We have all heard the promise that when you turn your passion into a career, you will never have to work a day in your life. While you want to find a career that you are passionate about, choosing a career solely based on passion can lead you down the wrong path. I have seen it fail in my own life and the lives of many of my clients prior to reaching out for support through coaching. The good news is that there is a way to find your fulfilling career. While passion is one of the ingredients, it’s by far not the only one.

Here’s How Passion Can Turn into a Pitfall

Sonja (not her real name) a passionate mountain biker, called me for support. She found herself frustrated and bored after five years of managing a bike store. Sonja had chosen her career as bike shop manager based on her passion for mountain biking. However, Sonja’s daily work had very little to do with her passion for biking and much more with sales, customer service, inventory management, staff management and bike repair.


Tracy (not her real name), an animal lover, followed her passion and pursued a career as a vet assistant. Unfortunately, every day, Tracy had to inflict pain on animals by performing her professional duties, such as poking them with needles, or restraining them, when the vet was doing surgery. Tracy could feel the animals suffering and their negative emotions towards her in her vet assistant role. Being the kind, loving, sensitive woman Tracy is, she was suffering in this role she had chosen, based on her passion for animals. When it was time for Tracy to go back to work after being a stay-at-home mother, she didn’t want to go back into a job that drained her. That’s when she reached out for career coaching.


How about you, have you experienced ways in which pursuing your passion has disappointed you? Are you dreaming about pursuing a career aligned with your passion that may disappoint you? Take a moment to reflect on your own relationship to passion and jot down your insights.

Get to Know Your Strengths First

When searching for a fulfilling career, it serves to take a more holistic approach, considering not just your passion, but also your strengths, your values and your sense of purpose.

As a first step, it is vital to discover and grow your awareness of your natural strengths. We all have them, but most of us are unaware of our innate strengths or dismiss them as nothing special. You may think that things that come easy to you must be easy for everyone and disregard them. Because your innate strengths come so natural to you, you may not even be aware of them.

What is a Natural Strength?

A natural strength is an activity that comes so naturally to you that you can’t help but engage in it. You are naturally good at it and quickly get better the more you do it. Whenever you engage in this activity, it naturally gives you a boost of energy.

Here’s How to Discover Your Natural Strengths:

Take a moment to reflect on the following sentences and fill in the activities that are true for you:

DOING THIS – makes me excited to get up in the morning

DOING THIS – can make me lose all sense of time

DOING THIS – gives me an energy boost

DOING THIS – provides an energizing challenge for me

DOING THIS – makes me smile

DOING THIS – fills me with confidence

DOING THIS – gives me a sense of peace and contentment

DOING THIS – gets me so excited, that I can talk about it all day long

I bet that you feel energized just thinking about your natural strengths. While many of the activities that you have just contemplated will in some form or another play an important role in your fulfilling career, it’s too soon to draw conclusions just yet.

Get Curious About Your Strengths

If walking your dog makes you excited to get up in the morning, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a career as a dog-walker will fulfill you. Instead, ask yourself: “What about this activity (e.g. walking my dog) makes me feel energized?” When I explored this question with Sonja, she realized that when she was biking she was completely focused and always refining her skills. For Tracy, her innate connection with animals was most energizing when she developed a long-lasting relationship of trust with an animal. How about you? What about your chosen activities makes you feel strong?

Nurture Your Strengths

Enjoy your new awareness of some of your natural strengths and nurture them. Make it a priority to draw on at least one of your strengths every day and while you engage in this activity, keep noticing what about the activity is most energizing for you.


To remind yourself to focus on your strengths, put a note on your fridge, your dashboard or your phone that spells out the activities that give you a boost. Each morning pick one of your strengths and seek out an opportunity to use it.

The more you use your natural strengths, the stronger and confident you will feel. It is a wonderful positive reinforcing cycle.

How to Find the Career that is Right for YOU

Do you have to say good-bye to your passion for good? Not at all! The truth is that you will feel passionate about the career that is most fulfilling for you.


While coaching Sonja, we discovered her natural strengths of focus, problem solving and systems optimizing. Having worked in retail for so long, she decided to become a consultant for retail businesses. Sonja is passionate about optimizing her clients’ businesses; seeing them flourish makes her day.

While Tracy and I are still in the midst of her coaching journey, we have already discovered that building positive long-term relationships with people and animals will be a core element of her future fulfilling career.

Just like Sonja and Tracy, you don’t have to travel alone on your journey to career clarity. Reach out for support and request your free career clarity consultation, now!