Do you know what it takes to find a job that makes you happy?
Here is how to do it well, at any age:
Get yourself accustomed to trying new things. To find work you love, you have to try working at lots of different jobs, maybe 10 or even 100 different jobs. You are limited only by the ideas you have for what to try. Sometimes it starts as a child, when you try different things like painting, music, playing soccer, summer jobs, etc. Each job or task involves different skills, and you will have to learn which skills feel best to you. Knowing what you like to do is essential because, as studies show, satisfying work is the intersection of what what you like to do, what you are good at, and what an organization values. For many people, knowing the intersection of these three areas is the hardest part of their adult life.
Don’t think you’re above valuing prestige. We would like to think that we are above choosing careers based on how people think of us. But sometimes what other people think about our career matters more than the money earned from that career. This makes sense to me because when was the last time you heard someone brag about their job and you felt impressed, or when you tell people about your job you wonder if they will approve or even be impressed by your career choices. Many a parent has raised kids hoping they won’t make the same career choices they made, not because of low pay or how hard they will have to work, but because they don’t feel proud of the work.
Understand your impact. There is a lot of research about how the most important things we need for job satisfaction are meaningful work, responsibility, and knowledge of the outcome. Sometimes just knowing what you are doing is important to the business is enough to make you feel proud or needed. If you don’t feel your work matters, it just has no meaning or purpose (maybe you feel it is busy work) and you won’t feel the same way as when you know what you are doing is essential.
I hope you read the entire article and take action today to start doing what makes you happy.