Developing Your Career

The Journey of “Small Smart Steps” in Your Career

By Greg Simpson on January 30, 2013

If you’re doing work that doesn’t bring you any fulfillment, you won’t perform at your highest level. It’s passion for the work you do that helps you transcend the challenges and achieve great things. If you’re not already doing work you love, think about how you can get there.

The Harvard Business Review poses the question: “If you’re really passionate about what you do, but it’s not going to make you a lot of money, should you still do it?” In the article “Choosing Between Making Money and Doing What You Love,” the authors – Leonard A. Schlesinger, Charles F. Kiefer and Paul B. Brown – respond with the following advice, “You simply want to be doing something that you love, or something that is logically going to lead to something you love, in order to do your best work.”

If you’re not already there, and you’re not be able to take an immediate leap in the direction of your dreams, the authors emphasize, “… every small smart step you take should leave you alive to take the next step.” And these small steps don’t have to travel a straight line. What “small smart steps” are you taking to follow your passion?

Moving into a field involving your interests could help. An accountant whose passion is animals could land a new accounting position with an animal advocacy group or lobbying organization. A candidate with strong social interests may derive more personal satisfaction taking his or her skills into the non-profit world.

For others, it’s a more difficult stretch. If you’re unable to work “your passion” right away, make it a priority in your personal time or try incorporating it into volunteer activities. The journey of “small smart steps” will take you where you want to go. As the authors wisely advise, “… you want to spend part of your day doing at least one thing that’s making you happy. Otherwise, something is terribly wrong.”

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