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What's your passion?

Postby ShannonWard » March 8th, 2017, 12:31 pm


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Does anyone feel like they have too many passions?

I do! People ask me all the time, "What is your passion?" I never know what to say. Today I made a list of things I'm passionate about and came up with about 30 pretty broad things from across the board. I had a problem choosing a major in college. I ended up changing it 4 times to only decide on something that was really broad. Now I'm working but I struggle with the fact that I feel like I'm not doing what I was made to do.

I have a lot of talents and I have a hard time figuring out what I should focus on to be better at. I'm trying to move my career forward but I want to focus on bettering my skills in one area but I can't choose.

Does anyone else have this problem?

I heard a Ted Talk about this topic. Apparently we are called Multi-potentialities. People who are good at a lot of different things.
I'm also an ENFP on the Meyers Briggs. If you know about that personality test, it is pretty accurate and helpful. ENFP's are really smart, creative and excellent problem solvers but can't make decisions, and they seem to be interested in a lot of things.

My question to you is: Do you know what your passion is? How are you living it out? Also, if you are a fellow ENFPer, how do you overcome the difficulty of being good at a lot of things?

I can't wait to hear your insight!
Last edited by ShannonWard on March 8th, 2017, 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: What's your passion?

Postby Dan Lewis » March 8th, 2017, 3:06 pm

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I'm also an ENFP on the Meyers Briggs. If you know about that personality test, it is pretty accurate and helpful. ENFP's are really smart, creative and excellent problem solvers but can't make decisions, and seem to be are good or interested in a lot of things.


Now that you've told us how really smart, creative and what an excellent problem solver you are .....................who cares???? Or, maybe you could solve your own problem. Oh, that's right you're indecisive!

I know, snarky.

Re: What's your passion?

Postby ShannonWard » March 8th, 2017, 4:52 pm


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Haha very funny!
Thanks for your humor :)

Re: What's your passion?

Postby cwatkinson » March 9th, 2017, 11:27 am


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So a Jack of all trades and a master of none...... plus you didn't really state what your passions where or ranked them which is perhaps tied to your inability to want to do everything which in turn has you actually doing very little. Thus you are not advancing in your career (what is your career) What did you got too school for? Why did you switch? what field are you in now that is so broad that you don't know what skill sets to focus on.... what skill sets will truly help you to advance your career, do you have passion for what you are doing? Who are you and are you being true to yourself? How old are you? are you having a mid life crisis?
These are but a few questions you should be asking inward and answering.... vs stating what you think you are.
Perhaps a course in strategic and analytical thinking is in order, or perhaps a life coach......

My passion is My Family, self awareness and growth and Design(all very broad )
I am a Jack of all and a master of a few
I am a INFP-A (which DOES NOT mean i am smart)
my IQ is over 130 (which DOES NOT mean i am smart)
As Dan said it so well "WHO CARES"

Know your enemy, which in this case seems to be yourself.......


seems like im in a snarky mood to Dan.

But in all seriousness Shannon, i think some Intellectual honesty and humility on your part as too who and what you are would help you greatly,
I have had this type of conversations with so many young designers i have taught and mentored.

Re: What's your passion?

Postby yo » March 9th, 2017, 1:49 pm

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Cross reference what you are passionate about with what other people think you are good at. A healthy way to think about it from an employer's perspective is that you get paid based on what you have done, not what you could do. So focus on making great work that demonstrably shows what you are capable of beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Re: What's your passion?

Postby cwatkinson » March 9th, 2017, 2:31 pm


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yo wrote:Cross reference what you are passionate about with what other people think you are good at. A healthy way to think about it from an employer's perspective is that you get paid based on what you have done, not what you could do. So focus on making great work that demonstrably shows what you are cable of beyond a shadow of a doubt.



So my challenge would be you "get paid for what you have done not could do"

the culture where i work is that you salary / raises / are a investment in what the company feels you can achieve or will achieve. bonuses are for the work you have done. Like many design firms that are proud to show what they have done over the last 10 / 20 / 30 years but do not have any of the same employees... i care what they are going to do for me specifically.

