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S2E10 - You Don’t Need to Chase Passion

Episode Description:

Just don’t do it. Don’t chase your passion. I’ll tell you why in this episode.

Stop searching for your passion | Terri Trespicio -


Some parts of the transcript may be edited for better readability, but the content remains the same. Mostly removed duplicate words, vocal filler words, and added/removed some words for clarification.


Hey, everyone, this is Meliza, and I'm The Talkative Introvert.

Did you ever have those motivational speaker guests at your high school? The ones that tell you to find your passion? The ones that give you that cliche speech about 'If you find your passion, then work will never feel like work'? Remember those? Not sure if they still do that. I mean, obviously, they can't do that right now. But I don't know if they do that pre-COVID. If they still go to high schools and give out those speeches. Anyway, this episode is about not finding your passion and how that's quite okay. This started because... you probably guessed it. Work. I feel like a lot of my episodes are related to work, because it's kind of all I do since the pandemic. However, it is changing. Things are opening up again. So I have been going out more, which is nice. I feel like we're slowly getting back to normal. I mean, normal to me will be the day we can stop wearing a mask. But it's getting there slowly. Anyways, so I have this weekly one on one with my manager. And she asked me how I was doing. She expressed that she wants to make sure she's being supportive and hear her people's issues at work. She's kind of new to being a manager. I mean, it's been over a year now. But before this position, she was actually in my position. And then she promoted up. So, she just wants to make sure she hears everyone's concerns and that she is listening to everyone, which is great. I love her for that. But she did specifically ask or said that she didn't want me to dread logging into work every morning. And that's like her main concerns with her employees. She wants to make sure that... I don't know, I guess we're enjoying work. I told her, "Well, you know, I'm not exactly passionate about IT project management, but my work doesn't bother me. Because I work to live not live to work. So, I reassured her that everything was fine. So, not to worry about me. Because I did choose to work for the state solely because of the work-life balance. Going from private to public, I definitely took a pay cut. I actually had other interviews while I was working for another job. And I had a really good shot with this other company. And I knew someone that worked there. So, I asked about how the work life balance is. And he admitted that it does get a bit crazy, you will have to work over the eight hours every once in a while, and sometimes work over the weekends. And it's just part of the culture. That's just normal, I guess to them to work more than the time allocated, or what's expected of you, the 40 hours a week.

The plus side of all of it, though, is that even though he works all these crazy hours, he gets paid very well. I believe he's at six figures. And he's the same age as me. Actually, I think I'm older than him by year. So the money looked really good. I was really considering it at the time. But the reason I was leaving my current job is because that was the expectation is that they expected you to work over your allocated times without really being fairly compensated for it. Like I had a company phone, and I brought my laptop home. And I did like login after I got off work. So before COVID, we were all going into the office. And it was kind of normal. It was normal for you to bring your work home and to continue working if need to, even on the weekends. And I had my company phone. Like I don't know if it was the exp4ectation, but I did feel obligated to always answer my phone and to answer emails even after work hours. And so that was becoming more and more as, I guess, progressed in the company. And as I take on more responsibilities, I was finding myself working more and working out of the work hours and also just not feeling like that was a bad thing. I felt like I had to do it. That's how I proved myself to that company that I take my job seriously and blah, blah, blah. But then I was thinking I don't want to live that lifestyle. Because they wanted you to work past your allocated times, but then you're not even being compensated for it. And I'm sorry but I don't work for free. My time is too valuable to me, and I already did all that free stuff in college. And I don't want this to sound like I'm a spoiled brat, because I already put in the legwork. I went to school. I even paid for school. I did the free internships. I won my managers over during the interview, and the internships. I did the work to get hired. And I proved myself to my managers and colleagues, I proved to them year after year, that I can do the job. You could see that in my interviews. So, it's not like I don't believe in hard work. But I do believe there's a limit. Because at the end of the day, we're all human, and our life is finite. It's not like when we retire, we're the same as we were when we were in our 20s. There's some things you just can't do when you get older because of health in getting older and whatnot. And so I didn't want to live that kind of life anymore. I didn't want to be shackled to my work, which is why I took the pay cut. I don't make six figures. And I didn't go with the other company. I worked for the state because it's a better work life balance. But anyways, back to being passionate, no. I'm not passionate about my work. But I am good at it. When I'm good at something, I actually really enjoy doing what I'm good at. And I enjoy the fact that technology in general, is always changing and evolving. So the career I'm in will always be changing and evolving. There's always something new to learn and new ideas to adopt. And I like that changing environment. I like that. I think I thrive in that kind of environment. I get bored easily. And I love starting up a new process and getting the ball rolling and getting it to the point where it's just like a well-oiled machine. But after that once it's gone to the maintenance and operations phase, if you will, it gets boring. So, I like when stuff change. And I like when we get new initiatives. And I like that there's always something new in the tech world. So, I do enjoy it. I may not be passionate about IT but I enjoy the work. And I enjoy the fact that I can do it. And I do it well.

