You’ve already done the hard part.
You’ve identified your passion. You’ve experienced that euphoric high when you’re in the zone and love what you’re doing. And, let’s be honest, as soon as you pinpoint that passion and let your mind wander to your dream job, there’s no going back.
And why would you? Over 80% of people don’t enjoy their work and nearly 75% of people don’t know their passion. You’re part of the lucky group of people who have found their passion. Like I said, the hard work is over. But you have to keep that momentum going and make the effort to exercise that passion each and every day.
It can be as simple or as in-depth as you want. If you’re passionate about design, read a design blog every morning. If you want to be a writer, write for 20 minutes every day. If you want to be a chef, make the biggest leap and quit your job to apply for culinary school.
You have the power to decide how to weave your passion into your everyday life, depending on how much spare time you have and what your ultimate goals are.
Here are four easy ways to weave your passion into your everyday life:
Expand Your Role at Work
It’s up to you to make sure you’re including your passion in your current job. First, make your passion known to your manager. He or she may have no idea you’re interested in developing other skill sets. The trick here is to articulate your interest in this new area, but clearly explain your continued interest in your current role. You don’t want your manager to be worried that you’ll quit as soon as you develop the skills or stop doing your current tasks entirely. Once you’ve had this conversation, you need to develop an action plan. Draft a proposal to include your passion at work, identifying the tasks that you want to take on and the additional value you can provide. Make it as easy as possible for your manager to get on-board with the plan.
Secure Side Projects
If you can’t incorporate your passion at work or want to have more projects, look for side gigs. With sites like Craigslist, Fiverr, Guru, and more, you can easily advertise your services or respond to people looking for help. Decide if you will do the job for free or if you want to charge (in the early stages, you may want to take on side jobs for free as it will open more doors and help you build your portfolio). Join a group of like-minded professionals to network, share information, and brainstorm ideas (Meetup.com can be a great resource as well as traditional networking events).
Share Your Passion With Others
Use your passion to make a difference by volunteering. There’s a new wave of philanthropy that is dedicated to matching people’s skills and passions with organizations that need them, with sites including catchafire.org, volunteermatch.org and others. You can build your resume, hone your skills, and help your community all at the same time. Volunteering your skills can be easier and more convenient for people who don’t have a lot of free time. You don’t have to spend the same amount of effort networking and finding jobs as you do when you are looking for side projects and you can choose the length of the volunteer project you’d like to work on (as opposed to working for a client who can often dictate the time commitment).
Nail down your 30-second elevator pitch and tell it to whoever will listen. You will be surprised by how many doors will open for you if you just ask for what you want. Ask your friends, family, colleagues, doctor, hair stylist — anyone! And don’t be afraid to clearly define what you want. In fact, the more direct you are, the higher your chances are of success. Ask each friend to introduce you to two new people, ask someone with your dream job to get coffee with you, ask your favorite company in town if they need help on a project. The opportunities are endless, you just have to create them for yourself.
Conclusion and Next Steps
The first step to pursuing your passion is to incorporate it in your everyday life. It may feel like work at the beginning, and that’s okay. Just like any new routine, you may have to remind yourself or force yourself to do it. But after a couple months, it’ll feel so natural you won’t be able to forget about it even if you tried.
And, when it gets hard, just remember how lucky you are that you have a passion. Celebrate the fact that you are working hard toward something that truly makes you happy. Not everyone can say that.