May 18, 2021   2:18am

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One way to find your passion (work not romantic)

Unless it’s in your genes or you’re very lucky, finding your passion can be elusive. What do you want to do for the rest of your life? I asked a top corporate executive coach/clinical psychologist,* who knows about these kinds of things …


If you haven’t identified your passion and are unhappy with your current career or ready to start something new, a career counselor can be enormously helpful. That’s in addition to doing your own self-analysis and speaking with a mentor or someone else you respect who will be open and honest with you as to how they see your strengths and interests. All of this will give you a leg up when you’re going for something new.

For example, let’s say you’re an introvert. You ‘re extremely organized and content when working in a linear way, but don’t pride yourself on being intuitive . An opportunity comes along to be in marketing and in sales where you’d be always interacting and juggling several things as once. Even if it sounds appealing with a great salary to boot, you’re not going to be happy, and you’re certainly not going to be passionate … you’re just not the personality type for that.

Try to target jobs that seem right for who you truly are, and, then, when you’re immersed in the day-to-day requirements, you’ll recognize if you’re interested in that “model” or whether you can take what you like most about it, experiment and evolve into another niche … sometimes this takes time …

For example, In my personal experience, early on, through taking tests, I found out that law and psychology were natural to me. This was enormously advantageous when I was thinking about what to do next. I found that while the field was engrossing, I didn’t particularly like the actual “practice of” clinical psychology. However, because of that foundation I was able to evolve into my current career — coaching senior executives — which has been my passion for the past 25 years.

If your child is college age and searching, suggest that he/she go to the career department, generally for free, where he/she can ask to take a battery of tests – personality tests, interest tests, all kinds of tests. Sometimes these are very reliable in that they will point out who you are as a personality and where your sweet spots are. For example, are you TRULY an extrovert or do you just think you are? Do you have any idea where your real interests lie, or have you just tried to do what’s expected of you? The first job doesn’t have to be a passion or the company eventually desired – what’s gained is credibility and learning … however, pick a job where there’s a strong interest in an organization that’s a good fit and the result will be a higher, happier quality of life …

What’s really important is to be proactive … invest in a career or private career counselor. There are counselors out there who specialize in everything from old pros to working with newly graduating seniors.

survivalguide-copy.jpg *About Dr. Marilyn Puder-York,

Marilyn’s one of the pioneers in applying clinical psychology to executive careers. Focusing on behavior in the workplace, she’s helped am impressive list of high-powered executives to: maintain resiliency through dramatic upheavals; adjust habits and behaviors; enhance communication, interpersonal and self-management skills; and identify and manage internal barriers ito achieve superior performance. She’s presented to numerous associations and frequently interviewed and cited i.e. The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Business Week, The New York Times, CNN,CBS, NBC and Fox. Her publication topics have included ethical issues in executive coaching, managing difficult customers and clients, and the psychology of success. Her first book, “The Office Survival Guide” is published by McGraw-Hill.

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