Is Your Career An Occupation or An Occupassion?

Thursday, May 9, 2013 (originally posted March 1, 2011)

One of my friends is in the midst of a career transition and was recently at a conference where she heard one of the presenters talk about how careers and jobs should be “occupassions”, not occupations. I love that word: occupassion, and wish I could give credit to the individual who used the term. It says so much about the importance of doing what you love so that you can love what you do.

As a career coach, I speak with people every day about career choices and find that many of us have fallen into careers or jobs by default. Our careers are something we picked as a major in college at age 20 or perhaps they are something we once felt motivated by and now, 10 or 15 years later, our life has changed, we have evolved and it doesn’t motivate us anymore.

Career satisfaction begins with doing something that aligns with what we value and what motivates us. When we align ourselves to what we find meaningful, we end up loving what we do because we are doing something that provides us with meaning and a sense of purpose. It fulfills us internally. We get to wake up in the morning and actually say, “I love my job!” (Yes, it’s possible to say this and mean it!) And, when you can say that, it truly is much more than just a job. It is even much more than “work” because it doesn’t feel like work at all. I’m sure you’ve witnessed people whose work is comprised of doing what they love and are passionate about – they never complain about working because it doesn’t feel like work for them. I have another friend who is a trained firefighter and to me, everything he does looks like really hard work but to him, it’s pure joy because it aligns with his values and motivates him from the inside out. It is his occupassion.

For those in career transitions (and even for those who aren’t), you have an opportunity to consider this concept as you shift to your next career move. Why not consider an occupassion instead of the typical occupation? Why not wake up every day and say, “I can’t wait to begin my day”? Imagine the positive impact you can have when you do what you love and love what you do? I believe it can create a ripple effect of countless opportunities for you and for those with whom you interact.

Looking to reinvent your career and find your occupassion? Check out C3’s Career Reinvention Starter Kit to help you begin!

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