Before choosing an education path, we should take personality tests to discover our best career fits. Doing these tests can take us directly into our passions, rather than directing us down dead-ends, decade after decade, trying to figure out where we belong, making only marginal gains.
But how do we truly gauge what careers will draw out our passions? Our hobbies and childhood playtime activities offer clues. But aren’t hobbies and playtime meant for pastimes, not careers?
Let’s look at hobbies. Sometimes we engage in hobbies that others don’t support. These people may see our hobbies as time-wasters. But if we savor our hobbies, they have the potential to bring us great success. That’s because our hobbies typically keep us engaged and passionate. When our careers tie into our hobbies, we become more engaged at work. And engaged employees receive higher salaries and better promotions, compared to employees who can’t wait for quitting time.
Consider me, a woman who volunteered at a university television station. I loved working the broadcast quality cameras, editing video, and interviewing academics. Many summers later, I wanted to take a one-year certificate on video production, but I didn’t get any support. Friends said it was a dead-end path. But I later found a career that paid very well, where I created video courses and performed marketing. I found my paid passion through my hobby.
Let’s now look at our childhood playtime. Take a moment to ponder our childhoods. What activities did we most enjoy? We might have loved making radio shows, pretending we were the teachers of an audience of teddy bears, doing art, or writing stories. Or we might have liked peering through a microphone, studying the habits of mealworms, or fudging our science experiments just to see what would ignite.
If we can link our hobbies and childhood playtime activities to our careers—even to our education—we skyrocket our chances of success. We should never scoff at any hobby or childhood play—whether it be needlepoint, mechanics, or singing. These hobbies and playtime pastimes tug at our hearts, begging us to notice them. When tied to our careers, these pastimes can lead us to career satisfaction, where job tasks feel like playtime rather than prison.
Doing what we love reduces anxiety and stress. Doing what we love feels effortless and brings us closer to mastery. And, from a work context, doing what we love means we play to earn a living.
From my view, nothing is better than getting paid to follow a passion.