They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. So when we’re young, we imagine that having the perfect job is like skipping around on clouds and rainbows every day. Even on Mondays.
But then we grow up and enter the real world. While you don’t dread going into work each morning, having your dream job isn’t exactly what you thought it would be. And people who constantly gush over how fabulous their job is seem fake or naive. Still, seeing that sappy career love causes a part of you to wonder: Did I make the right career choice, or is there something else out there that I would like more?
It’s time to silence that doubt once and for all. Or at least to time to find out if you’re on the right track. Here are seven signs that you made the right career choice and that you truly love your job. If you have at least four of the seven covered, consider yourself lucky:
1. You’re confident in your abilities.
How many people can do what you do as well as you do it? No one else has the exact skill set you bring to the table. And you know that. So when a problem or challenge comes across your desk, you dive in with enthusiasm. You don’t wonder if someone else might be better equipped to handle things. You’re the man – or woman – for the job.
But that doesn’t mean there’s not more to learn. You want to continually develop your skills and abilities. Growth means pushing yourself to be better than yesterday, even if it’s only a small improvement. After all, you have goals to meet and while you’re not there yet, you’re confident you’ll get there one day.
2. You “own” your work.
From the achievements to the mistakes, you stand by everything you do. Not just because you’re proud of your hard work, but because you can see how it impacts your co-workers and the organization as a whole.
Every new project excites you and you can’t wait to put your stamp it. Even if it’s a small task, there’s value in everything you do. And most importantly, your work is a part of you.
3. You love the question, “So, what do you do?”
For most people, their answer is short and sweet. I’m a lawyer. I work in advertising. But not you. You could go on for hours about what it actually means to do your job. From the big picture to the little details, every duty and responsibility is interesting to you, even if it’s not to anyone else.
It’s not that your profession defines who you are, but that it’s something you love. So you can talk about your career with the same tireless enthusiasm as some people talk about their favorite football team or TV show.
4. You don’t daydream about leaving civilization behind and going to live in the woods.
Part of disliking your career choice is also hating the very idea of work. People who don’t love their job don’t just dream about finding a better one; they long for a life where there’s no work at all. That’s because they don’t understand what you do: that the right job is rewarding and fulfilling and doesn’t make you want to run away from all responsibility.
Your mind doesn’t wander to thoughts of what it’d be like spending your days doing whatever you want. Because you’re already doing just that.
5. You can overlook the bad days.
There’s no such thing as a “perfect” job. Every career has its ups and downs, but what’s important is that the rough days don’t feel like they are wearing you down.
Even if a Monday morning is hard, by the time Monday afternoon rolls around, there’s a smile on your face. And if you go home every so often feeling exhausted, it just takes a good night’s sleep – and maybe a nice glass or two of wine – for you to feel refreshed and ready to go back to work. Overcoming tough obstacles is inspiring, not disheartening because everything will be worth it in the end.
6. You’re constantly looking to go above and beyond your job description.
Sure, it might not really be in your job description to do everything you do, but you’re motivated by the entire process. Plus, trying new things is how you learn and that’s really why you like to do all those little extras.
You ask your co-workers if there’s anything you can help them with, even if it means going outside of your comfort zone and doing something unfamiliar. But to be honest, the challenge is exciting.
7. You like the people on your team and in your industry.
Being surrounded by like-minded people not only makes you feel like you fit in, but also pushes you to do better. You can bounce ideas off each other and work together without the drama that haunts other workplaces.
And the camaraderie isn’t limited to your office. When you go to industry conferences or read industry blogs you think to yourself, “These are my people.” But that doesn’t mean you’re all the same, just that you’re united by the same passion.
So, what’s the verdict? Are you in love with your job and confident you made the right career choice?
Featured photo credit: gags9999; Flickr via flickr.com