We see people become successful when they find their passion under fifteen and pursue it rigorously, primarily in fine arts, fashion and sports etc. We try to apply the same principle of adding passion to our professional knowledge work.
But it doesn’t work because of two reasons.
With rapid advancements in technology, changing market conditions, one can hardly follow the developments and sustain ones skills relevant, let alone being passionate about them.
Come 20 years, you are on the prowl for survival and passion takes back seat. It’s difficult to follow your passion rigorously, even if you found one.
Market conditions are changing at such a pace that if you stop following the developments in your focus area for a year, you will be ages behind and may even become irrelevant in your field.
How many people in their twenties are passionate about database testing for financial services industry? Does anyone even think of those niche areas as passionate jobs? People in their twenties and thirties need to explore life and plan their family. Finding passion is never an immediate pain point, so it always takes second priority.
Professional careers in industrial economy need continuously changing skill set. You need to get out into the market and test your interests on the field. You might have read multiple self-help books or done mental exercises creating skill matrix or Venn diagrams. Unless you talk to people who are already doing that job, take internships or try your hands on the job voluntarily, immerse yourself into it, you will not be able to know whether you truly love that job or not.
I spent more than a decade waiting for my passion to strike my mind. Out of this period, I spent my last year reading tonnes of material, doing mental exercises. Finally on one fine day, I seemingly found my passion on ‘Sustainability’. It is about green revolution, reducing carbon footprint, producing eco-friendly products and software.
It was indeed a magical moment when I first came to know that sustainability was my passion. I informed the world around me in excitement. I read tonnes of content on this topic and started blogging about it. I had to act like I was really passionate about sustainability, right? I did all that’s required for it. After the initial enthusiasm was subsided, I started exploring job opportunities to really work on sustainability. That’s when I started feeling the heat. I tried searching for job for another one year, but failed miserably.
After I acknowledged my passion and decided to pursue it, during my job search, I spoke to some senior folks working on this field and found that most of the people working on this area are doctorates or engineers with domain expertise in environmental sciences. In spite of my adequate knowledge on the subject, thought leadership attempts through blogging, speaking at corporate occasions, I could not crack a single interview.
Had I done this before assuming my passion, I would have saved one year of my valuable professional life. Just one informational interview with an expert would have saved me from mental frustration for a year, not to mention the time and money wasted on this pursuit.
I took a different approach in my next attempt. I did window shopping for the emerging technologies and found big data to be interesting for me, initially. Then I spoke to some of my LinkedIn contacts who are already on the job. I even reached out to some industry experts in this field and discovered some insider information which I could not have gathered even after spending 5 years in this field. I even attended some interviews in tier 2 and 3 companies, just to test my success in this field.
Before assuming my passion on big data, I had enough information on the industry outlook and about my prospects for success. I call this ‘Passion Certainty Technique’. You know for sure that you are going to love your job much before you start your job trails on the ground and you will be able to find it in the market with ease.
I had no connection with big data analytics as early as 3 months before getting my job on big data. I took a leap from my existing career path and joined the big data bandwagon with confidence and enthusiasm. I absolutely love it today. It’s indeed a magical revelation for me. The more I work on it, more I love it. Some may call it passion.