Because if you think about it, if everyone did what they were passionate about, there'd be an influx of singers, actors, painters, food bloggers, etc. I mean, there's already an influx in those areas right now. But our society and our world depends on the people who do the jobs people aren't passionate about. If you think about the people who deliver your mail or the people who work at the dump and collect our garbage. Basically all the people featured in 'Dirty Jobs'. If you've never watched Dirty Jobs, just look it up. It's pretty fascinating. But I mean, obviously there can be people who are passionate about garbage. But I can assure you, it's probably not as many people who would rather be a rock star. So other than talking to my manager, I also watched this TED Talk titled 'Stop searching for your passion' by Terry... God. I gotta watch this. But I'm pretty sure her last name is Trespicio. Whatever. I will link the video in the show notes, so you can go watch her. There's also a lot of other videos that talk about not following your passion and how that's kind of toxic. So those are pretty good videos, but I really liked hers in general. I did write some of my favorite quotes from her. So I wanted to share that in this episode. So the first quote being 'Passion is a feeling, not a plan. And Feeling's change.' College alone, I change my major so many times. Because I wanted to be a math teacher at one point, then I double majored in art and math because I really wanted to be an art teacher. But I did math as a backup because I know art teachers are in high demand. Like math teachers aren't. But then I kind of left math after realizing I had to take a class on math theory. Some math started to go from black and white to writing essays on math theory. So I was like, eh. That's not really why I like math. Then I looked into philosophy, and I loved my philosophy class. And I thought it was so intriguing and so fascinating. But there's not really a lot of jobs in philosophy. So, I left that. Then I looked into psychology, and then finally landed in Family and Consumer Science. So, I like psychology a lot. But I was nearing my senior year. And I really needed to just get out of college and start working and start my career. Because I wanted to finish everything in four years. But I ended up finishing everything in five years. Would have been longer if I did psychology, but landed in the Family Consumer Science, because I already did most of the classes I needed to take. And it was the fastest route to graduation, but still being interested in the subject. But clearly, that didn't pan out. I actually did two internships my senior year. I did an IT one and I did a Family Services one. And I knew Family Services wouldn't be as heart-warming as it was to do it. I just knew I didn't have the mental and emotional capacity to have a career in family services. It really does take a special person to work in that field. It was just too emotional for me. And it made me think why do I even take this course? Or like, why did you even get this major? I was really just more fascinated by the scientific portion of human development. I was more excited to learn about how the human brain works. But I didn't really want to actually work with the people. I mean, I did because I want to make a positive impact in the world. But I realized I didn't enjoy it. And then another thing that Terri shared is, 'If you don't know what you want to do, then just do what you have to do'. And the IT route offered more money, more stability, more benefits, more everything really. And it's just what I had to do to make sure I can pay the bills and not be homeless and drown in debt. So the IT route really was my 'have- to-do' not necessarily my 'want-to-do' route. Like I said, I was nearing graduation. And at the time, I wasn't living at home I was renting a house with my then boyfriend now husband and three other roommates. And I just really wanted to start my life.

