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Don't Have a Passion? How to Tell If a Career is Right For You

Jul 10, 2013 Jennifer Williamson, Distance Columnist | 0 Comments

“Follow your passion.” That’s the advice we’re all given when it comes to deciding what to do with our lives. As children, we’re told we can be or do anything we want. But what if you don’t really want to do anything in particular?

The idea of choosing a career based on more practical reasons isn’t a story as commonly told as the passionate artist or idealist, following their dream despite all the odds. But it’s a more common choice than you’d think. The truth is, a passion is often an inconvenience—it can keep many from being satisfied with a more lucrative and more stable career outside of that passionate interest.

If you don’t have a passion, here are a few ways you can choose a career that will keep you happy.

Consider the lifestyle you’d like to lead

Is money important to you? No judgment here—just answer honestly. If, when you try to think of the things you might want down the road, your ideas are mostly materialistic, then you may want to pursue a career that will be lucrative. That said, if you don’t have a passion, there’s no reason not to pursue a career that will give you some financial stability, whether you’re attracted by a specifically wealthy lifestyle or not. And financial stability these days requires more money than you might think.

See Also: Starting Your Career

Consider whether you’d like to have kids

Kids are expensive. They require diapers, college tuition, and all kinds of other costs in between. If you want kids, chances are you’ll need a job that pays well enough to support a family. But you may also want to spend quality time with your kids—and might want to look at a job or career that pays well, while giving you the opportunity to have a reasonable work-life balance.

Consider what kind of work-life balance you need

Regardless of whether you want kids, pursue personal interests, or just want time to relax at home, you may want a job that isn’t too demanding—and has decent work-life balance. Or this may not matter as much to you. Weigh your desire for personal freedom against, say, your desire to earn a high income and see which seems like your priority.

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Consider what you were good at in school

Think back to when you attended a traditional or accredited online school. Everyone has subjects they looked forward to—and subjects they dreaded. Which were yours? Even if you weren’t particularly excited about anything, maybe you scored consistently high grades in one or two areas—and these might indicate latent talents. Think about where your highest grades were in school, and where you got the most recognition.

See Also: Online Colleges and Universites

Consider how  you like to work

School also serves as a valuable laboratory for discovering what your favorite method of working is. Did you do better in group work projects, or did you prefer to work on your presentations and homework on your own? Were you collaborative, a leader, or an independent worker? Your preferred style of working can give you a clue into what types of jobs you’d like best—and where you’d be the most happy.

Choosing a career doesn’t have to involve a burning passion. In fact, if you don’t have that passion, you may actually be more free to choose a profession that will lead to the type of lifestyle you’d like. Do some research, take some internships or entry-level jobs, and do your best to gain exposure to a wide variety of fields in order to make an informed decision—but also, know yourself and the type of life you can see yourself leading.


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