You’ve been in the working world for a while. Maybe you have worked various jobs in different fields. Or maybe you’ve been climbing the ladder in the same career path for some time.
But, after a while, you realize that none of the jobs really bring you to life. You might even start to feel a bit numb in the working world.
So, you start to realize that…maybe you have no passion for any career.
And if you’re struggling with a lack of passion for work you may be wondering, is it normal not to have passion in my career? Should I do something about it if I don’t have passion?
This article will help you to unpack those questions and provide some hopefully helpful guidance if you’re struggling with a lack of passion in your career.
Let’s dive in.
- 1 Is It Normal Not to Be Passionate About Your Job?
- 2 What To Do If You’re Not Passionate About Your Job
- 3 I Have No Passion For Any Career: What To Do
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 5 Conclusion
Is It Normal Not to Be Passionate About Your Job?
Yes, it is very normal not to be passionate about your job. In fact, only 20% of people report being passionate about their jobs.
So, if you’re someone who is fortunate enough to be passionate about your job, know that you’re in the lucky minority that feels that way.
What To Do If You’re Not Passionate About Your Job
If you’re not passionate about your job, I would encourage you to do two things. The first is to broaden your thinking and the second is to not settle.
First, when I say to broaden your thinking, what I mean is that I would encourage you to think bigger about your work than just a job. A job working for somebody else is one vehicle to working and earning money.
I think of work more broadly than that as the energy that you put forth to produce good.
And, in our day and age, there are more opportunities than ever to earn money and put forth good in a way that fits into the life that you want to build for yourself.
So, know that your current job is just context to put forth good and a traditional 9 to 5 job working for somebody else is a path that most others are not satisfied by either.
Once you’ve broadened your thinking, the next thing that I would encourage you to do is not to settle.
The average working person spends half of their waking hours at their job. That is a significant portion of your life and, to me, it’s too important to feel like you’re just going through the motions and numb in your job.
So, what I would say is, don’t settle for work that doesn’t bring you to life. Experiment to find the work that brings you to life and the context to do that work that best fits you and don’t stop with that experimentation until you’ve found it.
I Have No Passion For Any Career: What To Do
It’s one thing not to have passion for a job. A job is more of a one-time assignment that has it’s own unique context. In an individual job, you might not been in the right environment or culture, or maybe you just have a toxic boss that causes you to dislike the position.
However, not having passion for any career is more of challenge. I think of a career as the work that you dedicate a significant period of your life too. A career tends to be focused on a particular type of work and span multiple different jobs.
Not having passion for the work that you’re doing for a significant period of your life can be frustrating and draining. And, ideally, if you’re dedicating that much time to your work, you want that work to bring you to life.
As far as what to do if you have no passion for any career here is what I would recommend:
Step #1: Establish a Vision for Your Life
In my view, the starting place to decide what career you want to pursue is to begin by thinking about the life that you want to build for yourself and then finding work that fits within that.
In American culture, I think that we often get it backwards. We tend to start by establishing a career, and then orchestrate our whole lives around that choice. I think the right way to do it is to reverse the process.
In order to establish a vision for your life, I recommend doing three things:
Your values help you to define the high level things that are important to you in your life. A future biography helps you to picture the life that you build around those values. And then a personal mission statement helps you to take the other two exercises and turn them into a short guiding statement of what you’re working towards.
Together, those three things help to frame up what’s important to you and what you want to pursue. From there you can look for work that works for you within the high level life that you’re trying to build for yourself.
Step #2: Translate That Vision Into Tangible Career Options
Once you have that high level vision of the life that you want to build for yourself, you need to try and figure out some tangible career options that would fit it.
My favorite way of approaching of that is by trying to find your Ikigai. Ikgai is a Japanese concept that roughly means “reason for being” and represents the intersection of the following things:
Basically what you want to do is list things that apply in each category and try to find the intersection. So for example, after completing the exercise, you may find that you listed writing in some form or fashion as that you love, that you’re good at, that can make you money, and that people need. That could be your Ikigai and the the path that you want to pursue.
Once you find some options that you could represent your Ikigai, you’ll want to go back and review them against the output of your vision for life exercises and see which of those represent the best potential for enabling the life that you want to build for yourself.
In particular, the Ikigai exercise can help you if you’re struggling with passion around your work. The practice of listing out things that you love doing can help to broaden your thinking about potential career paths and ways to make money.
In our current online day and age, there is more opportunity than ever to turn your hobbies, interests, and passions into a way to make money and this exercise can help you to visualize what that would look like.
Step #3: Experiment With Possible Paths
The final step in the process is career experimentation, and it’s particularly important if you haven’t found a career path that has interested in you to this point.
Basically, career experimentation involves gathering information in a low risk way to get feedback on how a particular path resonates with you.
Experimentation could take any of the following forms:
- Starting a side project
- Volunteering in your field
- Conducting informational interviews
- Doing an internship
- Doing contract work
The point is, you’re gathering as much information as you can to validate the hypotheses that formed out of your vision for life and Ikigai exercises.
As you’re experimenting and trying different things, make sure to record how you’re feeling by journaling as you go through the process. In particular, the Jim Collins method referenced in the journaling article that I linked to is one that I’ve found to be a great method for tracking and reflection during this process.
The method is detailed in the video clip below:
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Choose a Career When I’m Not Really Passionate About Anything?
The key to choosing a career when you’re not passionate about anything is experimentation. I believe that each of us can find work that brings us to life if we’re thoughtful and intentional in our search.
I discussed a process for career experimentation in the previous section so please refer to that for my recommendation on how to go about it.
At a high level, you’re forming hypotheses about different work that you think you might enjoy. From there, you’re going out and placing small, low risk bets to get experience and exposure in those fields to see what might resonate as a work path that you enjoy.
Is It Normal Not to Be Passionate About Anything?
While I don’t have data to articulate the percentage of people that don’t feel passionate about anything, I do think it’s more normal than you would expect not to be passionate about anything.
There are a variety of people that wake up each day and just go through the motions of life. They wake up, get ready, go to job that they don’t particularly care about, and then come home and watch Netflix.
From my perspective, you get one life, and I think that you want that life to be full and rich. So, if you’re not passionate about anything, I’d encourage you to experiment, put yourself out there, and try different activities to see if something resonates that you enjoy and that brings you to life.
Is It Normal Not to Be Interested In A Career?
Yes, it is normal not to be interested in a career. In fact, a recent Gallup poll showed that only 15% of people feel engaged at their jobs.
With work feeling so empty to so many, it is unfortunately quite normal not to be interested in a career.
If you find yourself in that situation, take a look at our no career interests me: what to do article.
Not having passion for any career is quite common but, at the same time, still frustrating.
From my point of view, if you find yourself in that situation, it’s important not to settle and to intentionally go out and try and find work that is going to bring you to life.
I think you can do that by establishing a vision for life, trying to find your Ikigai, and then going out and experimenting.
Hopefully, this article has provided a helpful framework for you to start out on that journey.