Like I wanted to start my career. And I really wanted to finish college in four years. And because I was reaching that fifth year, I was like, I need to just get done with this and just start my life already. Because college was really fun at first. I really enjoyed it at first. But then it just got really hard. I was working full time and doing the two internships and going to school full time. And it was just kind of a lot and it was very stressful. And I was just ready my next part of my life. So I dropped the whole family services and went straight to IT, which I honestly don't regret at all. I enjoy what I do now. And it's not that bad. It really isn't. I really love my team. I really am glad that I switch over to the state. And I really enjoy my work life balance. I don't work overtime, I don't have a company phone, I log off and leave work at work, even though I work from home. So, work is home. But once I log off, I log off. And I'm really glad that I didn't go with other companies because I think I'll just end up with the same as my last company and just miserable, having to work weekends or having to work after hours. Having this work, this better work life balance really gives me time to do the things I really want to do and spend time with the people I want to spend time with. And this kind of segues on to the next quote I wanted to share. 'Passion is not a job, a sport or a hobby. It is the full force of your attention and energy that you give to whatever is right in front of you. And if you're so busy looking for this passion, you can miss opportunities that change your life. You can also miss out on a great love, because that's what happens when you have tunnel vision, trying to find the one.' Just wanted to give you a moment and let that sink in. So back to those motivational speakers from high school, all I learned from them is that you need to find your passion. When you find your passion, you'll become successful and have a happy fulfilling career. Blah, blah, blah. Even if they didn't do this intentionally, I feel like it added a bit of stigma if you can't find what you're passionate about. And that really messed me up in college. That's why I changed my major so many times, because I loved learning about all kinds of different subjects. I didn't know which one I wanted to turn into a career, I just really enjoyed taking the classes, I really enjoyed learning about different aspects of the brain. And I really did enjoy my science classes and art classes and philosophy and whatnot. But none of them really could be turned into a career, at least not a career I wanted. And so, college was kind of was messy for me. Because I just didn't know what I really wanted to do. And I felt like I was wasting time or that I'll never figure out what I want in life, because I couldn't figure out what I was passionate about. And if you read the comments from the video, like, if you go to the YouTube video, you'll see people struggling with this concept. People are feeling like inadequate, that they're stuck, or that there's something wrong with them. And sometimes, I feel like these motivational speakers do more harm than good, you know. Because those stories that they share about themselves are unique to themselves. Not everyone is going to experience the same things. And quite honestly, sometimes, people are just in the right place at the right time. These motivational speakers go around flaunting their success stories to a bunch of teenagers around the country saying that they can be just like him. And I say ‘him’, because we never had any women motivational speakers, for some reason. What they don't realize is that we can't all be like them. Everyone has their own story they need to live and work out. Not everyone can be at the right place at the right time. And then another weird concept too, is that people do judge you based on your occupation.

