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Does Following Your Passion Work in Today's Job Market?
Monday, October 08, 2012

By Mark Winslow Contributor
Most career advice is loaded with motivational language to keep your spirits high throughout an often discouraging process. But this has to make you wonder, am I just being told what I want to hear or is this really going to help me in the real world?

First off, ask yourself: what exactly is your passion? Without a clear, solid answer, this can lead you down a tricky career path. By trying to find your passion by pursuing careers based on your various interests, you could easily find yourself down a job hopping trail to no end.

Instead, a more effective approach would be to narrow down your best or most valuable skills and work on honing them. Turn your strengths into your passion rather than the other way around. Becoming an expert in a niche market has always been one of the top ways to finding success. Experts are always valuable no matter the field and are therefore more desirable candidates.

Job seekers that are starting anew--but not from scratch--need to look their value from the outside in. Evalute your skills and think about what your selling points are. Challenging yourself adds to your value when you branch out of your comfort zone. People who stick to what they're comfortable with limit their reach for finding success in an area where they would otherwise gain a knack for.

A Hobby Is Not A Career

Let's make it clear. What you do on during your off-hours should remain what you do during off-hours. A hobby is something that most people enjoy doing because they rarely get to, which makes it all the more enjoyable. Of course, if it's a craft that you've noticed you have a real talent for, like photography or designing, then there may be some potential for making a living from it.

But when your goal is to find something that will suit your interests in the long run, you should focus your efforts toward a place that will benefit from your most valuable skills. When all is said and done, your best skills might just align with what you enjoy doing on a daily basis.

It can be hard to determine what your one true career love is, but the trick to finding it is going after something that you like, that gives you meaning, and you are excellent at doing. And yes, this may sound like another piece of motivational job search advice, but the following statement does hold true. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to pursuing a career driven by the idea of passion. Ultimately, when you play to strengths your careeer can turn into your passion.