15 Ways To Find Your Passion in Life

By Audrey Eads

Updated October 25, 2022 | Published November 5, 2018

Updated October 25, 2022

Published November 5, 2018

Audrey Eads is an editor for Indeed with over eight years of experience writing and editing for media outlets across the country. Based in Austin, Texas, she particularly enjoys helping job seekers learn about the latest job trends.

An artist works on a sculpture.

One common piece of advice you might get when looking for a job is to “follow your passion.” Following the work, ideas and projects that make you feel fulfilled and motivated can help lead you to jobs you will enjoy and succeed in. While the idea is simple enough, it can still take some careful consideration to identify and find your true passions in life.

In this article, we discuss what a passion is, the difference between passions and hobbies, 15 ways to identify what you're truly passionate about and why finding your passion can be valuable.

Related: How To Find Your Passion in Life in 2022: Secrets You’ve Been Missing

In this video, Jenn shares five practical exercises to help you uncover your passion and find a job you love.

What is a passion?

A passion is "a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object or concept," according to Merriam-Webster's dictionary. When you practice your passions, you might feel content and relaxed. As a professional, pursuing your passions as a career can bring you greater fulfillment in the contributions you make in the workplace. You may feel inclined to pursue your passions even if you don’t have a lot of free time. 

Because passions are activities or ideas that inspire you, then you could consider making a career out of them. Passions can vary widely depending on your interests or values. Here are some examples of passions that you could have:

  • Teaching

  • Animal welfare

  • Environmental issues

  • Playing the guitar

  • Cooking

  • Learning a language

  • Writing a book

Related: How To Thoughtfully Answer "What Are You Passionate About?"

Passions vs. hobbies: What’s the difference?

A hobby is an activity that you enjoy doing when you have personal time, while a passion is a goal or activity that motivates you. Sometimes hobbies can become passions, and passions can become hobbies. Here's a table outlining the differences between passions and hobbies:

DefinitionA strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object or conceptA pursuit outside one's regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation
TimeOften time-consuming and would love to do constantlyDo for fun, during leisure time
EnjoymentSomething you can't live withoutSomething you do to fill your free time
ValueOften motivated by your personal beliefsDoesn't have to align with core values
ImprovementMay aim to excel at them and improve your skill levelMay not have the desire to excel at them
ExampleLeading a weekly running clubGoing to a workout class twice a week

Read more: Hobby vs. Passion: Definitions and Differences

15 ways to find your passion

A person with tattoos and a beard and mustache stands facing the camera with their arms crossed

The best way to identify what you’re passionate about is to pay attention to the daily tasks and activities that make you feel excited, motivated or fulfilled  Here are 15 ways you can identify your passions in your day-to-day life:

1. Look for the high points in your day

There might be a certain day of the week or time of the day you look forward to for some reason. Maybe it’s a specific meeting, task or time you've set aside. You might also notice certain surprises or unexpected times that end up being the best part of your day. Pay attention to both seemingly significant and insignificant things that you would consider to be the peak of your day.

While many of these high points may happen during work, you may notice that your high points occur outside the workplace in the time you have for yourself, friends and family. Making note of where and with whom your high points take place will bring you one step closer to knowing whether your passions are related to your career or other parts of life.

Related: How To Change Careers

2. Pay attention to what you spend your time and money on

We tend to focus our resources on things that are meaningful to us, including time and money. Look at your credit card bill or bank statements and see if there are any themes. Look at the topics of books, magazines, films or podcasts you consume. Take note of how you are spending your free time and what activities bring you joy.

Finally, recognize if there is a particular genre, subject or theme that your hobbies and interests have in common. The interests that have remained with you through the years may be more related to a passion versus a newly emerged interest.

Related: 100+ Hobbies You Can Add To Your Resume

3. Consider topics you love to teach or talk about with others

Consider your interactions with others. What types of conversations do you enjoy the most? Do you find yourself particularly animated when talking about a specific subject? It might also be helpful to consider if there are any tasks or topics you tend to teach others about. These are often the things we find most important to us.

Related: Listing Hobbies and Interests on Your Resume (With Examples)

4. Think about your strengths

Identifying both your soft and hard skills will point you toward the specific interests and passions that you’ve already taken the time to develop into personal strengths. Alternatively, you might have a natural skill that makes you feel confident and motivated when completing certain tasks.

Related: Interview Question: “What Is Your Greatest Strength?”

5. Examine the details

As you explore the things that naturally draw your attention in day-to-day life, you might also take time to consider what exactly about those things you are passionate about.

For example, you might find that the highlight of your day is volunteering as a teacher for adult night classes. Ask yourself, "What about doing this activity makes me happy?" Some of your answers might be:

  • Spending time with a certain subject

  • Being a leader in my community

  • Helping others

Deeply exploring these factors can take time, but will help you identify exactly what motivates you. Doing this can help you find specific job opportunities that cater to your interests.

6. Explore career paths

Two people adjust equipment in a photography studio as they prepare for a photo shoot, with two other people in the background.

Once you've identified a few areas of interest, spend time exploring different jobs. You can do this by browsing job titles on Career Paths. You might also browse open opportunities on Indeed.

Reading job descriptions might help you find roles that you tend to be drawn to. Reading about a certain task or responsibility that sounds interesting might also help you research other, related roles that might be an even better fit.

You may also consider talking with your manager or employer about your areas of interest and what you’ve discovered is motivating to you. If you like your company but are feeling unmotivated in your role, there may be room for you to take on additional responsibilities that align with your interests or move laterally within the company.

If you’ve discovered that your passion is not something you want to pursue as a career, you can still use what you’ve learned to guide your job search. For example, if you’ve noticed that you’re passionate about spending time at home with your family, you can search for jobs with schedules that allow for that.

Related: A Guide for Choosing Between a Job for Money vs. Passion

More ways to find your passion

Here are a few more tips for finding your passion:

7. Brainstorm the activities you look forward to
8. Narrow down your interests
9. Write down the values that are important to you
10. Consider your talents
11. Rekindle childhood passions
12. Explore things you’ve always wanted to try
13. Reach out to possible mentors
14. Invest time into your interests
15. Try to do your passion as a side job at first

Read more:
Crafting Your Career: Finding and Creating Opportunity in Your Company

Why is finding my passion important?

In an Indeed survey, 60% of employers said that they believe a lack of passion for the work is a reason some employees don’t perform well in their roles.¹ That same survey showed that 76% of employers don’t believe that passion can be learned, meaning that it’s important to take into consideration what you’re passionate about when thinking about your long-term career.

Some people choose to pursue their passions during their free time outside of work, while others prefer to dedicate their day-to-day work life to their passions. The choice you make will depend on what your passion is, whether or not it is easily transferred into sustainable living and whether or not you want your paycheck to be tied to your passion. That being said, Indeed Hiring Lab found that today’s college graduates prioritize passion over pay.

Discovering your passions may also help you determine what salary level, benefits or other job attributes you require to support your lifestyle.

Related: Job Cast: Choosing Your Ideal Career: Jumpstart Your Journey to Your Dream Job

Learn how to get clarity into your ideal career and start pursuing that path immediately in this virtual workshop with Tracy Timm, founder of Thrivist.

¹ Study: Indeed job seeker study conducted by Decipher/FocusVision (Base: employers, N=703)

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