Career Strategies That Work!

If you want to do what you love, rather than just work for a living, check out the tips in this excellent article by guest author Jay Forte!

I want it all. So do you. We want to do what we love and we want to make a difference. Since so much of our lives are spent working, work can't help but become an important part of who we are. That means I want to be passionate about my work and I want it to do something great. Does that seem greedy? I don't think so. We have the ability of learning what we are passionate about and doing it each day. We also have the ability of using our passions to make a difference. The combination is passionate work that makes a difference, it is cake and icing, it is steak and sizzle.

Each of us is unique; we think differently, have different strengths and different passions. What a good thing because the world would be truly boring if we all saw life the same way. Instead, our challenge when we are young is to understand that we have a great opportunity to learn what activates our passions and then find a way to apply it for the good of our world. It requires us to commit to making a difference and leaving the world a better place when it is our time to exit stage left. This requires personal time, get to know yourself time, or self-reporting time. We can't farm this one out, have our parents do it for us or find the answer in a book. We must commit the time and energy; this process starts at home and in school.

The process of education is one that introduces the thinking mind to magnificence of learning; learning is another word for exposure. Learning math, language, science, reading and other fundamentals gives us the keys to unlock the majesty of the universe; it opens doors for each of us to see what exists and what could exist. The more we use these fundamentals, the greater our world of possibilities becomes. This creates opportunities for us to learn, select and live the most passionate life possible.

Children have a wonderful and unencumbered sense of opportunity and possibility; they consider everything as they absorb the world around them. Each event, item, and person creates a series of connections that they will access their entire life. Those cultures, communities and families that encourage open learning in every direction, encourage grand visions for their children. They encourage possibilities for life, work and contribution that may not exist at the present time. They encourage opportunities to add value, see needs and respond. They insist that everything should be considered. In the process, they create great curious minds that ask and consider everything. They create open and innovative thinking. They eliminate obstacles and limitations.

Growing up in such a world allowed me to consider everything; and in the process, I found the things that inspired passion in me. The belief that the right job would allow me to rise each day, excited, ready to love what I did and to make a difference, drove my career decisions. They say that most of us go to the grave with the music still in us. Not me. As Mark Twain wrote, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Find your passionate role - the one that is just right for you.

Try these three tips to find your passionate role:

  • Discover your talents. Talents relate to our natural abilities and as studies show, we are happier and more passionate when we work in areas that match our talents. The process of talent discovery is the starting point for passionate performance. Identify the top five things you love to do then review why they appeal to you. Is it because they all involve people and relationships? Is it because you like to manage and control events? Is it because you love details and creating order? To assist with this, consider purchasing the book "Strengthsfinder 2.0" by Tom Rath of the Gallup Organization and take the on-line survey that defines your top 5 (out of 34) major talents.

  • Knowing your talent areas, start a list of all roles or jobs that need these talents or will let you develop these talents. Consider a sales role if you love people contact, a mentoring or management role if you love relationships and encouraging others to learn and grow or a marketing or analysis role if you love details and organization. Consider inventing a role that is just right for you and then find organizations that would benefit from this role and your talents.

  • Of the roles or jobs that use your talents, what is the value they provide? Passionate performance comes from both working in your talent area and making a difference. Does this role respond to your natural need to help others learn and grow? Does this role respond to your focus on the environment and conserving natural resources? Does this role unite people and ideas for a more partnership approach to work or life?

Steak and sizzle - substance and flair. That is how I describe the job I want and the life I want. I want to love what I do so much that I can't wait to do it every day. I want my job to make a difference in people, perspectives and purpose. When I can do both, I know I have found my life's work. When I have found both, I will stop, appreciate and then invent the next dream...with a little larger steak and a little more sizzle.

Jay Forte is a powerful performance speaker, consultant, author and founder of Humanetrics, LLC. Jay, a CPA/financial executive turned educator, turned consultant, is renowned for producing significant results. He is a highly engaging speaker and is working on an upcoming book "Fire Up Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition; How to Invite, Incite and Ignite Performance" For information on keynotes, seminars and consulting, or to see the daily "BLOGucation," visit:

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