Find Your Passion and Make a Career Change

By Patricia Noel Drain

smw - find your passionSince there are only two things we have to do…die, and live until we die, then we might as well work in a career we love,” says Patricia Noel Drain, CPC, CIPC, author, professional speaker, and consultant. In her book, “What Should I Be When I Grow Up? (Now That I’m 40, 50, 60),” Drain tells how to discover what it is you really want to do with your life.

Drain knows about successful career exploration from first-hand experience. Here, in her own words, is how she discovered the process she now promotes.

Patricia Drain Shares Her Story

Years ago, when I re-entered the job market after being a school teacher years before, I knew I was beginning a new chapter in my life. I wanted to make the right career choice, but as I looked through the want ads I became confused. The more interviews I went on, the more I realized what I didn’t want. I did discover, however, that it’s just as important to realize what you don’t want as it is to discover what you do want.

You see, I wasn’t looking for “just” a job. I was looking for a place that I would feel good about going every day, not one where I was just putting in time. I finally realized I had to start narrowing the field because I was too scattered in my thoughts and desires. What followed led me down an amazing path of self-awareness.

Here’s what I learned: When we go through a time of transition, job change, redirection, we need to know who we are, what we really want, and how to define it before we are able to go after that new opportunity.

And so I asked myself a question: What should I be when I grow up?

After additional exploration, I began to get more focused on what I wanted to do with my career.

I didn’t necessarily know the title of my dream job, but I did know its ingredients.

I consider ingredients, as I call them, to be the keys to career success.

Everyone’s ingredients are different, but my ingredients included these seven items:

1.   Professional atmosphere

2.   Flexibility in schedule

3.   Unlimited income potential

4.   Opportunity to help people

5.   Use of my communication skills

6.   Environment in which I’d feel productive

7.   Location 15 minutes from my home

After each interview, I would review my ingredients’ list, and see if one, two, or all were covered in the position.