Me: Why are you passionate about your career?
Client: [long pause] Well, I’m not.
Me: So why are you pursuing the same type of job if it doesn’t light your fire?
Client: Because I’m good at what I do.
This was part of a conversation I had with Ben over 10 years ago when I queried something he mentioned in passing. Discussing further, he said he started a career in finance because it was “expected” of him by his parents. He didn’t choose it because it was something he would love to do. But he did excel in the role because his natural skills aligned to his type of work.
Over time he applied for similar jobs, until he woke one day realising he felt lost. His appetite to excel was gone and apathy had set in.
So he compensated by applying for the same type of jobs at different organisations, thinking a new company and challenge would fix how he felt. And he was successful in landing those jobs because he was really good at what he did and his achievements were a mile long.
But the same job in a new company was only a temporary band-aid. Because once again, he was awake at 3am wondering why he felt the way he did.
Ben never questioned his career… never even thought about ‘passion’. Because he was good at what he did.
Instead, he blamed the company, his work colleagues, his boss, his wife, his kids, his golf swing because he couldn’t beat his mates. He put everything under the spotlight to see if it was making him feel miserable. He analysed and blamed everything, except his career. Not only was he miserable, he was making everyone else miserable too.
Laying blame at everything but your career is common when you are good at what you do.
But here’s the truth:
Being really good at something doesn’t mean you love what you do.
In fact, it’s a waste of your talent NOT to be in a job that feels your heart with joy. Because when you’re doing work that is fulfilling and stimulating, you go from being good to great. You’re not just ‘really good’ at what you do, you’re ‘really AMAZING’ at what you do.
Which is what happened to Ben. He admitted that whilst his past accomplishments were good, they were typical.
When he was in a job that filled him with passion, his accomplishments were untypical and extraordinary. He then had the opportunity to run a company and make a difference with staffing and client philosophies.
Life had meaning again. He had purpose. And a happy wife! 😉
Are you doing work because you’re good at it, or because you’re passionate about it? Is being good at what you do, good enough?
If you want to stop doing work you’re good at but don’t love, learn the 5 Step System to get into a job you love: https://workshop.bigoakcoaching.com