Finding Your Passion

My productive morning of cleaning was followed by an afternoon of listless soul-searching and Internet research. Lately I’ve been reading career books like What Color Is Your Parachute?, Do What You Are, and Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow. I’ve also been taking several career tests, such as this Career Interest Game that uses Holland codes to help you assess what kinds of jobs might interest you. It’s not really much of a game so much as a scenario. Given descriptions of six different groups of people at a party, you are asked to pick the top three groups you would gravitate toward. Your choices reveal your three-letter Holland code and the associated careers for that code, giving you some insight into other jobs you might like to pursue. I also found a Holland code quiz that is a bit more straightforward, and perhaps more accurate—with the game, I selected IAR (Investigative, Artistic, Realistic); with the quiz, my result was IAC (Investigative, Artistic, Conventional). Either way, the top two were IA, and some further research on a Myers-Briggs personality type forum revealed that testing highly as “investigative” is a common thread among those with my personality type (INTJ).

Why all this searching? In general, I like what I do, but I can’t seem to shake that feeling of wanting more—a career that’s a bit more challenging and innovative, that lets me constantly learn and develop, and allows me to make some positive impact on the world, in some way changing lives for the better. Is this too ambitious? I don’t think so, and after I viewed this mesmerizing TED talk from economist Larry Smith, I couldn’t help but feel inspired. I may still be stumbling and groping blindly in the dark, but at least I know there’s a light switch somewhere around here. And with enough effort, I’m bound to strike it.