Here is an article I recently wrote for an online women’s magazine on career advice. Let me know what questions you all have! Enjoy!

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Few people are lucky enough to say that they are doing what they’re really truly passionate about. Having a job that doesn’t feel like a job shouldn’t be a luxury, but something you should strive for. Most very successful people will tell you that part of the secret of their success was simply just following their instinct and doing something that was fun for them and that they were naturally good at.

But for many people that are struggling to define what exactly that is, the following steps are a great way to get the ball rolling.

1. Take an inventory of what your passions are

This sounds simple enough, but a step that people sometimes overlook. Your passion doesn’t necessarily have to be related to what your degree is in, or what your current job happens to be. One exercise I tell my clients to do is, think back to what they liked doing as kids. What subjects interested you the most in school? What things were you fascinated by growing up?

Then begin to look deeper into your personality. Are you creative or analytical? Are you a risk taker (i.e. entrepreneurial) or do you like the security of a steady salary? How important is lifestyle to you?

Finally, follow your gut instinct. One of the best ways to figure out what you should be doing in life is to FOLLOW YOUR ENTHUSIASM. While no career is perfect or without tedious days, you should always gauge whether you are on the right track or not by how excited, enthusiastic, and interested you feel overall by what you are doing.

 

2. Get over fear or inertia by taking baby steps

There’s no perfect way to jumpstart a new career path or reinvigorate the one you’re already on. But while there is usually not a road map, there will be signs along the way. Just do your best to take small baby steps, and then monitor how you feel. If your actions are making you feel exhausted, disappointed, or like you’re not getting anywhere (all common problems I’ve seen), then you may need to reevaluate how and where you are spending your time and energy. Get yourself into a positive mindset and get clear on what you’re short-term goals are first, and then take action, so that it’s not wasted effort.

3. Remember, it’s not always a linear path

Finally, I always remind people that the road to success is not always linear and straightforward. Most successful people I know and have coached have gotten to where they are in a variety of different ways. For example, you may follow your enthusiasm into one job, and that may lead you to your next opportunity in an unexpected way. You may start one business and realize that you have a passion or talent that you never even thought about.

When you are doing what you love, and following your enthusiasm, sparks of new ideas, opportunities, and collaborations are inevitable. The most important thing is not having the next 10 years mapped out (believe it or not, most successful people don’t), but just getting started here and now, and then following your passion, enthusiasm, and instinct every step along the way.