Do you remember a few years back when you first started your career? You were very passionate and excited at the time, weren’t you? How long did that last for you? And, most importantly, what happened? Why aren’t you as passionate about your job as you used to be? In this article gain deeper inside into why do people lose passion in what they do over some time.
First of all, let’s think about what passion is. The passion we are referring to in this article is a self-generated desire to do something or make something happen. Passion is like a fire, once ignited, it needs fuel to stay alive. Remember how excited you were about making something happen, implementing something new and making a difference for other people in your line of work? Did you succeed in that? I invite you to look at your current job and rate all the aspects of it on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the greatest. If you are not currently working, think about your most recent job.
If you don’t feel like you bring value, you lose your passion.
No matter how much you enjoy your work, if you don’t feel like you are making a difference or bringing value to others, you will get discouraged and your passion will wear off over time. How do you measure value? Usually by getting feedback from your colleagues, management, clients or others who work with you. Sometimes people aren’t very keen on giving us feedback, so we have to guess, usually assuming the worst. If no one thanked us or expressed gratitude, we are keen to assume we didn’t make any difference. We rarely track our results or even think about the impact we make. As a result, we completely rely on feedback and often don’t even know the value we bring.
If you are not growing, your work will get less exciting over time.
Growth is necessary to keep our passion alive. Many get bored and lose interest or passion in their line of work when they feel like they are no longer growing in their profession. Growth can be measured in learning new techniques, making discoveries, growing within the job itself and getting promoted. There is definitely value and pride in being able to do something well and knowing we’re good at it. However, technologies change over time and so does our mindsets. Moreover, not only do we need to keep up with what’s current to stay in demand, but we also need to learn for the sake of our personal development.
Your support system is essential.
What would you say about all your relationships at work? Do you feel supported? Do you get along well with your co-workers, do you trust them? This also includes your relationships at home. Do you feel like your family supports your line of work or do you get into frequent arguments about how late you had to stay the night before or the fact that you are not getting paid enough? All those arguments and disapprovals can really drain your energy flow over time. Therefore, you will eventually lose that enthusiasm and passion.
Getting underpaid for your efforts is a sure way to lose passion.
This is a big issue and it is not about how much you are getting paid since we all have different salary requirements. This is about getting paid your value and your worth. Most of the time, the market will dictate your value. For instance, you can find out what others get paid by looking up salaries or asking your friends. Sometimes the market is well known for underpaying certain professions (for example, teachers) and people go there knowing that they will not get paid much. The question is, are you really happy with your salary or do you just pretend to be OK with it? A low salary can also be felt as a lack of value and worth. A typical result of getting underpaid year after year – loss of passion.
What about your work-life balance?
Does your work allow you to have a healthy work-life balance? Do you get to spend enough time with people who matter most to you? If not, eventually you will burn out and will have to make a difficult choice. Many people have chosen to change careers because their current line of work doesn’t allow them to spend enough time with their families. In some extremes, it is hardly possible to have a family at all! This is one of the main reasons why I lost passion in the visual effects industry and left it.
I know, I only scratched the surface in this article. In the next few weeks, I will be releasing more articles that will talk about each point I mentioned in more detail. In addition, I will be posting more videos and a podcast on this topic. Feel free to make comments and share what was the biggest issue for you with your previous employer.