Working on My Passion

fireman wishIn kindergarten I wanted to be a veterinarian, because I thought that all girls were vets and all boys were firefighters. I knew that my mom and dad didn’t perform either of these jobs so it’s a bit confusing on how this notion came to exist.

In fourth grade when I realized that not all animals were as friendly as my cat, I decided that I would like to be a real estate agent. We watched a lot of HGTV in my home.

In the ninth grade my mom wouldn’t lend me the necessary capital to flip a house, so I decided to settle for being a teacher. I’ve never really want to be a teacher. I’m impatient. I already want this blog post to be finished with itself.

And now, after I’ve learned that flip flops are better suited for the beach than decision making, I am stuck having no solid idea of what I’d like to be “when I grow up”, which according to my impending college graduation date, will be in a few months.

I blame my lack of a career direction entirely on being too well-rounded of a person (it’s not a brag if it’s also a fact). I love history and anatomy and math and science and reading and music and health and theatre and technology and different cultures and writing and I’m always interested to hear what new information someone has to share on even the most foreign of topics. I have no specific topic that drives me to wake up in the morning, and even though I like any excuse to sleep in I can’t help but wishing that there were something more.

I don’t want just any ol’ job. I want the best job on the planet where I have to use that cheesy line about it “not being work” and everyone laughs but I glow on the inside knowing that it’s true and that I’m really quite happy where I am and that my life is contributing to something that I never want to leave. Also it should pay a million dollars an hour.

But where does one go to find one’s passion? I’ve been looking for a good part of my 21 years and haven’t found anything that I’d love to be involved with for the rest of my life. I’m an English and Communications double major because I like to read and I like to talk to people and because the university made me choose. I’m also involved in Terp Thon which helps the kids at Children’s National Medical Center, I loyally attend the UMD athletic events, and I’ve long been involved in sign language club and gardening. But to focus on solely one of those aspects? It wouldn’t be enough. Which leads me to believe that I haven’t found the one. The one passion that overcomes all other interests until it consumes my whole being with desire.

I know that it’s not realistic to expect such fulfillment from a job and that I’m quite spoiled to be in a position where I can afford to question what I truly want from my career, but when you’re spending the majority of your life working you don’t want to waste time with emotions of any lesser caliber than sheer joy.

I’m not willing to settle for any long-term career that I’m less than passionate about. And I’m certainly not willing to settle for any pay range less than that million dollars an hour.

So for now I’ll just have to keep searching and figure out how I can make room in my resume to express this sentiment.

29 thoughts on “Working on My Passion

  1. I completely understand! I’m 20 years old and feel the pressure of having to decide what I’m going to do with the rest of my life but I really don’t know. I have no idea what career I want so I don’t know what classes to take now and my interests change each day so I’m completely lost. It’s okay though because I don’t think that what you decide to do now is what you MUST do for the rest of your life. I love hearing stories about adults who have changed careers all these times. It’s colorful and fascinating and that’s the life I want. 🙂

    • Oh my goodness I completely agree! Based on how often my feelings change I can just imagine hoping around to a few different jobs before I find what I really like. I just hope that I don’t stop looking until I’m truly happy where I am. Best of luck to you as well, we can do it!

  2. I don’t think happiness in life has anything to do with finding the “right” career. I am the same as you (well rounded…I like to say I am a “renaissance woman”), and I have never had one thing I’ve always wanted to be. I’m 28 now. For some people, they will always have multiple interests and things going. I would suggest making a venn diagram of three aspects of your life;
    – Past Experiences (The things that have shaped you)
    – Core values (the things that are important to you that you prioritize)
    – Gifting/talents (the things you are good at/enjoy)
    where these overlap is where you will likely find the most fulfillment…and it might not be a job…it might be something you can do regardless of the job you hold. 🙂 Good luck! Graduation isn’t as cataclysmic as it seems. 😉

    • That’s a really great way of looking at things and I bet it could really help me narrow things down. I guess that as graduation approaches I’m beginning to realize exactly how much time I’ll spend my life working (it’s pretty inevitable). I guess that’s why I really want to make sure I’m making it worthwhile. Thanks again for the input and it’s great to know that there are other people who know what I’m talking about

  3. I’m 23, already working in a job related to my field of study, and yet I feel lost sometimes as to what I really want. I like writing (which is why I took Journalism) but it doesn’t feel like the kind of writing I like to do.

    I had a crazy idea to quit my job and do novel writing full time, but am constantly reminded by people around me that it’s not sustainable. Being Asian, I am also stereotyped into jobs involving accountancy/ teaching/ law. Anything but my passion for words and art. My parents were NEVER supportive of me being involved in a ‘creative’ job. It’s hard. At least you chose something of your own free will. I had to literally FIGHT my parents to get into my course of choice.

    I’m still looking for a direction in my career. I feel like time is ticking away, I’m gonna be in my mid-twenties soon. 😡 There’s also a lot of pressure to prove to my mum and dad that I chose something I would be happy to do for the rest of my life.

