Seeking out a career that you love is something that has been discussed at length throughout the centuries. Something many of us dream about and yet there really are no easy answers. Yes we need to earn a living in order to pay the bills and survive the day to day, realistically this sometimes means we get caught in a job we are less than passionate about in order to meet the realities of life and the world around us.
However I still believe that seeking out and finding work that you love is possible. Sometimes we have to think about our lives and work a little differently, perhaps go about it in a less direct way than we might expect. For some of us we need to take that risk, throw off the shackles of the usual routine, get ourselves out there and brave something entirely different.
It's tricky, something that requires thought, but not all together impossible. So today I thought I would investigate and share some ideas and resources, ways that you can start to create more of the working life you desire and get closer to the direction that maybe you find yourself dreaming about.
These are just some ideas and tips - please take your own situation into careful consideration and make sure you do your research before making any major changes. I just hope this may inspire and open up a few possibilities that you may not have previously thought of.
SIX STEPS TO FIND WORK YOU LOVE
1. Re-examine Your Current Working Life. My first point might seem a little opposite to what you're expecting me to say but before you do anything when it comes to career changing, have a really honest conversation with yourself about what you're currently doing in life.
Is your current job really as bad as you have grown to think it is, or have you just lost your way with it?
You already have the job, the pay cheque and the security and if you're truly unhappy then I would be the first to encourage you to refocus your attention. However sometimes we get caught up in the mundane of the day to day, we get starry eyed at the thought of doing something wildly different or swayed by the seemingly glittering lives and jobs of those around us, when really what we already have is actually very good.
See if you can fall in love with your current job again.
Look for new ideas and opportunities within your current company to re-motivate and inspire you. Re-focus. Talk to your manager and ask about upcoming tasks and projects that you might be able to get involved in. If you once had passion for your role perhaps you just need to start thinking about it again with a different frame of mind. Sometimes it's up to us to make our current work, work! Find the sparkle in what might seem old and boring once again.
2. Work Out What You're Good At. If you've already tried the above and are still not feeling it then maybe it is time to have a re-think. Before you make any rash decisions you need to invest some thought to working out what you're good at alongside what you're passionate about. The line nestled somewhere in between the two should help guide you towards the path and plan of action best suited for you. This can take a little time, may require a few re-visits and re-working but will ultimately be worth the effort. The process should help to awaken some of the drive and motivation in you that you may have lost.
Plus don't forget to seek advice from those around you, people who know you well and who you can trust to be honest and thoughtful in offering you their input.
You may find some of the tips in this previous post useful when it comes to sitting down and facing this task: Finding A New Direction.
3. Keep Looking, Don't Settle. In the words of Steve Jobs:
“If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”
This may seem a little fantastical and not necessarily fully set in reality but there is a true point to be taken from this. Find what you love and what you're good at and go do it. Don't get stuck trying to fit yourself into a role that isn't you. Find a way to be paid for something you'd actually gladly do for free. Plus don't feel you have to settle in one place until you've found that very right place for you.
4. Don't Let Time Drag You Down. This might sound a bit odd but what I'm trying to say here is that don't let the passage of time trick you into thinking it's too late to make a change.
I'm a very firm believer that anyone at any age can suddenly come across the right path for them and make a success of it. In this modern day we are too quick to write people off after a certain age - including ourselves.
There are people out there in their 40's, 50's and 60's who are only just finding their true passion, finding success and carving out the career they've always dreamed of.
All with the benefit of life experience and wisdom behind them so don't think that just because you aren't there yet that you'll never get there. Don't let age be a roadblock to taking steps towards making changes and taking risks. We all have the capacity to be fabulous and successful at each and every age!
5. Start Something On The Side. Whilst you take the time to find the right solution for you why not make a start on a project on the side that might well lead to something job related further down the line. Stop putting off that burning ambition and make a start in your spare time.
Often once you start something that you've been putting off for so long, your confidence grows and you begin to fly forward in ways you never realised that you could before.
Maybe you have a burning desire to write, create, take photographs well why not start your own blog to test and refine your skills. Sign yourself up for an online course, get out at the weekends and participate in workshops, meet-ups, training of some kind. If nothing else you will learn new skills, perhaps create a potential portfolio for future employment or maybe just find the outlet that you need to express the real you in a way that makes your day to day work more bearable.
If you have a particular career change in mind why not start as a volunteer in your spare time to get some experience, have a taste of the realities of the job and what's really involved and make connections that may be able to assist you further down the line.
6. Work For Yourself And Not For The Approval Of Others. My final point would be that you have to find something that you are passionate about and roll with it. Ok so maybe it won't make you a fortune or bring you fame. Maybe people around you won't understand why you want to do the thing that you do. But it's your life and you have to love and live it.
Don't do something just to please those around you. Be true to what you believe in and follow your own heart, set your own goals and trust in your own instinct.
Evaluate what's truly important. If it's money then fine there's no crime in that. But if you really want to climb mountains, herd cattle or paint pictures of cats (odd selection there but you catch my drift) then go and find a job that allows you to do that and be happy and fulfilled living the life that is ultimately right for you. Don't let the unnecessary judgement of others get you down.
USEFUL RESOURCES: The following resources provide a wealth of information on career changing and discovering what you love. Check them out if you're hungry for more!
FURTHER READING: How To Find Your Dream Job (When You Don't Know What You Want) - Creative Live Blog
Have you found work that you love? What are your thoughts, do you think it's possible? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.