Thursday, February 26, 2015

Turn Your Passions Into a Career

Working in a passion-led career may seem like a farfetched dream, but it is possible. You can live out your passion by creating a career that you love, or simply working in a current industry or career field that aligns with your skills and passions.

My Story

When I began my college journey, I did not know what I would major in. I enrolled at Auburn University as an interior design major, but quickly realized that there were so many other options that wanted to explore.

I did not want to confine myself to the limitations of one major. Choosing a major made me feel as if I was neglecting important passions and skills that were an important part of who I am, and more importantly, who I wanted to become. So, what did I do? I went on a process of self-discovery--much like the self-reflection/self-inventory exercise from a previous post.

However, my process took place over the course of several years. I made sure to get involved in organizations, causes and activities that I enjoyed. I also participated in many leadership conferences and classes, which all provided me with various personality assessments that actually helped along the way. I began to pay more attention to the things that I enjoyed participating in and noticed the skills and key strengths that I possessed.

After four years in college, I realized that I wanted a career that would allow me to help others, use my creativity and not limit me to any particular industry. This is when decided to become a public relations major. Two years later, I graduated with a degree in public relations and a double minor.

Today I am the Marketing and Communications Specialist at Moovin4ward Presentations. My primary passions are creativity, self-expression, helping others, and making a difference in the lives of youth and young adults. Working for a company that strives to motivate, inspire and empower youth and young adults helps fulfill my passion. I have a chance to express myself creatively each day by designing marketing materials and writing fun and informational pieces for our blog.

You see, there are tons of ways that you can choose to live out your passions. Find what works for you. There is no rule that says that you should take the most conventional road (i.e. having a passion for education and being a teacher). If there is not a career that aligns with your passion, create one!

As I have said before, combine your passions and skills to create something great. Continue to improve the skills that you have and work to gain new ones. There are infinite possibilities for those who are willing to work toward personal success!

How are you living out your passion? Respond below and tell us what you’re passionate about.

"It is a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together."

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Reflecting on Self to Discover Your Passion

In last week’s post, I covered what it takes to discover your passion and, hopefully, you completed the self-reflection/self-inventory exercise included within the post.

It is not enough to complete the exercise. The real work comes from reflecting on your answers. Reflecting allows you to carefully consider the significance of each question as it relates to your life. The most important thing to take from your inventory, is a better understanding of yourself—your morals, values and passions. As you read through and reflect on each of your answers, you will begin to see similarities and a common theme among them. Write down all of your common themes.

I'll use myself as an example. In question eight, you listed all careers that you have aspired for since you were a child.

My List Includes:
  • Teacher
  • Lawyer
  • Fashion Designer
  • Interior Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Event Planner
  • Counselor
  • Wedding Planner 
I know. At first glance, the above list may seem random, however all eight of the above professions can be grouped into two common themes—helping and creating with a bit of crossover.

The craziness above makes perfect sense for me. I love being creative. Creativity is one of my passions, but I also love helping others. Notice that within each category or theme, there may be differences among the careers that you chose.

To take it a step further, look at number 10: 

What are others always coming to you to receive advice or help with? Do you dread helping, or are you motivated to help? 

Again, using myself as an example, I have always been asked for help and advice on academic questions, career/resume help, and design/fashion advice. Out of my friends, everyone knows to come to me if they want help in their job search or need career related advice, academic help or simply need advice on what to wear to an event.

Each of my answers for number 10 corresponds in some way to my number eight themes. Though I tend to receive questions around similar themes, the types of questions asked determine whether I am motivated to help, or not. For example, if I am asked for help with a math equation, I will want  to help because I am a problem solver and I love helping others overcome obstacles. However, I will not be motivated  to help because I hate math. Yes, helping others is one of my passions, but math is not.

It’s extremely important for you to recognize those things in your life that you are motivated to do and those you dread participating in. Continue working through and reflecting on your list. Make notes on whatever jumps out at you. Remember, you don’t have to have only one passion. Multiple passions can combine to create something great! While you work through your list, think about your skills and how they relate to the things you enjoy doing. There may be activities on your list that you enjoy, but may not be great at performing. Think about those things. Are you willing to put in the time and constant effort to improve your skill? If so, make note of it. If not, then that skill or activity may work as a hobby for you.

Stay tuned for next weeks post! I'll be sharing my experience on finding a passion and landing a position in a career that I love. I will also give you insight on how to do the same for yourself!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Finding my Passion: Where Do I Start?

In last weeks post, I walked you through understanding the definition of passion and provided a life-like example in Tasha's story. Now that you have an idea of what a passion is, it's time to take the steps to finding your own.

Think of your passion as the final stepping-stone leading to a career that you love. To get to that final stepping stone, there are other, much smaller, stepping stones (self-reflection and self-inventory) that you must take before realizing your passion.


Self-reflection is a practice used to identify your character, actions and motives. Self-reflection helps you learn more about yourself by carefully thinking about your behavior and beliefs. It is also known as self-examination. Imagine yourself taking an exam on all things you. Think about the kinds of questions asked and the answers to those questions.


