Can You Work Your Passion in a Lousy Executive Job Market?

by Meg Guiseppi on June 1, 2010

A client prospect I spoke with recently, a COO in retail, was struggling with whether or not it was time to transition away from the corporate world.

He was desperately unhappy in his work, and had been for several years. Somehow, as his career progressed to the c-level, he realized he had lost his passion for his work. He was making great money, but found little joy in his day-to-day life.

In his US News & World Report article, Does Having Passion for Your Work Even Matter?, Curt Rosengren offered three reasons why passion is one of the most important investments you can make in your career:

It’s an energy source.

Being on fire about your work energizes you. Instead of being an energy drain, your work becomes an energy gain. Instead of dipping into your energy reserves, as so many people have to, you’re creating enough energy from what you do to power your day.

It helps you feel more confident.

Too many people drag themselves to jobs that require them to be someone they’re not. This drains their energy and keeps them off balance. Trying to be who you’re not requires excessive energy. Maintaining the facade keeps you off balance.

Conversely, when you’re aligned with what energizes you, you achieve balance and strength. You feel confident about what you’re doing.

It feeds your persistence.

Challenges and roadblocks that inevitably come our way are much easier to manage and overcome when we’re pursuing things we’re passionate about. Roadblocks don’t seem as insurmountable.

I always counsel executives who are unhappy in their careers that, regardless of the economy, it never hurts to find out what else is out there that might bring them career fulfillment.

You just never know what’s right around the corner. It costs nothing but time to think about and explore what would truly make you happy.

Talk to people, do some research, do some soul-searching. Reconnect with your passions and explore opportunities that will ignite and excite you!

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