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Career Passion is Essential; Listen to Steve Jobs - And How To Discover Yours

Posted by Alan J. McMillan on Sat, Jul 12, 2014 @ 04:15 PM

Steve Jobs said it best (I will paraphrase a bit), “People say you have to have a lot of passion for what you are doing, and it’s totally true.  The reason is because it is so hard (that) if you don’t, any rational person would give up.  It’s really hard, and you have to do it over a sustained period of time.  So if you don’t love it, you’re not having fun doing it, you are going to give up.  That’s what happens to most people.    The ones who became successful did the things they loved so they could persevere when the going gets tough.”

Steve Jobs on why passion is essential for your success

So here you are.  You want to secure:

  • A job
  • That you are passionate about
  • With a career that you love

But you are not sure what that is.  In fact, when you think about getting a job, more energy is spent thinking about ‘getting a job’ then assuring it is ‘a job you are passionate about.’  A job and a career you will really love.

There is no one-way to pull this off, but let me share a technique that can help you figure this out.

Over-arching in this quest is to stay curious about finding your passion, interests and skills.  When a spark goes off, as you hear about a job, you see an emerging industry, you meet someone accomplished in his or her career and it looks like fun. Note it, then dig deeper.


I recommend for as long as you are at college, make a monthly appointment with yourself and visit the library.  The sole purpose of this visit is to explore for your career passion that will lead you to eventual employment.  Start optimally, during the first semester of your freshman year.


  • Once a month (put it on your calendar now)
  • Two hours (uninterrupted)
  • Go by yourself (stay focused)
  • Turn off your Smartphone (no interruptions)
  • Bring your laptop or use a PC at the library (but DO NOT log into email), use it for the search engine only

Head to the periodical section and then have fun.

  • Now just pick up publications and explore
    • Magazines
    • Trade journals
    • Newspapers
    • Etc…
    • Also, you can use your time to search about industries or companies that sounded exciting when they may have come across you path over the last 30 days
    • See what excites you
    • As you spot an area of interest, see:
      • Who are companies active in that space
      • Who are their competitors
      • Who are their partners
      • What the press is saying about that company or market space

Key to this is staying organized, not just for your Library Discovery Trips, but once you are on this mission, you will hear things and you will want to note it in a central place:

  • As an opportunity peaks your interest, note it on a spreadsheet or on JobSearchRadar, a formatted Excel sheet at LearnEarnRetire.com
  • Keep this with you and when an opportunity come across your path, add it to the notes

Additionally, the light may go off by:

  • Participating in a campus group or association
  • Listening to a guest lecturer in class, on campus
  • At company info-sessions when they are recruiting on campus
  • As you discover a new company at the job fair
  • Any time you meet an accomplished professional
  • As you read or listen to the news
  • When you see a company come up on your search engine news feed or Twitter
  • When you are at the store or the doctor or wherever and you come across a company or product that looks interesting


Once you begin to seek

  • What you want to do
  • In an organized and consistent manner
  • Trying to find a role you are truly excited about
  • One that you might truly love

Then you will get good at recognizing areas that you might want to explore further.  Just note them on your spreadsheet so that you can review, prioritize, eliminate, or seek more information about them.

The magic of doing this every month is that it will keep your curiosity and your antenna tuned both to finding opportunities and your passion.

Key objective for all is to leave campus with a job.  If you stay both curious and organized, you will vastly better your odds of not only landing that job, but embarking on career you love, and one where you can become amazingly successful.

Topics: Job Preparation, Dream Jobs, best college majors, College Experience, College, What Do You Want?, Passion