Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How to Find What You Love to Do

I am not one of those people who have known since they were five years old - or even twenty five - what they wanted to do. I went to college, not because I had a goal in mind, but because it was expected of me. For almost fourteen years, I was not happy in my career. Some may say, why didn't you just make a change?

You should be prepared to realistically spend 40 to 50 years working full-time. Why spend all those years doing something that does not make you happy? In my opinion, there are two main reasons that people don't pursue their "dream" job and do what they really love to do. Once these two reasons can be overcome, there really is no stopping you from pursuing what you really love to do.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. - Steve Jobs

Reason #1
The first reason is that people don't have any clue as to what kind of career will make them happy. This was definitely my case. I did not have the knowledge or resources to help me assess what career I fit best into. Your first step in finding out what you love by assessing your values, your personality, and the type of work environment that suits those both. Often, instead of doing what we love to do, we struggle between what we think we can do, what we (or others) think we ought to do, and what we want to do.

Sit down and write out an exhaustive list of your skills first. Next, in a column next to your list of skills write out your interests. Write down every interest you can think of, including those subjects of which you have knowledge. For example, I really enjoy mysteries. I approach each customer interaction as discovering hidden treasure and helping them uncover the mystery of what accomplishments they have not yet realized. Evaluate your list of skills and interests and chances are you will find correlation between the two that you can bring together.

Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want. - Margaret Young

Reason #2
The second reason is that we are not asking ourselves the right questions. The right job enhances your life, it feels natural because it is an extension of your personality, and it does not force you to do things that you do not do well. It simply reflects who you are.

Ask yourself these questions when you are deciding what is the right job for you:
  • Do you look forward to going to work?
  • Do you feel energized by what you do?
  • Do you feel respected and appreciated for the contributions you make?
  • Are you proud to describe what you do?
  • Do you enjoy and respect the people you work with on a regular basis?
  • Do you feel optimistic about your future in the job?
The path toward career satisfaction is quite simple, although not easy. Figure out your preferences and then find a job that accommodates them. Good luck pursuing your career love!

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