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Introduction to the Career Clarity Program

Exploring Your Interests & Passions

What do I look forward to doing?

Interests are the things we enjoy doing and, if we are very passionate about our interests, they can drive our career success. Passionate people can be driven to create a business focused around their interests, or may even be inspired to leave a lasting legacy for others For example, Steve Job’s passion to create a user-friendly computer for everyone relentlessly drove him to create Apple computers. His legacy lives on, even after his death.

To be successful in pursuing a high-level job or creating a sustainable business you need passion. Ask any high-profile leader and they will say that passion for their business, a cause or their product has driven them to keep going through challenging times.

Considering your interests and passions in your career planning will help you to target roles and opportunities that will provide you with  greater satisfaction. You will be asked about your interests in interviews and be expected to include something about them in your resume.  In the recruitment process, the hiring organisation will want to know what your interests are, particularly if they relate to the activities of their organisation. For example, an agricultural organisation will want to hear about your interest in agriculture. 

To answer the above question, think about what you enjoy doing when you are not at work and there are no demands on your time. It may be a hobby or a vocational driver. Is this interest a passion? If so, taking time to define what you want to keep as a hobby and those hobbies and interests you truly want to make your career, rather than just as a leisure activity for you. For example, people who are interested in sport might like to work for the AFL, or you may just enjoy watching a variety of sports when not at work.

Looking at the people who inspire you can also help you to explore your interests  People with similar interests are often attracted to similar careers. Read biographies or follow them to find out how passions play a vital part in career success. Watch this recording of an inspirational speech that Steve Job’s gave to students at Stanford University in 2005 to understand how important your passion is to drive your career and life success. It is also interesting to hear how his career progressed and how his passions were a key driver in overcoming  life challenges.

If you are stuck on this question there are a range of Interest self-assessments that can help you explore and identify your interests. They include the Strong Interest Inventor(Links to an external site.), based on psychologist John Holland’s theory on people’s motivation to work and how people with similar interests like similar careers. Note that this assessment must be administered by a certified career coach. Free online interest assessments are available on www.truity.com (Links to an external site.) and the O Net Interest Explorer (Links to an external site.), which is a US-based tool.

Document some of your interests and passions. If you cannot think of anything, reflect on what you enjoyed doing as a child or young adult. Or take some time to think about the type of hobbies you would like to try.

For example:

INTERESTS &  PASSIONS

I look forward to…

1.       Playing Golf

2.       Coaching the children’s basketball team

3.       Volunteering at the soup kitchen

4.       Learning new languages

Next Steps & Homework 

Please document your key interests and passions by downloading the Interests & Passions form below.  Then reflect on those you would like to incorporate into your work life. This may be as your day job or on a board or committee, or in a volunteer capacity.  Capture these in a careers journal or within the Interests & Passions form