How to turn your passion into your career

If you find yourself feeling like a square peg in a round hole during your average work week, you’re not alone. A recent survey by SEEK found 57 per cent of respondents were looking to make a career change in the future, with 29 per cent saying it was to ‘do something more fulfilling’ or to ‘pursue their passion’.

However, if you’re determined to turn your passion into a bona fide career successfully - there are a few steps to help make it a smooth transition.

curly haired lady daydreaming in creative work environment

Pinpoint the benefits...and potential pitfalls

On one hand, following your passion can lead to increased job satisfaction and success, as you’re more likely to be inspired and motivated to succeed. However, pursuing your passion as a career can also absorb all your energy – whether establishing or running a business – impacting your work/life balance as well as your relationships. 

It’s worth chatting people you know who are currently working in field they’re passionate about. They will be able to give you an idea of the benefits of pursuing your passion as your career, as well as any potential challenges (and how to address them).

Do your research

Before taking the leap, be sure to do thorough background research to establish the demand for the type of work you’re interested in.

If you’re planning on going solo with your own business, you may like to explore what key players in your field (who may soon be your competitors!) are doing. Alternatively, if you’re planning on working within an existing business, it can be useful to research benchmark salaries (ensuring it’s realistic for your current and future lifestyle) as well as which companies may be hiring people in your desired area. 

Identify your transferable skills

Even if your passion is in an entirely different field, you may be able to bring some of your existing job skills with you. In demand skills include effective communication skills, the ability to prioritise, stakeholder and/or change management, leadership, and great problem solving abilities. 

Speak to people in your desired industry, to get a realistic idea of what skills are key as well as how to get started. Identifying the valuable skills you already possess - and how you can apply them in a new role – will help you pursue a career move with confidence. 

Arm yourself with knowledge

Consider further study to help bridge the gap between your current and new career. Not only will undertaking additional training enable you to fill any gaps in your skill set, it also signals to future employers that you’re serious about making a career change Best of all, relevant study can bring you one step closer to getting paid to do what you love. 

Volunteer your time

Consider taking your potential new career for a test drive, by volunteering in the field you’re interested in. Not only will this give you a realistic picture of what the job involves and what demand there is before you take the plunge, but you’ll also get some valuable work experience you can leverage to help you land your next role. Be sure to check out SEEK Volunteer to explore volunteering opportunities available in your dream field.

Don't rush the process

It’s important to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. SEEK data reveals whilst 43% of Australians are considering a career change within the next 12 months, 26% are considering this in the next 1-2 years, and 21% in 3 or more years. The takeout? From starting a side gig which you can gradually build into a full-time business (and salary), to gradually scaling back your existing role to allow you to focus on growing your passion – changing careers is not something you need to do overnight. 

Rather, thinking carefully about how to transition your passion into your career can not only help you minimise financial and personal stress, it can also prevent you from rushing into a situation you may later regret.

Good luck!

Source: Independent research conducted by Survey Sampling International (SSI) on behalf of SEEK. Interviewing 4800 Australians annually with data being weighted to be nationally representative of age, gender, location, employment status and income (based on ABS).