According to a Gallup State of the Global Workplace survey of people in 142 countries, only 13% of people are engaged at work. That’s a tragedy. Many of us spend more hours working than we spend doing anything else, so shouldn’t we aspire to find and do work that we love? Shouldn’t we strive to do fulfilling work? How would the world be different if the large majority of people loved their work? Would we be more productive and innovative during our workdays? Would we live more fulfilling lives?
According to a Harris Poll, only 1/3 of Americans are very happy. If we did work that totally excited us, would we arrive home from work feeling more happy? And if so, would we be better spouses and parents?
Millions of people succumb to the popular thought that “a job is just a job,” yet I encourage you to consider the fact that work absolutely can be something you totally love. When you find and do work you love, you can shine. Doing work that excites you allows you to make your best contributions to the world.
Here are some ways to find and do work you love.
1. Discover who you are.
The more you understand who you are, the more you’ll be able to choose a career path that best suits you. When I was struggling to choose my next steps during a major career decision, I took a variety of personality tests to help me make my decision. I don’t recommend basing your entire career decision off of one personality test. Taking a variety of tests, however, and looking for trends among the results can be incredibly eye-opening and helpful. Some of my favorites are the Myers-Briggs test, Sally Hogshead’s website www.howtofascinate.com, and the Holland Code. Discovering my strengths through the book Strengths Finder 2.0 was also very helpful for me, and I highly recommend you read it if you haven’t.
2. Find what lights you up.
When you discover what lights you up, and you combine it with your innate strengths in a job that fits your personality well, you can make a huge impact. Finding what lights you up might take awhile, but it’s worth seeking. Here is a great workbook to help you find your passion. Discovering what lights you up can help you enjoy your life immensely.
3. Choose work that allows you to focus your life on your priorities.
I’m convinced that one reason millions of people are dissatisfied with their lives is because they choose careers and then try to fit their lifestyle around their careers. Instead, it can be beneficial to first think about your priorities and your ideal lifestyle, and choose work that fits into the life you desire. Choosing a career path that allows you to focus your life on what matters most to you can greatly increase your life satisfaction.
4. Dare to blaze your own trail.
If you’re feeling stir-crazy in your career, it might be time to shake things up. Consider this: a dolphin is an amazing animal that thrives in the ocean. Put the dolphin in a rainforest, however, and it will quickly die, even though the rainforest is a perfect environment for many other creatures. Does the fact that dolphins don’t do well in the rainforest mean that dolphins are big losers who should change themselves? Of course not. All it means is that the rainforest isn’t a suitable environment for dolphins.
If you’re feeling frustrated and stifled at your job, it’s time to do some self-reflection. Even if your job is pretty decent and the people around you are enjoying it, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best fit for you. It might be time for you to blaze your own trail and design a career that suits you amazingly well.
5. Seek help.
It can be helpful to seek the assistance of a career counselor or a coach to help you choose the best career path for you. Having the objective insight from someone not closely involved in your life might be exactly what you need to have a breakthrough.
6. Build your tribe.
Build a tribe of encouraging, inspiring people in your life. As Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Choose the people you hang out with wisely; they will greatly affect what you do with your life and their support can help you do work you love.
When you do work you love, life becomes much more awesome. Continue your quest to do work you love. It can be a difficult journey to navigate but totally worth it.
Featured photo credit: Philip Male/https://flickr.com via flickr.com