I don't know if you noticed that, but in conversations, especially as an adult. Like obviously as kids, this doesn't apply. But for adults, one of the first things that people ask you when you meet them for the first time is, "What do you do for a living?" And I do that too. I ask people what they do for a living? Because that's kind of just normal. That's kind of just what our society does, right? Like we just... I don't know, it's just a conversation topic. And when I think about it more, it's kind of a weird question to ask because your occupation doesn't define you. My occupation doesn't tell a person about who I truly am as an individual. And I feel like when people ask you what your occupation is, it's more of a power play. Because I've heard people say, you know, "Did you hear that so and so does this for a living?" You know, I've heard those snarky remarks. And I'm guilty of it, too. It's just kind of a part of our normal language. And it's just a part of, I guess who we are as people, we tend to judge people based on their occupation. But someone's occupation doesn't make them any lesser of a human. Like I said, our world needs those people. The people who do the dirty work or the less desirable work. I also hate when someone is a doctor or a lawyer or some air quotes, "Prestigious occupation", because people kind of glorify them. And I get it to an extent. Those kinds of jobs require a lot of schooling requires a lot of hours put into it, just to even get a job in that field. So, I get it. I get that. I'm not dismissing that fact. I get that it's hard. It's hard work to be in these different types of fields. But it doesn't mean that a person can't be complete trash, you know? Just because you're a doctor doesn't necessarily mean you care about your clients. You can be doing it purely for the financial aspect of it. And I'm not saying that's wrong, either. I'm just saying, just because you work in a certain field, doesn't make you a certain person. And I guess that kind of depends on the field, too. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that there's going to always be good and bad people in whatever profession you're in. That's just how the world works. Being in IT definitely doesn't define me. I can tell you that. I don't even know what that would mean. Just being in my department alone, we're all very different from each other. Like all my colleagues are very different from me. And so, my job doesn't define me. I'm not up to date on the newest technology. I don't know how to fix your computer. Please don't ever ask me that. I get asked all the time when I say I work in IT. Everyone just assumes I work at the help desk. And it's like, no. There's more to the IT world than telling you to turn on/off your computer. But yeah, it doesn't define me at all whatsoever. It made me think back on something I said on our previous episode. I think I said something along the lines, like, "I don't like being called a Gamer Girl, because that's not my occupation." I don't like the word Gamer Girl anyways. I think it's really cringy. Because if a guy's playing game, we don't call him a gamer boy. But anyways, what I'm trying to basically get out is that I'm guilty of it too, to define someone based on their occupation. When in reality, people are just doing what they need to do to get by. I wanted to share this last quote with you guys. 'Don't wait for your passion to show up.' So the biggest takeaway I got from this video and from just life in general, is to go out and do what you need to do and do what you like to do. Eventually, you'll find where you need to be. In conclusion, if you did find your passion, and are able to find a fulfilling career out of it, than I am super happy for you.

I'm not being sarcastic. I feel like I just say that sometimes. But you are one of the very lucky few who get to. And I hope you understand how amazing that is. And hope that you don't take that for granted. For those of you who don't know what your passion is and don't work in a career particularly passionate about, that's okay. You are part of the 99%. We're all just figuring it all out. And I wanted to share this experience I had with a former co-worker. This is for people who are passionate about making a positive impact on the world, but don't necessarily work in the family services field or are in humanities or anything like that. So I conducted some interviews, and the position was for an IT position. And when I interviewed this person, I just admired the way he spoke, especially the way he spoke about his colleagues and working with people and what it meant for him to be a team member. And I was just in awe of what he had to say. And after the interview, I thought to myself, why is he here? Why is he not a family counselor, or a therapist? Or some other profession where he gets to work with people one on one and help them with their problems. And I asked him separately. I texted him after the interview. And I asked him, why he's not trying to find a career in humanities? He responded, "I think one can have an impact on the lives of those around them no matter what industry they're in. The industry I'm in doesn't limit the impact I can have on those around me. No matter where I go. And what I do, there are people to work with. And I think myself doing that as my own." And that really resonated with me because like I said in the beginning, I started in Family Services, because I want to make a positive impact in people's lives. He makes a great point that you'll most likely work and be around people, no matter where you go and what you do. And even if you don't hold the title of a therapist, or a counselor or what have you, but it doesn't mean you can't make a positive impact on those around you.

So, I want to leave you guys with that. Because no matter what occupation you pick, no matter where you end up, and where you end up going, you can always make it a priority to be a good person. Alright, I know this was a very short episode. I don't even know if it's gonna be 30 minutes. Probably not. But I just wanted to share that information because I know people do struggle with their passion and finding passion and I just want you to know that you don't have to chase it and that you'll eventually find where you need to be. Alright, if you enjoy what you hear and want to stay up to date on the show, please follow me on Facebook and/or on Instagram. You can also check out my website at All the information will be on there as well as in the show notes. Please help support the show by sharing it with your friends and family. Thanks so much and I'll talk to you guys in the next episode.

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