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6 Ways to Find and Do Work You Love

6 Ways to Find and Do Work You Love

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Featured photo credit: Philip Male/https://flickr.com via flickr.com

More by this author

Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

5 Ways to Accomplish Your Biggest Goals to The Fullest 5 Keys to Discovering Your Life’s True Mission Don’t like your job? Here are some solutions. How People Make Decisions That Are Bad For Them How to Find the Purpose of Life and Start Living a Fulfilling Life

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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