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!