Passion is defined as “a strong and barely controllable emotion” or “an intense, driving or overmastering feeling or conviction.”
Drive – and yes, the word “drive” is contained in the definition of passion – can be “a sustained offensive” (as in football, when a successful drive ends in a winning touchdown) or “an impelling, culturally acquired concern, interest or longing” when applied to your drive to succeed.
How do both these terms resonate as you advance your career to the next level?
It’s a Cause and Effect Connection
As noted by Randy Komisar in his book The Monk and the Riddle, the drive motivates a person to excel while doing something they have to do. Passion is what pulls them toward a desired goal, regardless of their current situation or feeling. In other words, passion creates drive.
· Passion isn’t about following a project or cause because you have to, but because you feel it. Successes and failures will happen along the way, but your passion won’t wane because of them. Rather, it will keep you moving forward while staying enthused about every aspect of your effort.
Advancing your career requires a sense of self-awareness and confidence that you’ll be the one to make it happen.
· Look back over the course of your professional life. Seek patterns that define what has excited you. Whatever your job is, it should meet your personal mission, which aligns with your passion.
· Consider more than just salary. In the words of Northwestern University lecturer and executive coach Karen Cates, “It’s nice to earn money, and sometimes money will be a priority in your life, but make a conscious choice. If you’re not experiencing some kind of passion in your job, at best, you’ll be pretty good, but not excellent.”
Think of Yourself as a Brand
Understand not only the drive and passion you bring to your work but also how others perceive you. It’s all about investing in your own human capital.
· Do a self-evaluation. Honestly assess your hard and soft skills. This will tell you if you have the right balance between the two and if you need additional training or education for your desired career path.
· Get feedback. Go to your boss or a trusted colleague and say, “I really want to improve. Could you tell me what I do well and what you think I could do better?”
· Set a timeline. With your career goals comes a timeline outlining your desired actions and moves. Include salary requirements and what you’d be willing to do to achieve those goals. For instance, would you relocate or earn an additional degree?
· Determine what success looks like to you. Then, you can decide whether to make changes at your current job, apply for a new one within your company, or go elsewhere.