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Having Passion For What You Do

Lately, I've been searching within myself to transform my life and follow my passion. Career-wise, it is standard advice to follow your passion, but finding the spark in doing something that fires you up is no easy task.

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant said that:

“… a lot of people struggle to find out what they are passionate about.”

I have graduated as a computer system engineer and have been working as such for quite some time. However, I am not passionate about my current career path. The struggle is real!

As I am a goal-oriented person who likes to take action and look for answers, I started researching through listening to podcasts, joining professional-related communities, reading books, having meaningful conversations with friends and family, taking courses, doing some coaching, and other stuff that could lead me to find passion in what I am doing or try to find a new path for my career.

When I read or hear the word passion, I imagine a fire burning inside of me. I think that there is a fire burning in everyone. The thing about fires is that they eventually extinguish. When a fire extinguishes, a tiny spark can ignite it again. While on my journey of finding that spark again, I want to share a couple of things I have learned along the way:

  1. Get to know yourself, explore who you are.

  2. Experiment and try new things. Ask yourself: What do I like or not like? Try new things as often as much as you can.

  3. Build your skills. Take those things that you like, focus on a couple of them, and build strong skills around them.

  4. Surround yourself with people that will challenge and support you.

On the journey, I also learned the difference between cold passion and hot passion. Passion shouldn't be something that ignites you and then disappears; it should be something that stays with you along all that you do, you may not feel it in the same way consistently, but it is there throughout all.

Passion for what you do should be like a marathon (cold), not a sprint (hot). It keeps you at a steady pace with a goal in mind.

Recently, I was listening to Rinki Sethi, past VP & CISO at Twitter, as she told the story about how she lost her passion.That took her on a downward spiral; she then realized that she needed to find a new workplace where she could make a great impact, drive change, and feel passion while she is doing that. Rinki said that she considers that passion makes the tough times less tough and the great times even greater. That resonated a lot with me as I believe that my passion is my incredible drive in life.

I think one could find passion and lose it along the way, but it is up to each one of us to find a renewed passion and make it grow. Be curious, be kind to yourself, and put in the work. The reward will be passionately awesome!

Shary Llanos Antonio is a Colombian governmental office's IT security strategy leader with over 7 years of experience as an IT project manager and Information Security specialist in the public sector. Shary is a computer systems engineer working towards her Computer Science Master’s degree. She is also a member of Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS), who is passionate about cybersecurity awareness and community empowerment.


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