Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What's my passion?

I had a coffee this morning with another person, a man this time, in my field to get an opinion from someone who's been in the PR business longer than me. I've been doing this a lot, asking for input about what I should aspire to if I stay in this field for another 20+ years. And his take was a bit different than the others.

Mostly to date, I've been hearing that I'll need to take a job, either with an agency or a corporate job, to build some specific expertise and contacts. The advice I've heard a lot is that I should go in-house for a couple years, try for as much flexibility as I can but expect to work regular office hours without much time for the kind of work-life balance I have now as a freelancer. And after I pay my dues, so to speak, then take steps to either gain more flexibility from my employer (who now will be willing to make concessions to keep me) or to go back to freelancing but from a position of more strength.

But today I heard something else. My collegaue today told me that if I could find my passion, the thing I like best about my work, and become the best at doing it, I could find the money and security that are perhaps more illusive in my current freelance career. He drew me a picture, which he credits to this book:

His point was that if I find my passion and it's something I can be or am the best at, I can find the money. And to me, this says that maybe, if I can figure out the passion part, I can stay as a freelancer for another 20 years.

But figuring out my passion is easier said than done. I've had a career primarily as a generalist, so to narrow it down is hard. But I do have some ideas, which I'm going to give serious mulling-over time to now.


Tom Volkar / Delightful Work said...

Carla, the Good to Great book brought up this question for me. How do I apply this to my life? It's interesting though, I did not put an emphasis on finding my passion, which I believe is more difficult than determining what you could be the best in the world at. I've found that passions shift because of the emotional nature of desire. I've found more grounding with the best in the world component. Please keep us informed as these thoughts fill out for you.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Tom.
As I have tried to get a grip on what I want to do now that I have turned 40, I have gotten stuck on passion vs. skills that I have. At this point, I want a back-up career which I did not earn during my college days.
Grounding?? I am still working on that.
Yes, like Tom posted, please keep us informed.