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Seven steps to make a leap in your career – Step 1: Passion

If you are reading this blog, clearly you would like to advance your career. There are plenty of good articles available on this subject. But, In this blog we will talk about leapfrogging your career, not linear advancement.

We spend most of our waking hours at work. Our success at work affects almost all aspects of our lives including our happiness, self confidence and our financial well being.

Unfortunately, quite a few of us do not invest the required time, thought and energy into planning our career, staying ahead and, most importantly, staying relevant. However, with the right amount of focus, strategy, discipline and execution, it is possible to take a leap in your career. If we can enjoy what we do, we will be successful in what we are trying to do.

Ian Elliott went from being a truck driver to a mail boy to the CEO and Chairman of Australia’s biggest ad agency. One day, while driving his truck, he worked out that his true passion was marketing and advertising and he was at the wrong place driving a truck. It was his passion that took him to the absolute height of the advertising and media industry in Australia and he retired at the age of 48.

In this series of blogs, I will provide you with seven steps for you to try. At the end of each step, there is a small exercise for you to do before you move onto the next step. In this blog, I will define the first step to making a leap in your career: How to identify your passions.

STEP 1 : Identify your passions

Find out what you are passionate about and harness the energy that comes with this passion. If you do something you are passionate about, you will enjoy doing it. If you enjoy doing something, believe me you will be really good at it. If you are really good at something, people will come to you to do it for them. So, why waste time doing something that you are not really passionate about?

If you are looking to leapfrog your career, you don’t necessarily need to change your job. You just need to become really good at it. Find out the aspect of your job that you are really passionate about and do more of it. At your heart, are you a problem solver? A fixer? A people person? An investigator? A top class co-ordinator? A speaker? A presenter? A sales person? Or may be an executor?Working this out is the hardest bit.

Most of our working time we spend in doing things; checking emails, filling timesheets, attending meetings, sending and reading minutes, processing transactions on the same computer system etc. We tend to lose our ability to stop and think. There are very few ‘Ah…ha’ moments.

Look for those eureka moments when you say to yourself… Ah…ha , I enjoyed doing that. Stop and think, why you enjoyed doing that. Try and recall similar experiences in the past when you got a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. Then try and work out the patterns.

Look for instances, when you made someone happy. Without you even trying it. What did you do? You think that you did what you normally do, but you need to get behind that act. That is where your passion lies.

Once you work it out, don’t try to be someone else. Just being yourself brings the best out in you.

Homework

Try and find honest answers to the questions below to help you discover your passions

1. List out three things that you enjoy doing most
2. Try and remember three occasions when you made someone really happy
3. If you only have one day to live, what would you spend that day doing?

Stay tuned for step 2, which I will be publishing next week.

If you enjoyed this blog, you might also find the below advice useful:

This series of articles has been created as part of a research project that I am currently undertaking with help from a number of renowned authors, business leaders and HR professionals.

The name of the project is ‘Ordinary Champions’. The objective of the project is to create a set of resources, tools and techniques that will help people to achieve their full potential in whatever field they choose to operate.

If you are interested in this cause and would like to participate or benefit from this project, please visit the ‘Ordinary Champions’ facebook page. A number of useful resources will be published via the FaceBook Page.

Author

Manoj joined Hays in May 2008 as Programme Director. After completing his Engineering Degree in Computer Science, he joined Tata in 1986. He then moved to Xansa (now Sopra Steria) in 1997 and undertook a number of consultancy assignments before moving to Fujitsu Services in early 2008. Manoj is currently responsible for Digital and Innovation Services function at Hays.