passion. The Most Important Thing...
What Is Passion?
Passion, a synonym for love, is defined as an intense desire or enthusiasm for something. Like love, it's a gift that should always be carried with you. As a fashion industry professional, I've realized the importance of remaining passionate about my career. It's easy to accidentally leave that eagerness at home, especially when you find yourself bombarded by stress at work.
Passion Leads To Career Fulfillment
Career fulfillment and passion go hand-in-hand. I consider myself very fortunate: My career gives me a sense of purpose. For me, luck definitely isn’t part of it. It’s taken a lot of work to get to this point and I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.
Everything changes when you love your career. It might sound exaggerated, but I know from experience. Of course, the degree to which career fulfillment is important is different for each person. Some crave it more than others. Some need a successful career to feel whole while others can really take it or leave it.
On average, most people who work for a living want to experience the passion involved with career fulfillment.
Career Success Is A Significant Component Of Personal Success
Many of us are taught, in order to be viewed as “successful”, we must attain a certain level of professional achievement. Our self-worth has become tied to our professional worth. So, when we’re experiencing a lack in passion, we believe it’s a deeper reflection of who we are and what we’re capable of, rather than recognizing that it’s a matter of circumstance that’s infinitely changeable.
We Spend A Large Percentage Of Our Lives At Work
From the age of 18 to 65, most of us work an average of eight hours a day five days a week. That’s like nearly 100,000 hours spent working in an average lifetime! Whew.. if you think about it, that’s a significant percentage of the time most of us will spend on Earth.
So, now are you starting to see how important it is to remain passionate?! If you aren’t fulfilled by what you’re doing, life could feel pretty empty.
Career Is Closely Tied To Identity
When you meet someone new, what’s the first topic of conversation? In most circles, nine times out of ten, people discuss their careers. “What do you do?” is the most common way to break the ice and get to know someone. If you’re not happy with your career, it can make parties an absolute nightmare. By the end of the night, you feel like a loser.
Why, You Ask?
Well, your career has been tied to you as a person. It’s not really “fair” but it’s a social norm. When you’re proud of the work you do, it shows. Others hear it in your voice and see it on your face. You feel good about yourself. You enjoy the conversation a heck of a lot more and so does the other person.
In our society, right or wrong, we tend to put people in boxes. Career is a common way of doing this. You’re a doctor? I have a mental image already. You’re an accountant? Yawn. There’s a widespread practice of stereotyping people based on what they do for a living. This can be rather irritating.
For example: I’m a full-time visual merchandiser and stylist, and while I love what I do for a living, I still find that I’m stereotyped. I find myself responding to questions like: Yes, I went to college and got a degree in this. No, I’m not a sales associate just because the store I work in is located in a mall. Yes, I have better than corporate hours when I’m not working a floor-set overnight.
For those who are unfamiliar with my position, let me break it down for you.
- Visual merchandisers combine an eye for dramatic design and a step-ahead sense of style – with basic retail smarts! A visual merchandiser creates and stages dazzling set-ups to promote and sell a product or a concept, from displays in a retail store window, to booths at various conventions, to fashion shows. Think store windows at Christmas, the Home Show and Fashion Week events. As a visual merchandiser, your main goal is to draw passers-by in to entice them to make a purchase.
Visual merchandising is not just about making things look pretty, it’s about helping to visualize products or a lifestyle sold by that store… and making a dream come true.
What I’ve learned is this: Regardless of what you do, if you enjoy it, you have the power to break the mold. People might make snap judgments, but they’re just as quick to let themselves be pleasantly surprised.
Remaining passionate can change your reality. If you want it, create it. Never try to deny its importance.