Finding Your Passion: Do You Love What You Do?
It’s business as usual where I reside. The sun is shining. Parents watch as their children dash to the entrance of the local elementary school. And my routine commute is marred by gridlock traffic.
As I engage in a battle of “who can obnoxiously inch their car into a foot of free space the quickest,” I worry about the time I’m losing, the deadlines I have to make and the caffeine I need to function.
I tell my brain to “shut up” and, instead, I start reflecting on bigger things. What is really important in life? Family, friendships and health always top the list. I then switch gears and begin to ponder my chosen profession. Why do I do what I do every day? It’s been a while since I asked myself this question—and thought hard about the answer.
We spend most of our waking hours at the office. There are going to be plenty of “office space” moments. Maybe you’re contemplating one right now. Just stop. Overall, do you love what you do? How long did it take you to reach a conclusion?
Take a moment to remind yourself why you love your work (if you struggle with this task, learn from it). Here is my short list:
• I love to learn. I am primarily responsible for managing our sister publication (Print+Promo), so when I was asked to blog for Promo Marketing, it took me out of my comfort zone. How was I supposed to discuss an advertising medium completely unfamiliar to me? Furthermore, how could I tie in celebrity gossip/fashion to provide relevant content? A year has passed (read my first post from April 18) and I’m still figuring it out, but I’m having so much fun along the way. I’ve gotten to learn from some of the creative minds that make up this industry, and I’m grateful for that. Is that how you felt when you got your start with promotional products? Are you invested in your company’s future and spreading the word about a new product line or campaign?
• I love helping others. Despite my sardonic personality, it’s awesome when my team and I experience an “A-ha!” moment together. It’s equally satisfying when I am able to sit down with an article and get to work with my red pen. Nothing quite describes the feeling of making a “good catch” or reducing wordiness (I wish I could do that with my own writing). This isn’t about ego—my eye is trained to look for imperfections in microscopic text. If I can right one wrong sentence with a peer, my job is done. Are you a born mentor or leader? How often do you collaborate with your team, and do you feel that same sense of pride when the task is complete? If not, consider how you might recapture the old spark.
• I love deadlines. Earlier, I mentioned stressing over impending deadlines. In reality, deadlines aren’t so bad and they actually give me the extra motivation I need. Some people work better under pressure. And, believe me, pressure isn’t missing over here. Writing, editing and production cycles keep me busy, which is a great thing. How do you work best? Perhaps you need someone to say: “You have two days to complete these 50 million tasks.”
So, what are you waiting for? Get started on your own list. I won’t even mind if it’s similar to the one above. After you’ve done this, ask yourself if your words reflect your feelings because, well … you know the cliché that follows. And don’t neglect the other things you love—the little things that make us who we are.