Motivation Monday: How to develop your passion into a profession

Stuck in the daily grind? Dread getting out of bed in the mornings? It’s easy to find a job but what about something you actually love? This post will help answer how to help develop your passion into a profession.

One of those few people happen to be Jacqueline Fernandez, the CEO of What You Do Matters. I had the pleasure of catching up with her earlier this year on International Women’s Day to discuss the things that inspired her.

Today I’m catching up with Jacqueline again, this time to discuss how she turned her passion into her profession.

WYDM has been running for over four years now, how much have you accomplished in that time and what great things can we expect in the future?

JF: In the short time we’ve been up and running, we have already hosted a number of successful events and fundraisers including the Women’s only event in 2014, the Typhoon Haiyan appeal in 2013 and more recently our International Women’s Day event that took place in London.1625743_268979533268651_1521090322_n

Last year we also launched our first women’s workshop in Newham and just last month we launched our Personal Development Programme aimed at females aged 16-25.

My vision is to develop WYDM as an established charity in London. I also aim for WYDM to provide counselling as my personal priority is to be able to provide emotional support to those that need it.


You’ve definitely achieved so many great things already. What do you consider to be your biggest professional success to date?

JF: Well it’s definitely been a very busy five years for me! There’s so many great highlights in the last few years it’s pretty hard to pinpoint my biggest professional success. I often joke that I have no social life but when I look back on the things I have achieved, it has all been worth it.

Firstly I managed to run WYDM, complete my graduate certificate and MA in Counselling, alongside a total of four placements as well as work as a support worker with vulnerable young people and women with complex needs.

The past three years overall has to be my biggest success to date! I ran on drive, enthusiasm and a LOT of passion!


It’s clear your passion for helping others has driven you here, what’s the best piece of career advice you have received? How did you follow it?

JF: I am fortunate enough to be a mentee of The Aspire Foundation where last summer I was allocated Aga Gajownik, a public speaker, strategic consultant, training and project manager. I got to meet her in London and she has provided me great advWYDM 120ice over the last year.

Some of her essential pieces of advice include:

  1. Never lose your passion
  2. Never use your own money
  3. You ARE an entrepreneur

Through the combination of believing and following all three, my confidence has blossomed.

In the last year alone, I have excelled at networking, having meetings with other non-profits and charities to find ways to collaborate and support each other. I have also found value in WYDM, pursuing other avenues to keep WYDM running, aside from using my own money.

My confidence in the sustainability of WYDM is at a great peak. And all because of Aga’s ‘go hard or go home’ attitude, I have addressed my fears and visions for WYDM and now I’m go go go!

The most exciting and life changing moments are the ones that consist of anxiety, excitement and fear. And for me, they always came from being different!

What would you advise younger people who are in the early stages of their professional life?

JF: I was once asked “what would you tell your 16 old year old self?” My response was “be you, don’t follow the crowd. Make your own lane”. I feel society fixates on the ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’t’ and it is easier to get caught up in it all. Society today still focuses on being ‘part of the trend’. Don’t be.

The most exciting and life changing moments are the ones that consist of anxiety, excitement and fear. And for me, they always came from being different!

Finding your passion is only part of the journey. Ultimately how you achieve it, whether through turning it into your career or supporting movements like WYDM – is up to you.

It’s clear that What You Do Matters has already achieved a great deal and through Jacqueline and WYDM’s supporters – there is still much more to be accomplished.

Be a part of the movement! Because what you do matters

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