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You Can Create A Fulfilling Career That You’re Passionate About If You Do These

You Can Create A Fulfilling Career That You’re Passionate About If You Do These

Everyone wants a fulfilling career, but getting one is easier said than done. After all, there are a lot of unfulfilling careers out there that have to be filled, and there are only so many job openings in areas where people regularly find a sense of fulfillment. Everyone has their own unique journey, but there are some principles that are true for almost everyone who’s chasing a dream job. Here are 5 things you have to do to end up in a career that you’re truly passionate about.

1. Make A Decision

Freshman year is is the chance for experimentation, when you can sample classes and find what appeals to you and what you’re good at. By the time you’re a college sophomore you should know the career path you’re heading down. If you linger too long, everyone fighting for the same career you eventually decide to pursue will have already swept way past you. Choose your field wisely, but not too slowly. If you’re not sure yet, at least pick a major or area of focus that is flexible enough to give you options but concrete enough that it will probably lead you towards a bright future.

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2. Learn To Love What You’re Good At

When you’re making your life-defining choice, don’t go with your heart. Your heart is not a good decision-maker. Use your head to determine what is your best career option based on your abilities. You may be passionate about cooking, but you won’t have a fulfilling career if you follow your passion all the way to a fry cook position at a third-rate restaurant. A fulfilling career is a career you do well in. I would suggest making a list of things you did that have received praise from people other than friends and families. Look at the it to help you decide what kind of work you should be getting into. You might not be particularly excited about anything on that list, but it’s always possible to get excited about one of them.

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3. Sacrifice Free Time

It’s hard to let go of that time you have away from responsibility, but people who don’t put in effort outside of their work hours get stuck at dead-end jobs. You might not find employment in your dream career right away, but you should always be working towards that dream, even if you’re flipping burgers from nine to five. A couple hours each night could be all it takes to keep your career prospects open, even when you feel as if you’re at your lowest. Fulfilling careers are delivered to those who work towards them.

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4. Make Perfect

Practice. Practice. Practice. No matter how confident you are in your abilities at this field you’ve chosen, remember that to be the best you have to work the hardest. Don’t just do what’s set before you even after you have your dream career; always go above and beyond your assigned duties to make that career a fulfilling one. Almost everyone else is already doing the work they’re given, especially if you’re in a competitive field.

5. Branch Out

Success at one thing will eventually and inevitably get boring. Once you’ve mastered one area of expertise, branch out to new fields or sub-fields so you can expand your skill set and continue rising higher and higher above the pack and so that you have more options available to you. Someday the work you’re doing, even if you love it now, will stop feeling like a fulfilling career. Standing still gets boring, eventually you have to push forward. The only way to fight back against the boredom of monotony is to branch out into new places.

Featured photo credit: Oglethorpe University via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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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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