A self-inventory is a means to help you identify your interests, strengths, abilities and life experiences. The practice reveals who you are at the core. As I said in last week’s post, you have to take into account your various skills and desires to see how you can make them work for you. How can you do that if you do not know what your skills and true desires are?

Self-reflection and self-inventory are two important factors in finding your passion. In fact, they are both essential to discovering the passion inside of you. The process of self-discovery is difficult. It causes you take an unfiltered look at yourself (the good, the bad and the ugly), BUT the greater benefit is knowing and accepting yourself to live out your passion.

So, get your thinking cap on and grab a notebook or journal and a pen and let’s get started!

Self Reflection/ Self-Inventory Exercise:

  1. Clear your mind and do not limit the process by clouding your mind with expectations.
  2. Write down all activities or subjects that you enjoy. Whether you enjoy discussing them, actually enjoy doing them, or whether you’re good at these things, or not— write it all down. It may be good to make a note to distinguish those that you like to perform, those you like to discuss or both.
  3. Think about anything that you do that causes you to lose track of time. Write it down.
  4. What are your hobbies?
  5. If you could do (or become) anything in this world and knew that you would not fail, what would it be? Describe it in detail. 
  6. If you had a choice to do anything, but you knew you wouldn’t be paid for it, what would that be?
  7. Think about what you enjoyed doing as a child. What activities where you naturally drawn to?
  8. List all careers that you have wanted to do since you were a child. What sticks out at you?  Are there any similarities, or similar themes? ( i.e. creativity, problem solving, working with hands, working with numbers, helping others)
  9. If you were to die today, what would you want your legacy to be?
  10. What are others always coming to you to receive advice or help with? Do you dread helping, or are you motivated to help?
  11. Write your mission statement.
    1.  A mission statement is a short formal statement that describes who you are and how you will live. It defines your core values, provides clarity and purpose for your life.
  12. Last, but not least…Brainstorm! Keep a journal and continue to be self-aware. Write down anything that you notice about your activities and skills.
Remember, passion can be created. Look within yourself to find and create one! You may even have more than one passion. If so, combine your skills into something that is of value to you and others. Do not limit what you can do. Think of habits that you have developed naturally. What kind of games did you enjoy playing as a child? What kind of books have you enjoyed reading in the past?

Each of the questions above are stepping stones toward finding your passion. The more questions you answer, the more you reveal about yourself. Don’t rush! There is no time-limit to completing this activity. In fact, you may want to go over the questions more than once to achieve the most out of your results. In my next post, I will show you how to use your self-reflection/self-inventory to determine you passion and key skills!

“Don’t worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

-Howard Thurman

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Series Intro: Find Your Passion & Love Your Career!

An intense desire or enthusiasm for something
Synonyms: fire, energy, love, appetite,

Meet Tasha.

Tasha and her boyfriend, Robert, are having dinner at their favorite restaurant. The dinner is going great, as usual, until Robert notices that Tasha is distracted. Tasha has officially checked out of her and Robert’s conversation and has checked into the conversation at the next table. As soon as someone uttered the three magic words, “today’s educational system,” Tasha’s focus completely shifted. She is instantly compelled to join in on the conversation and relay her input. This is nothing new to Robert since he knows how Tasha feels about the state of today’s educational system. She has books on the subject of education and loses track of time every time the subject comes up with friends and family.
It is very possible that Tasha is passionate about education and the state of the educational system. 

A passion is anything that ignites a fire in you and causes a desire to take action. When you are passionate about something, you tend to feel energized when talking about this thing, idea or subject. You also feel the same energy when acting out this same thing.
What do you believe Tasha should do about this passion? Does she have to become a teacher?

Most would think so, but no.

Suppose Tasha does not have the desire to be in a traditional classroom setting.

The Road Less Traveled.

Having a passion in a particular area, does not mean that you have to take the most obvious path. There are countless options available for Tasha to incorporate her passion into a career that she loves.  Yes, she could become a teacher, but she is not limited to that career path.
Here are a few other options for Tasha:

  • Lobbyist for education on Capitol Hill
  • Consultant to educational systems, schools, and/or teachers
  • CEO of non-profit that focuses on helping students who do not receive quality education


You Have to Start Somewhere.

You see, your passion should simply be a starting place, do not feel limited by what you can do. Always think outside the box. Take into account your other skills and desires to see how you can make them work for you.  It is all about self reflection and really getting to know yourself what you like to do, what you love to do and what you hate doing. Once you really take an inventory of your needs, wants, talents and gifts, discovering your passion will be a piece of cake!

During the next few weeks, let's focus on your passion. More specifically, finding your passion and using it to create a career that you love.  We will explore and discover ways to convert your passion into a career! It is not too late. It does not matter what stage you are in your career or how old (or young) you are :-) .

Let me hear from you! What are you passionate about? Are you living out your passion?

“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs.”
                  -Tony Gaskins


passion. Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. n.d. Web. 29 .Feb 2015 <>