In our personal lives, many of us are passionate about a cause or activity, and don't think twice about throwing our energy into its pursuit. It could be coaching a sport, running marathons, painting, photography or advocating for your child. By following our passion we are inspired, motivated and have impact. But how often do we follow our passion in our professional sphere? Using this passion to transform not only our career but our industry? What is holding you back from following your passion at work?
Many of us have learned (or been told) work and personal life must be kept separate (I know I have). Work is work. Personal life is personal life. With this invisible wall between the two, we don't allow our personal passions to spill into our professional sphere. But by keeping the two separate, we are depriving ourselves of being truly engaged in what we do - at work and outside of work.
I am passionate about helping people find their voice and share their stories. I am passionate about teaching people how they can stand up and be heard. And I am also passionate about patient advocacy, especially when it comes to supporting children.
Combining your passions
For years I had kept these worlds separate. I worked in public relations, telling other people's stories, while I advocated for my child on the side. I was constantly feeling torn between the two worlds, and even told I was not to let people at my day job know about the advocacy struggles I was having with my child. It was a constant struggle that left me drained.
After much soul searching, and sleepless nights, I realized I needed to find a way to combine the two worlds into one. So I quit my day job. And guess what happened? A new career opened up in front of me, one that I never imagined was possible. It's a career that combines my public relations experience with my passion for patient advocacy.
Now I use many of the tools on How to Communications to help patients learn how to tell their patient story, as well as help healthcare professionals understand how to include patient stories to transform healthcare. I also continue to work in public relations, but am more inspired as I have seen how important it truly is to give people the tools and techniques to share their stories. There are so many great stories to tell, but many are never shared in a way that impacts the target audience.
What changes can you make?
It is important you get clear on what your passion is at work and what your passion is outside of work. How can these passions work together? I know a marathon runner who closed her public relations business to become the executive director of a national marathon association. She has found a way to follow her passion at work, using many of the skills she learned in public relations.
What are your passions and are you following your passion at work? Or is there an invisible wall between your work and personal life? What would it feel like if you could break down the wall? What would your new focus be?
If you truly want fulfillment in the work you do, I challenge you to find a way to follow your passion at work. You can start small or take a big leap, like I did, and recreate yourself and your career. Either way, I promise you will have more personal and professional fulfillment.