Is it just me, or does it seem like there is so much pressure to be fully passionate about work these days?
I have seen many young adults get stuck below their potential because they keep looking around for a job that they believe will make them feel passion one hundred percent of the time. Or, seasoned workers may feel bitter and resentful, feeling stuck in a job they do not enjoy. In the last year, many have even lost the job they were passionate about, and are doing something they don’t love just to make ends meet.
So what can you do if you don’t feel passionate about your work? There are three things I would like to share with you.
First, it is important to know that this is okay. It doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you. What God has called all of us to, at the end of the day, is to love our neighbors at work. As we do this, He inspires us and brings enjoyment and satisfaction into our work even if the work itself is not very exciting to us.
Second, just because you don’t start off passionate, it does not mean you cannot grow your passion if you stick around long enough. I have firsthand experience of this. I started out painting houses because I needed money. Was it my biggest passion at the time? Not at all. But, the work was fulfilling to me, and was a good fit for my personality and gifts. Over the years, as the company grew, it also grew into much more of a passion for me.
Third, I recommend people start to pursue passions on the side. If you work 40 hours a week, you still have over 40 more hours each week to pursue your passions. I know plenty of people who have jobs that are good paying jobs, but their passions are built outside of their job. It is important to have gifts and passions and inspiration outside of work to be a well-rounded individual. Our identity should come from many things, not just work. Having all our interests and passions in work is not healthy.
If we pursue our passions on our side, this can lead to a career change down the line. I know a young man who went to college, got a business degree and a job in that industry. But outside of this industry, his passion is writing. Every chance he gets, he’s writing blogs and books. His ultimate goal is to be able to make a living from it. But for now, he can still have and engage in his passion, he just has to put in a long term plan if he wants it to be his primary income. I know others that are passionate about social justice, so I suggest they volunteer for an organization that might give them the connections and experience they need to work in that field.
It is awesome that people want to do things they are passionate about, but it is just as important to remember that you can still live a good, happy, fulfilling, passionate life without feeling intensely passionate about your work all the time. Your feeling of passion (or lack of passion), does not mean God views your job as better or worse than another job. Any job is an opportunity to contribute to the world and bring glory to God. We see this example over and over in the Bible, including with Joseph in the Old Testament, and Paul in the New Testament. Let’s shift the idea that work needs to be our all-and-all and provide all of our emotional satisfaction. God gave us work for many positive reasons other than just getting us passionate. I want to encourage us all to remember that when our first goals with our work are to imitate and honor God, that is when we are on the right track!
8 responses to “What To Do If You Are Not Passionate About Your Job”
As a business owner, I fight “living the business”. I am passionate about what I do but sometimes I burn out from the 24/7 pressure of it.
How do you draw a line a 5pm and force your focus elsewhere?
Hi Jerry, thanks for asking! It IS really hard to have balance when we own a business and are passionate about it, so you are not alone in this! A couple of thoughts here, first I think it is important to identify the season your business is in (growing, investing, cutting back, etc) and as we are aware it helps us to know when we have seasons where we engage more or a bit less. The same with personal life. I try not to respond to the clock as much as to needs. Does my business have a pressing need? No? I take a break. Yes? I keep at it. Does my personal life have a pressing need? Etc.
Work wise and live wise is a phrase that helps me. Burnout is usually an example of lack of balance and that is where “live wise” comes into play. When I am actively planning and doing things to refresh myself as well as maintain and set goals to grow my relationships with friends, family, the balance is easier for me. Taking a half-day off to do something enjoyable goes a long way as well. The research out there really says we are better and more productive at our business when we take time for refreshing, so living wise helps us to work wise as well! I would ask yourself what you need to feel like you can take a break and then find a solution to implement so that you can stay healthy long term!
Hope this is helpful! Thanks again for the question.
Thank you, Bob, so much helpful, practical, and relevant wisdom offered here.
Thank you, Jerri! Thanks for reading!
So good. “…our first goals with our work are to imitate and honor God, that is when we are on the right track!” Thank you.
Thanks for your thoughts, Lark! I appreciate your feedback.
This is much to think about. I feel like I may be in a season where the work is simply not “passion-building”…reminds me of the early parenting years when there are so many demands on time, tons of spit-up and poo but, yet, there is not a chance that I could love this new little person more…but the business-version as I am in the start-up stage of my business. This stage is rough and ruthless.
As there are seasons in parenting, in marriage and in every relationship / friendship in life – there are definitely seasons in business in which the passion for the work or the details of running the business wane and the fires needs to be stoked a little or a lot.
I find that if I will completely branch off into a new way of doing an old thing I find something that sparks my interests. Most recently, I created a system and strategy for certain product lines of mine that the profits of will automatically be redirected to become anonymous donations to non-profits that we are interested in. The very notion of getting to play “Secret Santa” in my day job brings my joy and creativity back to life. I have already began to do this as a smaller level and cannot wait until I can add many more “zeroes” to those checks.
Wow. I really like the comparison to parenting! Tons of spit-up happens in business in a different way, but it still happens. haha Rough and ruthless for sure. I like the way you are looking at this and finding ways to adapt and find strategy to help things go more smoothly and be more enjoyable. That is a true gift when we can get to a place where our business is brining enjoyment to us, it really helps us keep the vision and keep going. Great idea! Thank you for sharing!