In the 1950’s people didn’t expect to “enjoy” their job. It was merely a means to an end. They needed to pay rent and buy groceries, so they went to work. However, over the last decade there has been an ever-increasing importance on finding a career that provides more than income.
Millennials and baby boomers alike, expect more than a paycheck from our job. Instead we want to make a difference and find fulfillment. Bottom line: We want to love what we do! But what exactly is it that we would love? Figuring out that is often the challenge. While it’s more than a 5 minute commitment and will require you to “really” think about some pretty big topics, the pay-off is great. Working through the steps below will help you go from “I can’t believe the weekend is already over” to “Wow is it already Thursday?”
1. Discover your passion. The first step to find a job you love is to discover your passion. Think about the times that you have been the happiest in your life. It’s important that you don’t limit your thoughts here to your professional career. You see, it’s quite possible that you have never been passionate about your work. If that’s the case, limiting your thoughts here will not provide any real value. Instead think of your life as a whole. As you reflect, grab a blank sheet of paper, and make some notes. Stick with it until you have at least 5-10 activities that make you happy.
2. Identify your values. It’s impossible to find the perfect job if it conflicts with your core values. Not sure what a core value is? Quite simply, it’s what is important to you. And your values are what shape the decisions you make. Considering where you rank things like family, money, personal satisfaction, work life balance, potential career growth, and work-related stress are really important in your search for career happiness. While it may seem overwhelming, it’s really quite simple. And there are some really great tools to help you figure it out. To access these free resources, click here.
3. Consider your strengths. Once you have determined your passion and values, it’s time to consider your strengths. As you are thinking about what you do well, it’s critical to keep an open mind. It’s quite likely that you may be very good at something that you don’t enjoy doing. And that’s ok. But it still goes on your list. As you work your way through this process, you may find that if the skill had a different purpose or end result you would feel totally different about it. Take a deep breath, keep an open mind and list out 5-10 things activities where you excel.
4. Find the intersection. Career bliss occurs when you hit the intersection of your passions, values and strengths. This is the meat of the entire process and admittedly can be a challenge. But the reward for the effort is great. As you work through this process, be sure to include discussions with your family, friends and colleagues. After all, they know you better than anyone else and you may be really surprised by the insight they share. Also, If you are a reader, you may appreciate a couple of books by Marcus Buckingham called “Now, Discover Your Strengths” and “Go Put Your Strengths to Work.” Accomplishing this element allows you to find that job where you “never work a day in your life…because you love what you do!”
5. Hire a career coach. If this all feels way too mushy and confusing to you, it may be time to consider hiring a career coach. There are many options ranging from free governmental programs to online and in-person coaches that charge a fee for their services. While admittedly you will make an investment of time, and perhaps money, it is a small price compared to doing a job that you either hate or one where you can’t succeed! Check out the options below for help to locate a career coach.
So while it isn’t 1950 anymore and we all want more out of life, life is all about choices. Do you want to be the person that says, “I can’t believe the weekend is already over” or “Wow is it already Wednesday?