Finding Passion in Your Current Job

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

The alarm clock sounded again as Adam hit the snooze button for a second time.  This was a daily routine that would start his day each and every morning.  But today could be different.  Today Adam was attending a seminar on executing for success.

Adam was going through the motions at work.  His passion is college sports and he has been trying to land a job in a college athletic department since his graduation last spring.  He has not been able to find the job of his dreams and he is beginning to become withdrawn, and a bit depressed over his inability to pursue a career in a field he is passionate about.

But as the speaker began his keynote, something the speaker said touched a chord with Adam.  He started out by saying that most people aren’t able to work in a field that is aligned with their passion.  The example the speaker presented was fly-fishing.  Many people love to go fly-fishing but very few people are able to pursue this as their career.  The speaker presented a different view.  He spoke of becoming more passionate for your current job while pursuing your passions on the weekend.  He would go on to state that this strategy is important for two reasons – first, you need to enjoy each and every day, and secondly, nobody wants to hire somebody who is grumpy and depressed.  But Adam has these nagging negative thoughts that he just can’t shake.  His self-talk is negative and he keeps thinking thoughts like “I’m not good enough” and “but someone else will get the job”.

As the speaker continued, he asked the audience – “so how do you find your passion?”  He went on to define passion as a strong enthusiasm or affection toward your activity.   And an abundance of research has shown that passion leads to high levels of performance.  So how do you become more passionate for what you are currently doing?  The speaker shared that passion is an outgrowth of engagement, which includes being both engaged with your activity and having an optimistic and positive disposition.

The speaker continued by stating that to become more passionate, you need to become more engaged in your activity.  He shared that working hard at building relationships and becoming more engaged isn’t enough, you also need to be able to positively frame your thoughts and your outlook on life.  You need to dispute negative thoughts with strong arguments and evidence that reframes your thoughts in a positive nature.

Many people are looking to pursue their passions in life.  A large portion of these people will not have an opportunity to follow their passion.  But each and every one of us has an opportunity to become passionate for what we do.  In order to become more passionate for your current job you need to become more engaged in the job, the other staff members, and the customers; and you need to become more positive in your thoughts.  This includes filling your mind with positive thoughts, reading and listening to positive information, and disputing any negative thoughts you might have.  By becoming more engaged and optimistic, you will become more passionate for what you’re doing.

Remember, ultimately the job will go to the candidate who is best prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process. In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University.  He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach.  He is also an author of 9 books.  Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at


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