Finding Your Passion: Guide to Career Change

I just finished talking with a client that I have known for some time. She is a person with a passion, a documentary filmmaker for over 15 years, whom I’ve enjoyed helping to guide through various challenges along the way.

Incredibly, straight out of college, she got a great job with a hot new cable channel, moved to New York, and has traveled the world in support of her work. She has also produced, directed, and been a cinematographer for projects such as:


• video biographies of famous people
• commercials
• specials for major cable channels
• an academy nominated documentary film
• directing, producing and shooting her own award winning documentary

It would seem that she has had an interesting and exciting career, don’t you think? Perhaps. But the years behind the camera have also revealed some things to her. As I said, she is a person with a passion. Unfortunately, that passion remained ignored as she worked hard at her career in the film industry. Very recently, however, there was a change.

She admits that she is “pretty tired” of the motion picture business. Generally, she believes that people are not treated well. (I know quite a few people in this business and they all seem to agree on this point.) The hours are hideous and many find themselves nickeled-and-dimed to death over salary. It’s always the same conversation: “We can’t afford it!” or “The budget is really small.” Most importantly, the work is never consistent.

The gist of our conversation (and the reason for this article) is that my client now wants to change her career. She has a passion that she is longing to follow. She told me that she often lays in bed all night thinking about what she wants to do with the rest of her life. She’s 40 years old, a time in life when people start to rethink the job track they began directly out of college, and long for a career guided by a particular passion.

She asked herself, “What am I passionate about?” Her answer was, “Food.” She went on to describe to me the type of restaurant she wanted to open and the kind of food she would offer. She described the location she wanted, how it would look and the competition she knew existed in that area. She spoke with such passion that I, too, became caught up in her enthusiasm, energy and spirit. I have never heard her talk about her other work that way.

I told her that it was obvious to me that her unconscious had been taking a lot of notes about this change in career. She laughed, “Wow, you’re right I’ve been storing information in the back of my mind and it just all spilled out of me…came together, food!

I don’t often hear that kind of passion when people speak. I said, “I don’t usually advise people on career changes, but the passion and excitement I just heard from you calls for a change.”

We talked about the uncertainty, but I advised that it was time to go out on that limb and take some risk. I happen to know that she is smart and blessed with incredible drive – and most important of all – people love her.

I will let you know how this all turns out. In the meantime, if you have allowed passion to guide your own career change, I would love to hear from you! Sometimes, it is the passion of another that most inspires us to find our own.

One thought on “Finding Your Passion: Guide to Career Change

  1. Pingback: Why Doing What You Love Is All About Choices, Not About the Work | Laurie Burton Training

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