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Passion or Strengths: Which to Follow

Many have been told to “follow their hearts” or their “passions” when faced with making a decision. Still others suggest that when faced with a life or career decision, people should base their decision on their strengths. After all, if you have passion for something but lack mission-critical strengths, you will struggle. Have an abundance of strength and skills and your success is practically assured.

Or is it?

For those in the fortunate position of having to choose between two career opportunities, their decision often becomes one of choosing between doing something they have passion for and doing something the know they are good at.

The two differing schools of thought both have valid arguments for why job seekers should follow their advice.

Follow Your Passion!

“If you love what you do for a living you will never work a day in your life;” states the old and well-known saying. Too many of us are caught up in dead end jobs, doing something we simply don’t enjoy and have little to no passion for. When people are in positions for which they lack passion, long-term success is seldom a reality.

The worst thing for any person to do is to waste the majority of their years working at a job they don’t enjoy. While people may rationalize that they work “only for the money and find fulfillment in their personal lives,” these are the people who live lives of quiet desperation: never finding true satisfaction or life-fulfillment.

Work in a Field that is in Alignment to Your Strengths

If you are good at delivering presentations, find a job that demands strong presentation skills. If you are strong in prospecting, make sure that your compensation plan includes benefits and rewards for closing new customers. Whatever your strengths are when it comes to sales, make 100% certain that your career choice is one in which your strengths are consistently in demand.

If you, instead, choose a career in a field that demands skills that you are weak in, just because you have passion for the field, your employer may soon be forced to find a replacement who has the strengths needed.

What is Needed is Balance

Both schools of thought are right and both are lacking. It is very true that if you love your job and have passion for the industry in which you sell, you will be more motivated to improve and to do the things it takes to be successful. And if you work in a job that is well suited for your selling style and strengths, you will have a steady stream of success to keep you motivated.

But if you can find a position that both interests and attracts you, while demanding your strengths and offering opportunities to improve your weakness, you will have found the balance that the most successful enjoy.

Finding a position that is a good balance for you can certainly be challenging. The first step is fully understanding where your passions and strengths are. Once you have established the foundation for your career, your search will be more targeted.

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