So i would challenge the OP to better understand where she feels she can bring the most value to a employer with the balance of also providing themselves with the most fulfillment.
(i am now over my snarky morning)

Re: What's your passion?

Postby IDiot » March 10th, 2017, 10:28 am

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ShannonWard wrote:Does anyone feel like they have too many passions?

I do! People ask me all the time, "What is your passion?" I never know what to say. Today I made a list of things I'm passionate about and came up with about 30 pretty broad things from across the board. I had a problem choosing a major in college. I ended up changing it 4 times to only decide on something that was really broad. Now I'm working but I struggle with the fact that I feel like I'm not doing what I was made to do.

I have a lot of talents and I have a hard time figuring out what I should focus on to be better at. I'm trying to move my career forward but I want to focus on bettering my skills in one area but I can't choose.

Does anyone else have this problem?

I heard a Ted Talk about this topic. Apparently we are called Multi-potentialities. People who are good at a lot of different things.
I'm also an ENFP on the Meyers Briggs. If you know about that personality test, it is pretty accurate and helpful. ENFP's are really smart, creative and excellent problem solvers but can't make decisions, and they seem to be interested in a lot of things.

My question to you is: Do you know what your passion is? How are you living it out? Also, if you are a fellow ENFPer, how do you overcome the difficulty of being good at a lot of things?

I can't wait to hear your insight!


Fellow ENFP (just a little more F than T) here, ... Wow, some how I didn't realize that the being good at a lot of things was an ENFP trait, but I have had that "problem" as well. This was a little enlightening for me to read, employer or potential employer says, "what are you good at?", or "what do you want to do?" and I say, "Yes?" or "What do you need me to do?"

I also have realized part of my passion is making the connections and seeing the confluence across my different interests.

In some regards time is your friend, over time you will have the opportunity to take on many of the different roles and challenges and projects you wish to take on, showing what you are capable of. If you don't have those opportunities in your day to day work, create them as side projects or learning exercises. I personally usually go through phases of interest (still a long list of things, do sort through), but I just try to make sure I'm making progress on something all the time. As you may have noticed one interest or skill tends to feed another or cross-pollinate at some point. Sorry if this isn't hugely helpful, I'm curious if others have helpful things to say on this subject as well.

Re: What's your passion?

Postby yo » March 12th, 2017, 7:10 pm

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I've been thinking about this more, especially in light of what Ricky said. I think the important thing to do is to create a body of work that shows your broad interest. I get it, I think. I'm interested in every facet of design, from the tiniest on product graphic on the back panel to shop in shops and retail experience. People ask me what my specialty in design is all the time. I don't have one. I've done everything from a tiny brand mark for a local restaurant to designing the corporate headquarters quarters at Sound United. I was pretty much equally excited about both.... I try to show that breadth in my portfolio, but it is a difficult task. It can come off as schizophrenic. The right people tend to just get it though, "this guys loves it all"

Create a space for yourself in the world where you can shine, and I like Ricky's approach about taking things one or two at a time. I started in consulting, then went down the path of footwear for almost 10 years, then went to innovation consulting, and now have been in CE for the past 5. They key is to not let other's define you, and instead to create the definition yourself.

Post your work in the projects or portfolio forum!

Re: What's your passion?

Postby ShannonWard » March 15th, 2017, 9:50 am


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I love all of your responses and input! It is important to ask yourself questions and do a little soul searching. I have very real, defined passions in life that are outside of work. I think mainly in this post, I’m addressing more of passions in your career.