    • Wow that seems like such a struggle in order to do what you enjoy. I know you have the need to please your parents, but really just focus on what you’d like to do. Try novel writing at least part time and hopefully the happiness you achieve through that will carry into your journalism career. But then again what do I know about choosing a career haha

  4. Finding something you really want to do is so hard. I think I kind of lucked out (well I think that most days… when I am not banging my head against the wall). I studied Public Relations… and I HATED it. I ended up working in Financial Services marketing… HATED it. Started doing a teaching degree… HATED IT. Moved to the UK and ended up in the email marketing team of a job board, which nine years later, I now run (the email team, not the whole job board). Some of what I like about the job is the actual job – it’s very results driven, requires a lot of organisation and allows me to boss a whole load of people around (according to my Meyers-Briggs, which you should do to help you figure out what kind of work would suit you, “bossy” is my overriding characteristic)… but that’s not the overriding factor. The biggest reason I enjoy my job is because I like the work environment. I like how my company runs, its culture and the people I work with. And I also love being a line manager and getting to mentor others in their careers. Finding the right career path may not be about the actual day job. It might be more about finding an environment that nurtures you.

    • I think you’re absolutely right about the environment playing a big factor in how happy you are at your job. If I could work in a sitcom I definitely would, but aside from that I really like how a lot of offices are run on my college campus right now so for starters I think I’ll look around here.

  5. So glad I wasn’t the only one. 🙂 I never really decided what I wanted to do, but I went for a degree in Hotel/Restaurant management(I figured people will always travel and will always have to eat), and did an internship in Disney because of it. THAT’S how I decided what I wanted to do. I just wanna work for that company again. That’s where I was happiest. 🙂 Good luck on finding your happy place!!! ❤

  6. There’s nothing that says you only have to do one thing and do it forever. You try something, you see if you like it, you move on. You refine your search, you try something, you see if you like it, you move on. Maybe there isn’t one perfect job for you. Maybe your perfect job will be a combination of a bunch of different things. Just experiment and don’t put so much pressure on yourself. The vast majority of adults still don’t know what they want to be when they grow up 🙂

    • I know that I don’t have to stick with one thing forever and ever but I suppose I’m just worried about taking a job and then settling into it. Thank you so much for the vote of confidence as to my future and I’ll definitely try to appreciate the combinations of everything in my life 🙂

      • That was my fear leaving college too. I was afraid I’d get stuck being a secretary somewhere and never leave. But that only happens if you let it/want it to happen.

  7. As long as you stay interested in all kinds of things, you’ll always be happy. It’s those passions that make us happy and it’s great that you have so many! I followed the writing path as a reporter at first and the pay range is way below what you’re looking for. 🙂 Now I think I should have looked into being an agent because I love reading so much and after all, everyone loves agents. Either that or a park ranger. Or an alpaca farmer.

    • That’s what I’m really starting to recognize. I wanted to be an agent for a short time as well because I love reading, but the life of a real estate agent drew me away a bit. And now I’m all about the alpacas 🙂

  8. Hi Kathy,

    I wanted to email you but could not find an email address on your site, so I’ll comment here instead. I’m a career coach, and a client of mine who subscribes to your blog forwarded me this post. I wrote an e-book that directly addresses some of the things you’re questioning and working through. I don’t mean to sound spammy, but I think it would be a great service to you. You can check it out here: There are many free resources on the site, as well.

    All the best,

  9. Nice article about finding what you love to do For myself, a passion is doing something that I love to do and being willing to do it for free–that’s true passion. Getting paid for it, that’s a plus. The bottom lines is that when we examine our passions, even though they might be different jobs–they all have the same thing in common –that’s the true passion that one thing that all your passions have in common. For example, my “wants” as a child –were to be a vet ..(animal doctor). . to be a journalist, a scientist, a librarian, and or a reporter. All of them , though very different are all the same. The similarity is in that all of them require -finding the truth. The scientist, the journalist, reporter and the librarian —all passions built around “finding the truth”. My passion is to find the truth, reveal the truth, end the cover-up. And even in the “vet” job, though a stretch, still vets find the truth, whether they find the disease (to heal) or whether they find out why an animal acts a certain way or find out what an animal must do to be healed. I’m willing to bet that everyone’s “list” of passions is the same –in that they all are built around “one” theme, as in my case, my passion is to “find the truth” / “reveal the truth”. What’s your “common theme” , your real goal in any of your passions?

    • Huh that’s a really good idea you have about all of your jobs having a common theme. I’ll have to look a little more into what all of my possible careers have in common because once I find that similarity it should be so much easier to narrow down what I’d like to do. Thank you so much!

  10. Perhaps your passion is change, and absorbing and experiencing as much of this beautiful world as you can. That’s a very noble and worthwhile passion, I would say.

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