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Got passion? Maybe you don’t need it.

Updated: Jul 18, 2022

Take a look at my career history and you’ll see that I transitioned from full-time professional ballet dancer to teacher of professional (and aspiring professional) dancers, next, a pivot into dance education and within education, a move from dance to teaching kindergarten and then professional development for teachers and now here I am, coaching people through their transitions!

Looks like a tidy line – but oh, not so my friends. What you don’t see is how long it took me to identify the main themes of my life and career choices. The through line was NOT obvious.

What you don’t see is the panic I felt when my first passion faded, and I felt nothing would or could replace it.

What you don’t see are the sideways paths, detours, including the real and imagined obstacles I met (oh hello there, fear) along the way. And, you don’t see the relief from choosing to let go of something that was no longer working for my life, and excitement in guessing that there were new possibilities for my future. if only I could figure out what they were! But before we can get to talking about envisioning possibilities, let’s circle back to this pressure on ‘passion.’ You’ve probably felt Passion Pressure and you might even be confused by it. Understandable. Let’s clear up a few things about passion:

  • If you have a passion, great – you can work with it to help you define how you want to live your life including how you want to express yourself in your work and livelihood.

  • Not all personalities are passion-oriented types. NOT A FLAW!

  • If you made a living through your passion and need to shift because of current circumstances, you can follow passion's clues to new ideas and opportunities.

  • Not all passions can or should be the focus of a career. But they most certainly can be the seeds for a fulfilling life.

  • Following your passion can put you in positions to discover a surprising route for your career, even if it isn't centered around your passion.

  • More than one passion? No need to abandon any of them - no matter what people tell you!

  • If you feel bad about not having a passion – just don’t – because all you need is curiosity, willingness to listen for inklings, the ability to take action, and openness to a process that includes experimentation.

"I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious." Albert Einstein

Judy Garfinkel helps you clarify "what's next." She crafts bespoke resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and bios that open doors for her clients and land jobs. Her expertise in building confidence and resilience supports personal growth and the ability to navigate career and work transitions – especially now! Judy is President of the International Coaching Federation-Connecticut Chapter where she leads a membership of near 200 coaches.

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