Do you drag yourself through your work day? Here are 3 things you need for an awesome career. Learn how to find and do work you love with these tips!
In seventh grade, I had to draw a poster about what I wanted to be when I grew up. Whereas other classmates seemed to know what they wanted to be—illustrator! doctor!—I was clueless. But with a deadline looming, I had to pick something. So I did: paleontologist.
Even then I already felt like an imposter pitching a last minute idea for my project. I didn’t want to be a paleontologist, but hey, Jurassic Park just came out, and the movie was all the rage.
Many adults still feel clueless about their careers. You have a job you hate. Or one that doesn’t pay well. Or you’ve convinced yourself you’re only working to pay the bills.
And while some know from seventh grade what they want to be, it’s normal and okay if it takes a little longer. You may feel lost in what you want to do. Or you’re trying a few areas to see where you fit. Maybe you’re hesitant to find a new job and feel comfortable where you are.
But what if you could find work you love? Something you love so much you end each day feeling like you were born to do this? And one you look forward to every morning?
How to find and do work you love
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Author and entrepreneur Chris Guillebeau believes this is possible. In his book, Born for This: Find the Work You’re Meant For, he points to three factors that make the perfect job. An important point? You need all three, not just one or two, to find a meaningful job.
1. Joy: what you like to do
Do you like what you do at your job? We all have trivial tasks we have to do, and we all have bad days. But would you do your work even if you didn’t have to?
To find a job you love means enjoying the work itself. You’ll push yourself through difficult days and clients because you love it so much. Which brings me to the second factor…
2. Money: what supports and sustains you
A job you love but doesn’t pay well will deplete your resources. You’ll have less money to support and sustain your life, no matter how frugal you live. And you’ll worry about finances when you can be focusing on important work.
We all pay our dues, especially in the beginning, but finding work you love means getting paid enough to support you. One that doesn’t affect your housing, your family, or your health.
3. Flow: What you’re really good at
It’d be pretty hard to find work you love if you aren’t good at it. You should be able to dive deep into the work with focus and concentration. You don’t need hand-holding. And you feel confident in your abilities.
Here’s an illustration from the book that says it all:
A starving artist can be good at painting and enjoy it. But if she’s not earning enough to support her life, then it doesn’t make for a fulfilling job.
An investment banker good at what he does and earns well won’t find purpose if he doesn’t enjoy his work.
And you can be passionate about a lucrative field but won’t make the cut if you don’t do it well.
How it applies to you
It’s almost easier for someone who hates their job or their boss to leave a job and find one she loves. It’s when we’re comfortable that we justify staying somewhere we don’t love.
You might think, I won’t find another employer who’ll let me have a flexible schedule. What if my next career move is a flop, or the office environment toxic? At least I get a steady paycheck.
This dialogue clouds our thoughts, and we stay put at a job that doesn’t fit all three criteria.
You don’t have to be an entrepreneur, save lives or make money from your hobbies to find a job you love.
You can work for a large corporation or a start up. And you can earn millions or work at a non-profit. But you have to feel like your job has a purpose. That you’re challenged and paid well. And that you enjoy it.
If you feel like a better job is calling for you, don’t ignore it. You don’t have to make hasty decisions, and it can take years before it “clicks.” You can even find work you love doing the same job at a different place. But listen to those nagging thoughts and red flags. It just might allow you to find a job you love.
Even if it’s not as a paleontologist.
Get more tips:
- Born for This by Chris Guillebeau
- The Day I Left My Job to Be a Full Time Blogger
- 12 Types of Flexible Work Arrangements You Can Actually Do
- Bring Your Kids to Work Day Activities and Action Plan
- The “How Do You Do It” Working Moms Guide
Tell me in the comments: Do you have a job you love? What was your career path that took you there? What are your tips on how to find and do work you love?
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