I think a lot of times you hear that if you don’t choose one thing to focus on then you will not be productive, you won’t ever advance, people will wonder why you have done so many different things and you will be seen as indecisive.
I don’t look at it this way. I think if you know a lot of different skills (in my case design skills such as: various software, marketing, graphic design, product design, architecture, sketching, 3D sculpture, fine art, construction skills, manufacturing, drafting, business management, PR and leadership) then you would be better off in any design position.
The problem is that the world and many businesses don’t see this as an advantage. Wouldn’t it be beneficial to employ a designer that knows how to design products well, while also keeping in mind manufacturing practices, marketing, and business strategies?
I’m currently working as a design engineer but I have big dreams. I’m in my late twenties and desire to have a career that utilizes my talents. I’m both creative and analytical. I have a technical degree as well as an Arts Business degree. I’m passionate about many areas of design. ( I have either took classes in or have experience with: architecture, interior design, graphic design, sculpture, casting, painting, and my current, product design.) The main thing that stands out and is common between all areas is that I desire to make products or perform services that help people. I have always been about this and it is a huge part to what gets me up in the morning.

One of my dreams is to be a manager. I’m not even sure in what area of design, probably industrial. I just know with the skill set and passions that I have, it would be a good fit. I just need more experience and a way to get there. Another dream of mine later on in life is to be an art or design professor. I’m sure a lot of people don’t dream about this but I do. I want to help young people develop their skills, and find jobs they will truly love. I love school, I love learning and I had some pretty unique professors that really influenced where I am today. I want to be that for college students.

With all that being said, am I dreaming too much or being unrealistic? Can you really make a living being interested in and doing many different design related projects? Do people ever celebrate this? I research top level managers and executives at companies and find their paths are all very similar and straight forward. Is there a chance for people out there like me who are good at and passionate about many different things?

I’m currently working on building a better portfolio on the side like what yo said, “Creating a space for yourself in the world where you can shine.”

Does anyone have tips (possibly on a hiring standpoint) on how I could best market myself as a multi-talented person in a good way, especially on a resume? Once, I’m in the interview, my passion is able to be shown through my personality which always does me well. It’s scoring the interview or getting noticed by hiring managers who only see your experience as indecisiveness.

Re: What's your passion?

Postby moczys » March 15th, 2017, 2:47 pm

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After I wrote this post, I realized that it was very similar to what @IDiot already wrote. Here it is anyways:

I can relate to a lot of the feelings you have identified as I also see myself as a "jack of all trades, master of none." I have ME and ID degrees, and I have also found it challenging to get noticed by hiring managers who are looking for one or the other. Unfortunately I don't have any advice that relates specifically to marketing this aspect of yourself to hiring managers, but from reading your posts, it seems like you're pretty good at selling your skills and communicating your passions.

One thing that wasn't specifically mentioned, but seems to be an underlying requirement for some of the other helpful suggestions people posted, is just simply "be patient." You're in your late twenties and still have a lot of career left to go. You've said that you have a lot of passions, but unfortunately you need to couple that passion with some skill and experience to make it useful. Skill and experience only come with practice and time, so... be patient.

I also have a lot of interests and have had a lot of trouble in the past focusing enough energy on each one of them so that I feel like I am improving. In the past year or two, I have made a conscious effort to reduce the number of interests I'm practicing at any given time to around two or three. And it has definitely helped! After a full week of work, sleep, eating, time with family/friends, and chores, you might only have 2 or 3 hours left of free time. If you try to split up those 3 hours over 30 different interests, you'll only get to spend 6 minutes on each one. While you will be improving each skill a little bit, you will just end up being bummed out because you won't really be able to see any change between practice sessions. However, if you focus on only 2 or 3 interests, then you'll get to spend 60-90 minutes on each one and you might actually be able to see some progress between sessions. Then, after you've advanced to some point that feels satisfactory, you can switch out and move on to improving another skill.

It might be a good exercise to take all of your 30+ passions you mentioned and evaluate your current skill level, your desired skill level, and which ones might overlap or be prerequisites to other interest areas. This might help you figure out how to focus your time and make some measurable progress.

Also, don't put too much stock Meyer's Briggs. Its is an interesting way to assign categories to personalities, but I don't think there is any correlation to overall intelligence or skill. It's just a way to try to understand your personality, and how you can better interact with and relate to people of different personality types. For reference, I'm an INTJ.


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