While we talk a lot about finding your passion, we realize there are a few limitations to the passion approach. Your passions might change and sometimes the things we enjoy aren’t necessarily the ones that land us great opportunities.
Instead of focusing on a fixed position or interest, perhaps we should think in terms of crafting a career that will evolve to reflect our growth and what the world needs. In this piece on Harvard Business Review, Monique Valcour argues that we need to adopt a different framework when evaluating our careers:
A sustainable career is dynamic and flexible; it features continuous learning, periodic renewal, the security that comes from employability, and a harmonious fit with your skills, interests, and values. The keys to crafting a sustainable career are knowing yourself — what interests you, what you do best and not so well, what energizes you — and being acutely attuned to the fields and companies you’re interested in, so that you can identify places where you can add value. The “follow your passion” self-help industry tends to under-emphasize this key point: all of the self-awareness in the world is of little use if you can’t pitch your passion to a buyer. A sustainable career is built upon the ability to show that you can fill a need that someone is willing to pay for. This holds not only when you’re starting a business or looking for a new job; it’s also an important springboard for refining your current job and your career trajectory to make it more ideal.
She recommends setting clear goals, keeping track of your accomplishments, and working with people who energize and inspire you. Read the rest of her advice for creating a sustainable career on Harvard Business Review.
How do you approach your career? Do you have a long-term vision for your work?