Information Technology is a great industry to work in. I love how versatile it is and how there is something for everyone in this field. Being that the industry is super broad and growing on a daily basis, it can become daunting when it comes time to choose what you want to do. Finding what you want to do is great and all, but finding something your PASSIONATE about is a completely different game, in my opinion. This post is a bit different, it’s based on a topic I feel many of us think about often, but never get a direct answer to. The topic for today is passion. What is it? Where can I find it? Is it even real? The reason I say that is because to this day, at 29 years old, great career in IT so far, I know I haven’t found that thing I’m TRULY passionate about but I’ve met many who have in this field.
It took me years to realize that having a passion for something is absolutely key when you want to turn it into a career. Liking something and being PASSIONATE about something are two different emotions. I have always admired those people that “already knew” what it is they wanted to do when they were older. Many of them had family members who were in the same industry years before them and in a sense were born into it. Me on the other hand, I come from immigrant parents who escaped their country looking for a better life, with no money to their name, let alone a career they could pass down to me. I say all that, to say that I have learned passion is the driving force behind why someone does something, and when your truly passionate about it, that THING you do doesn’t even feel like work. In my opinion, the passionate person spends countless hours consuming as much information as they can on their passion and they do it like breathing, it’s part of their lifestyle. But how do you find that passion? Many nights I’ve sat down to study and as soon as I start, I start to doze off, get sleepy, and un-motivated. As soon as I get up and go do something else, I’m wide awake again. I feel guilty when this happens because I don’t feel I should have to force myself to be interested in something, that’s not how I define passion. At times I feel like maybe I’m lying to myself, telling myself this is what I like when in reality its not, but its hard to tell because some days I DO enjoy what I do. Many would probably say you just need to keep trying new things until you find your niche, but how do you become established in your field of choice if you’re continuously bouncing from thing to thing? What if I don’t find that niche?
Currently on my team, I work with some rockstar Network Engineers who have been at it for years. More often than not, I see the type of work they do at the level they do it and I think to myself, how the hell am I ever going to get to that level of expertise. I’m not so much comparing myself to them, I’m just taking into consideration all the years they have under their belt and admiring how much they love what they do. The love I see they have for their careers is what gets me the most, but I’m not sure I love it as much as I should. Sometimes when faced with a problem I’ve never encountered before, I try to act like the guys I look up to on my team, asking myself “What would so and so do in this situation”, and as corny as it may seem, it actually helps me build up confidence, my mentality suddenly switches and I become that person in my own way, if you will. This is short lived though, because I eventually end up back at the same place I started. Are people who know what their passion is, always on that “high” because they enjoy what they do, or is being passionate something that is just super hyped up? If I continue at this rate, this post will likely end up being 100 pages of questions, so let me know what you think, I love hearing different perspectives.
How do YOU define passion and how did you, or ARE you going about finding yours? Did you have that “AHA!” moment? Looking forward to your responses!