By: Alison Krogman
“Find your passion” is a phrase that has been repeated by the past three speakers for Iowa PRSSA. It has been discussed that passion is “critical” and is necessary for future career success and happiness. We are often told to “turn our passion into a career.” But what is passion, and how do we find it?
Essentially, passion is the drive to explore what you love or what interests you. Amy A’Hearn, Career Center Advisor, gave insight into finding what interests you and how to transform those interests into careers. She says to become engaged in what is important to you. A’Hearn emphasized that “even if you’re already involved…get more involved; the worst thing you can do is do nothing.” She went on to say that it’s okay if your major doesn’t define you and it’s okay if you don’t have a clue what you want to do–but start thinking about your values and passions now.
A’Hearn also addressed the repeatedly asked question: “am I qualified?” As involved as many of us are, we still feel unable to get the jobs we want because we believe we lack the qualifications and passion employers are looking for. To answer this question, A’Hearn explained the importance of internships. An internship, or, preferably, multiple internships, provides us with experience, and could possibly spark an interest or “passion” along the way. A’Hearn gave her own example, telling us that after her first day working at a PR agency, she rode the train home in tears because she knew this job was not what she wanted to be doing. However, the experience was well worth it, as it strengthened her values and helped her realize her own passions.
Chad Ruback, Assistant VP of External Relations for UI Health Care, also joined in the conversation. Ruback agreed that internships are important, but also pointed out that exploring different classes and organizations is an easy way to get an idea of what interests you. Both Ruback and A’Hearn reiterated how valuable involvement in many organizations and internships is, and noted that college is the place to discover what you do and don’t like. Ruback’s main advice to finding your passion is to “adapt your versatility.” He explained the importance of being able to think critically, problem solve, process, and access. He said now is the best time to practice these, to be curious, and to find out things on your own. “Find that area of passion,” he said, “and everything else falls into place.”
“Enjoy it, practice, fail, learn, and discover,” said Ruback.
So, what’s your passion?