let’s talk more generally about how you would like your schedule structured.

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WILAB LOVES is a series of articles and blog posts from across the web that Women’s iLab supports. This article was written by Lily Zhang and published on theMuse.com.