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What is the best way to find my passion?

There are a lot of things I like a little, but nothing that has made me want to do it for the rest of my life. I feel lost and confused sometimes, or like it's too late to develop a new passion (even though I know it isn't.)

I am really interested in doing something creative and personal, that can make a difference. I like making things look good, and I love photography, I just haven't had a lot of experience with it because I couldn't afford a camera until recently. Sometimes I am discouraged by the fact that others are ahead of me and that I am losing precious time to develop that skill.

It gets really hard when most of my life is taken up by academics and schoolwork (I prioritize my grades a lot, I am in Junior Year.) so I sometimes don't have the energy to do the things I love and improve at them.

What advice would you give me?

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
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Subject: Career question for you

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Jody’s Answer

Hello Ashlyn, you are not alone in your universal questions on how to be successful and how do I get there and what can I do for my " career". I grew up in a small town and never flew on a commercial plane till after college when I joined the Peace Corps and was sent to Kenya for a 2 year contract. They catapulted me right out of my comfort zone and it made me grow up really fast. It was the best decision I ever made and it molded me into a much better and more mature person. My advice for you is to look for ways to get out of your comfort zone and find your passions. The school play ground rules never go away, your playground will get bigger as you grow. My toughest challenges came working in big offices with lots of different people who did not like me for various reasons and mainly for being " different". Yada-yadda, take a number and get at the end of the line, pretty , pretty please. I treat everybody with respect, regardless and I learned how to not let them ruin my happy day. The whole world cannot be happy a the same time, ( it could happen, but I seriously doubt it), so you decide what is going to make you happy and WHO can help you get there. When I left for Kenya my dad gave me $100 at the airport, 2-1/2 years I came back and my dad asked me - how much you got? and i counted out $60. My dad laughed at me and said " that is ALL you have after 2 years? " My reply - I spent 2 years living a hard adventure in the 3rd world, I learned how to speak swahili, I went to the Congo to see the silverback gorillas, I spent a month in Nepal, and a month in Thailand on my way home. The net cost for my 2 -1.2 year trip around the world is 100 - 60 = $40. ( feel free to check my math) YES, dad that is all I got after 2 years and I am really happy about that. That low paying government job opened up a world I had only seen in books and I walked right thru it.
I learned how to interview better and got started with my first job and worked hard everywhere I went. I recommend you look for clubs with like-minded people. Networking is an excellent way to meet awesome people. My daughter’s softball coach got me a visitor badge so that I could door-knock at NASA and I got an immediate job in their facilities department. I spent 10 years there and when I first got there I had to learn a whole new way of doing business and I used the same skills I used in Kenya , be yourself, be honest, treat everybody with respect, work hard, and build good teams for teamwork. The hard times will make you grow and being out of your comfort zone will also make you grow. I joined Toastmasters International when I was at NASA for $10 per month and I learned how to be a public speaker which is way, way, out of my comfort zone. That has helped me tremendously for my interviews and for being a team leader when I am forced to. Ashlyn, you will find your way to success because you have already started looking for the ways to be successful. You will figure it out. You do not need a lot of money to be successful, Build your foundation first with honesty, integrity, and hard work. You are on universe time Ashlyn, the universe will guide you because you are seeking your path to success. The hardest challenge I see for most people is how to be happy on a daily basis. You are going to be successful Ashlyn, I promise you, no matter how long it takes. My main advice is to learn how to be happy on a daily basis and the rest will fall into place on the universe’s time. Build your skills as you go and get out of your comfort zone more and more as you journey thru this lifetime. Cheers !

Jody recommends the following next steps:

Photography - find free apps that let you alter photos, improve lighting, improve facial features etc, master the ability to make awesome photos better
Make a list of JOBS you think you want - Make a list of WHO hires for those JObs
Search the CAREERS sections of the Companies you think you want to work for, they post open jobs on their websites in the Careers sections, make a library of job folders
Cut and Paste the Job Descriptions for the JOBS you think you want to do - they will list the skills they are searching for, make a working library for your use
Research ways to develop the skills you want to have, or learn, and how to create a Resume to help you find the best job you are available for. Become a lifetime learner and never stop growing
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Joyce’s Answer

Hi Ashlyn! You're not alone in feeling uncertain about sticking to one career path. Remember that all fields open your opportunities and are just like roads on a map - they guide you but don't restrict your journey. Make sure you follow essential steps like finishing school, maintaining good grades, and preparing for future opportunities. At the same time, be open to exploration.

