Are you perplexed about finding work that you love? Were you once happy in your work but now the sheen has worn off? Are you wondering if you really can find work that you love?
In this post, I will share some of the tips to get you pointed in the right direction.
Finding work you love is a purposeful act. It’s a lot like gardening. A gardener begins by preparing the soil, knowing that the growth and health of the plant is dependent on this crucial step. The work exploration begins with a preparation too. It does come down to some basic idea – looking at yourself. Don’t underestimate the importance of this step.
In fact, beginning with your own self is the key. There lies all of the clues to what your perfect work will be.
Here are the 8 tips for finding work you love:
1. The importance of play
Often when we are considering the career that works for us, a serious hush falls over the room. We roll up our sleeves to begin the huge task before us. The pressure is on. Anticipation is high. Disappointment looms in the corner. You have been here before. You want THE answer. What has finding work that fits for us have to do with play? Because work you love will always have an element of fun. In the exploration we need to tap into that. The thing about humans is that most of our learning happens when we play. As a child, we laughed when the toy we dropped into a mud puddle splashed in all directions. We never thought about the laundry that would need to be done later. Playfulness engages us. It raises our attention and keeps us involved.
2. Put your considerations on hold, for now.
When you begin thinking about the work that you love to do, you have ideas about what won’t work for you. “I have to have a job where I am home by 2:30 when the kids get out of school.” From this starting place, an atmosphere of limitations is being set in place, perhaps closing a door to possibilities that you would not have considered. There will be a place in the process for all of those considerations. While you are in the midst of doing career exploration, put those considerations on the shelf.
3. There is more than one fit for you!
In our culture you have been seduced by the idea that just like a perfect mate, there is a perfect job for you. You just need to find it. For those of you who left high school puzzled about what you wanted to do, the world seems to be full of people who found their perfect job. The reality is that when you find out what really makes you tick, you will find that the choices will both be larger and smaller than you think. Larger in the sense that there are many kinds of work that will fit for you. Not just one. And smaller because you will narrow the overwhelming possibilities down to the ones that most intrigue you.
4. No one else can give you the answer.
There is an appeal to finding the computer program that will pick out our perfect career. Because of the overwhelming number of choices, you might want someone else to give you the answer. Ultimately though you will never be truly satisfied by someone else’s idea of what you could do. The best that anything or anyone outside of yourself can do is to believe in you. You are the expert on yourself. That doesn’t mean that you should do this journey on your own. The navigation through the maze is certainly benefited from outside help. Ideas, inspiration, other considerations, and encouragement are all invaluable ways others can help.
5. If the answer was easy, you would have figured it out.
When you are contemplating the world of work, there is a lot to consider: paying bills, the effect on family and the rest of your life, your skills matching the marketplace needs, your own personal limitations and more. Perhaps you have spent some time thinking how your career will fit all of that AND be one that you love. Has that felt overwhelming? That is a lot to consider and one of the reasons why the answer hasn’t come to you. As well, probably you haven’t been able to devote a lot of time to doing the exploration. Finding work you love requires focus and percolating time.
6. Life is a mystery.
The delight about life is that there is so much to learn. This keeps you asking questions and seeking answers. What you find out along the way is that the answers come from places where you may never have expected. You are watching a movie and you think of the solution to that problem at work. Your real challenge is not to know all the answers but be open to where they might appear.
7. If the shoe fits….
Once you do generate ideas for a good work fit, there will be a feeling of ease combined with excitement. The feeling will be like finding the right pair of shoes. You just know. Often people come up with ideas that they may have had a long time ago that they discarded because of life circumstances. Don’t dismiss these thoughts. Recognize that nuggets of gold are found in the most unassuming rock. You just may not be able to see because of your own conditioning about what that perfect fit is. Too frequently people diminish their own brilliance.
8. Begin with the end in mind.
Once you do pick a career that you are excited about, you may feel the anticipation to get the plan in motion. You are ready. Sometimes this is when people go to the training institution to sign up. But there is one more imperative step. And that is finding enough about the career to see if it REALLY is a good fit. The best way to get the information you need to make a decision is talking to someone who works in the field. Actually a few people would be a good idea to get a balanced view. What you need is to get a flavour of the job. What does a person do on a daily basis? Ask all the other questions that are burning inside of you.
Want to move towards doing what you love? Check out my eBook: 10 Things to Do Right Now When You Are Unhappy at Work and receive the bi-weekly Do What Matters Newsletter. Find it here.