Finding Your Career Passion

Julia grew up in a family of privilege.  She attended high school in a private boarding school and then went to Smith College to major in history.

When she graduated from college, she became a copywriter for an advertising agency.  With the outbreak of World War II, Julia joined the OSS (Now the CIA).  Her job was to type 10,000 names of officers on note cards to keep track of them.  Eventually, she was given an overseas assignment.  She was asked to develop a shark repellent to keep sharks away from underwater explosives.  Her approach was to cook various concoctions which were placed in the water around the explosives.  Her repellents are still in use today.

Julia married a man who was in the OSS with her.  He introduced her to fine dining.  She found her career passion:  cooking.  She was 39 years old at the time.  She graduated from the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris and followed that by studying with master chefs.

Julia Child went on to publish a number of books and had a very popular series of TV shows where she introduced American families to an entire world of food they knew nothing about.  She has also been the subject of a number of books and movies.

Finding a career passion can be a long and winding journey.  For some, like Julia Child, the journey is very successful.  For others, the journey never seems to lead to fulfillment.  Fate has a role to play.  Career passions often come from a moment of opportunity.  This may seem to be a strange way to find a career passion, but these moments of opportunity seem to arise from personal reflection, reaching out to others, and building on past experiences.

Finding a career passion can also require taking risks.  Financial obligations often limit the leap to a new, more potentially satisfying career.  Family issues can also be a challenge, especially when seeking your career passion may disrupt the career of a loved one.  Geography can also be an issue should your career passion require a move.

Career passions are rarely revealed to us as a “That’s It.”  We tend to find our career passions gradually.  Our career interests evolve as we change.  What might have been exciting at one time may no longer be as fulfilling as we change.

The reality is that career passions are, in many cases, a reflection of how we approach life.  Every job can be exciting if we take the initiative to make it so.  We can create our own career opportunities by being innovative in how we perform our current jobs.  The first step in the career passion journey begins by change that we promote for ourselves.

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“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.  Don’t settle.”

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