In order to take action, whenever you have free time, engage in activities that bring you joy. Reflect on what excites you in the morning. Since you're passionate about photography, consider creating a vision board with your favorite photos and work on a project that showcases your creativity. Innovative talents are valued across numerous industries, so avoid limiting yourself to just one.

To venture beyond your comfort zone, consider joining clubs or taking courses related to your interests. Network with people in multiple experience stages across fields. Keep exploring until you find your niche.

Remember, it takes courage to step outside the normal path, but doing so may lead you to discover your true calling. Best of luck on your journey!
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Robert’s Answer

You sound like you're very hard on yourself and asking yourself a lot of questions. In doing this questioning all you're left with are vague answers to your questions and no truthful answers. Get out of your head! Good way of doing this is to find things that give your pleasure. Do those. Don't think. Just enjoy yourself. Your truthful answers are always there, just let them come out through time. What worked well for me was cycling. I'd have a script problem which I didn't know how to solve. I'd get on my bike with the intent of solving the problem - but the most important part of this exercise is DON'T THINK OF YOUR PROBLEM! Just let it come out. By the end of the ride I would invariably have an answer to my problem. Finding solutions is easy. They just happen if you let them. What makes it hard and keeps solutions stuck, is all the figuring out which gums up the mind with just a lot of thoughts and notions.
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Cathy’s Answer

That sounds like a lot of pressure!

I think you had a good point - it's never too late to develop a new passion. When I was at university, there was a man studying engineering who I think was in his 70s. Right now it feels like you have to pick "the answer" but all you really need to choose is your first career. Many people end up changing, and that's fine!

I changed degrees twice while I was at university, because once I tried something out I found new options and paths. Also remember that you can have hobbies and passions outside of work! If you think you might want to go to art or design school, have a look around at what those courses require. But if you're not sure yet, that's perfectly fine. Some people know exactly what they want, and some don't (and some think they do and change their mind).

Photography sounds like an excellent way to take a break from academics, I wouldn't worry too much about where others are with their skill development and just have fun developing your artistic style. I would suggest trying to take a little bit of time each week, even just fifteen minutes if that's all you have.

Good luck!
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Jason’s Answer

You are right that you do have time. More than half of all college students change their major, and the majority of professionals will change their career field around the age of 39.

A concept that may help you find one of your career paths is the Venn Diagram of Purpose.
https://twitter.com/nexford/status/1461675909568778245

Another idea is the identity your values, and find a career path that is meaningful for you.
https://www.betterup.com/blog/personal-values-examples
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sylvia’s Answer

Hello Ashlyn!
It is never too late to find an new passion. Time is your friend, not your foe. Life is a journey of discovery and you may explore different paths and change course many times (I changed college majors three times as I explored new areas of knowledge, and work in marketing, but my degree is political science and English literature. Prioritizing your personal passions should be part of your day, and I encourage you to commit a few minutes of your time each day honing your photography skills. You may find intersectionality of passion with potential career choice.
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Natalie’s Answer

Ashlyn,

The first thing I'd say is to give yourself a little grace and know that the world is a university. There are so many things to be learned and everyday is an opportunity to learn something new. Don't rush the process and enjoy school as much as possible.

Congratulations on being able to afford a camera. That's a huge accomplishment and one that should not be overlooked. I'd encourage you to just begin taking pictures during your summer break. There are a lot of inexpensive photography courses available online at websites like udemy.com and even YouTube if you want to study photography. At some point you could then look for ways to monetize your craft. I've heard of people selling their prints on websites like shutterstock.com or partnering with real estate agents to take pictures of homes that will be listed for sale.

Lastly, know that it will take time and various experiences to learn your passion. Once you do, you will know it. It's the thing that makes you smile and that you would do for free.

I wish you much success in all your endeavors and remember to have fun during the process!
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Lesly’s Answer

Hey there! I just know you're on the path to discovering your true passion, and a fantastic way to do that is by crafting a personal vision statement. By diving deep and exploring your values, you'll be able to find and embrace your true north. Start by jotting down all the things you absolutely love to do, and don't forget to also take note of the activities that don't spark joy for you. Reflect on your strengths and celebrate your achievements – you deserve it! Plus, journaling can be an incredible way to gain insights into your passions. Keep going – I believe in you! You're on the cusp of discovering what sets your soul on fire.
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Cherri’s Answer

First of all, do not give up. Talk with someone in this profession for tips on how they were able to make it. Look for resources that provides financial and counseling resources. Don't have the I can't do it mentality. Be willing to make the sacrifices and effort to put in the hard work to get there. Nothing comes easy. Make yourself a vision board and put on your wall. Look at that vision board every day and do sometime before the day ends toward meeting your goal. Stay the course because it will happen.
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