Passion projects are creative side projects that we undertake outside of what’s required from school, work or our daily routines.
There are platforms out there that you can start with such as Medium or WordPress.com to start showcasing your passion project to your online audience. YouTube and Instagram are other great options for visual content.
Whether it’s learning how to play the violin, writing novels, shooting photos, creating apps or performing 30 random acts of kindness, all it takes is some inspiration and a bit of dedication to start working toward a passion project.
Standing Out from the Competition
A lot of emphasis is placed on where you went to college and the competency of the programs that they offer, but getting a degree alone isn’t enough to guarantee you a job outside of college. After a year from graduating recruiters stop placing emphasis on your GPA or academic achievements in favor of work experience.
Most graduates will have 2-3 internships or relevant jobs in their portfolio, so what happens if candidates from similar academic backgrounds and positions apply to the same place? What makes one candidate stand out from other competitors?
Other than how well they conduct themselves in the interview process and how they present themselves, passion projects are the best way to stand out in that sea of competition.
Passion projects show that a candidate has gone above and beyond that of what’s required in daily job function. We do them in our spare time, they help to diversify our skill set and to form new connections with people that we wouldn’t have otherwise.
How many cultivated their personal brand on social media, created their own design work, regularly recorded podcasts or videos showcasing their knowledge as an expert in their field?
What Should My Passion Project Be?
The first step to finding your passion project is to ask yourself as many questions as possible regarding why you want to do it. A few examples might be:
- What am I passionate or excited about?
- Is this something that I would consider to be fun or rewarding?
- What impact will this have, either on myself or the community I’m targeting?
- Can I help a lot of people by doing this?
- Will I learn new things or explore topics I wouldn’t have otherwise?
- If this comes up in conversation, do I get excited to talk about it with others?
After you ask these kinds of questions, narrow your list down to five questions and start searching for answers. Go online or search for articles to learn more about your interest, participate in online forums, find mentors or current knowledge experts to talk to.
Find a Problem Worth Solving
After you ask these kinds of questions and narrow down your interest to a few passion project ideas that get you excited, the next step is to jot down 7-10 reasons as to why you should do this passion project. You should also see if you can find a problem that’s worth solving through the creation of your passion project.
- What is the problem?
- Who has the problem?
- Why does it matter?
- What is the impact if the problem is not resolved?
How Can I Make This Part of My Daily Routine?
As far as consistency goes, your passion project should be something that you do daily. Start doing it for 30 minutes a day. Develop that consistency and habit for a month before branching out to implement other aspects of your action plan.
A writer isn’t always judged by the quality of their content, but rather how many days they show up to write. Do it daily and penetrate the noise through consistency.
Recap on Starting a Passion Project
Passion projects aren’t an easy undertaking at first, but they’re highly rewarding once you start seeing results. Here’s a recap on what we talked about in this piece:
- Figure out what you want your passion project to be
- See if you can solve a pain point or problem
- Make it relevant to your interests or professional industry
- Start small and figure out your time tolerance
- Just do it; don’t try to make everything perfect
- Use pre-existing mediums to get your feet wet
- Don’t get discouraged if you don’t immediately see results
I hope this guide was helpful in starting your passion project. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this on social media if you think any of your followers would benefit from reading this!