Recently while visiting my local bank, a surreal experience occurred. There was a bank robbery! What??? Yes, I was in a bank robbery. Just to be clear, I was attempting to make a deposit and get a document notarized. This experience was just like what we see on television, until the guy pointed the large caliber rifle right at me at less than 5 feet away. At that point it got real - VERY real. You then realize that anything can happen. If the police would have arrived while the guy was still there, things could have gone quite differently. I guess if you're a bank robber though, that's what you sign up for.

When faced with a life or death situation, it's interesting to see how you respond. Prior to this, my family had joked with me about how I like to watch what they call "murder television". But thank goodness for Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order SVU who repeatedly says to victims, "You survived". In the aftermath of this traumatic event, I am comforted by her words. I did survive, as did the others who were involved, each relatively unscathed, with all of my personal belongings intact (including the bank deposit that I had shoved into the chair cushion I was sitting in).

So What Does a Bank Robber Have To Do With Having a Good Career?

Okay, back to the bank robber guy. In his early twenties he risked going to jail for a decade, and didn't see a dime because the teller put a dye pack in the money bag. Who would be passionate about that kind of career choice, unless perhaps you've been reincarnated as John Dillinger? Aside from the sexual connotation, the word passion is about experiencing an intense emotion, and can be expressed as enthusiasm or a strong liking for an object, subject or activity. I guess at some level, a bank robber could perceive his 'job' with some sort of passion.

I have to say that I was proud of how I handled that situation, and I believe I responded as I did because I am very focused on listening to that small still voice inside - you know the voice that tells you to do something. When that bank robber had his gun pointed at me, I knew that I could clearly identify him. The second he turned around to focus on the teller, I dropped to the floor and covered my face. I did this to minimize the risk of being shot and aggravating him further.

So, I'm Curious, Are You In A Career That You Are Passionate About?

Obviously, you don't need to rob a bank to feel a sense of excitement, but are you enthusiastic about your life and your career? Since I made my decision to be a career coach - I have never looked back, and I love my life and my job. The sense of passion for my work extends into other areas of my life. I believe that I was able to come out of that bank and immediately go on my merry way because I am living a life that I truly want to live. Heck, that deposit I shoved into the chair was what I had earned from being a career coach.

To help you evaluate how passionate you are about your current job, and whether you should update your resume, here are some questions to consider:

1. Are your contributions at work not appreciated?
2. Is it becoming harder and harder to get motivated?
3. Are your skills, talents and abilities not being utilized?
4. Do you have an internal battle going on between feeling okay and being angry?
5. Are your opinions not solicited or valued?
6. Is your industry or job changing for the worse?
7. Is the corporate culture negative/toxic?
8. Are your ethics and values being compromised?
9. Do you desire to have a new challenge?
10. Have you developed a hopeless/helpless feeling about your work?

If you answered YES to 5 or more questions, isn't it time to seriously consider what you are going to do in 2011?

"If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO, and BECAUSE of you." .../T . Alan Armstrong

May you enjoy career bliss!

Author's Bio: 

Leslie Attwooll is a career management expert, a national speaker, and author of Should I Stay Or Update My Resume? Take 5 Lunch Hours To Decide (available on Amazon). She helps individuals take control of their professional lives; to identify, assess, decide upon, pursue and secure rewarding jobs they love. As a certified professional coach, a former headhunter, and an employee engagement manager with a Fortune 50 company, Leslie offers a unique perspective on how to successfully manage one’s career. In addition to working with clients individually, she also delivers fun and engaging workshops on career transition, career management, career satisfaction, and job search skills. For more info and to receive Leslie’s FREE career newsletter, go to Find Leslie on Twitter: @LeslieAttwooll