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Why you should stop trying to find your passion at work—and 4 things to look for instead

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Here's why you should stop trying to find your passion at work—and what to...

As much as people like to talk about being passionate about their jobs, some of the most successful leaders (Mark Cuban included) agree that following your passion can be some pretty terrible career advice.

Therapist, author and speaker Esther Perel agrees. The relationship expert, who has a new podcast called "How's Work," says those who focus too much on finding passion through their work may be doing themselves a disservice.

"First and foremost, work is not passionate for everybody," Perel tells CNBC Make It. "Work can be really satisfying. Work can be rewarding. Work can be meaningful."

However, she says having a job that supports a lifestyle — in other words, one that pays the bills — is also a perfectly acceptable, not to mention common, reason to have a job.

"Work can be solving a problem because you have huge debts, or because you're taking care of people that rely on you," she continues. "There's a lot of other meanings to work that don't have just to do with our passion."

Perel says that cultural shifts, like people starting families later in life or the decline of church membership over time, have led people to place more value in their work lives. A recent CNBC/SurveyMonkey poll found a majority of workers across all ages cited "meaning" as the No. 1 contributor to their happiness at work.

That can become an issue when the job description doesn't line up with someone's expectation of their true passion. That could be a contributing factor as to why nearly half of all workers are considering quitting their jobs at any given time, according to a survey from JobList, a job search engine.

"The issue of moving on is because people keep thinking that they should find passion, purpose, mission, meaning in their work," Perel says of job-hopping. "And if they don't feel it on an intense level, they start to think that they're in the wrong place. Not everybody's job is going to be the most interesting part of their life."

Instead of using passion to guide a career, Perel recommends making sure a job has four important aspects to make the work feel more fulfilling.

"Look for something that teaches you skills," she says. "Look for something that you can grow in. Look for something that will support you [and] that will support the people that you support."

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Finally, Perel suggests people interviewing for a new job pay close attention to the hiring manager and leadership team.

"Find the right teacher," she says, "because the most boring topic with a good teacher will become fascinating. But the most fascinating topic with the lousy teacher will become the most boring topic you've ever delved into. Your teachers, the people who will guide you, the people who will steer you, the people who will see in you things that you don't see yourself because you're just starting [out] — you'll remember them for the rest of your life."

A major mistake professionals often make is prioritizing working for a prestigious company or high pay over a job that will provide more professional and personal development. However, Perel says finding a good boss is more important than the company or the actual responsibility of the job itself.

CHECK OUT: How job hopping can help you make more money without hurting your resume via Grow with Acorns+CNBC.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.

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