Do you know that nearly 80% of people are unhappy with their current careers/jobs?
Think about it, our feelings and thoughts about our jobs spill over into our personal lives, in substantial ways. So if 80% of people are unsatisfied in their jobs, then we can reasonably assume that people are living more than half of their lives unhappy. So why are they spending time in a job that they hate, rather than focusing on finding a career or new venture that they love?
In a Business Insider article published back in November 2016, Warren Buffett said:
“I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don’t like because you think it will look good on your resume.”
It’s time to take a time out and find out what matters most to you. A much needed time of reflection to focus on finding a fulfilling, life-defining career.
Why are you doing the work you do? I think that you might find that you respond with, “because someone told me to.” Let’s just set that thought aside for a minute and try to think differently. We live most of our lives with people telling us what to do. Wait, aren’t we all adults? Can’t we make our own decisions? I’m here to tell you that you can, and more importantly, you should.
Ask yourself this, and be honest with yourself, why would you work at a job that is completely incongruent to your true passion?
Here are some reasons why we probably hate our job:
1. We devalue our own desires
Our society systematically devalues our wants and desires. Someone who greatly values their own desires is considered selfish and irresponsible. We are taught to put what we want on the back-burner, and ultimately, just forget about it all together.
Eventually, this becomes a habit, until we forget what it is that we wanted in the first place. We are so disconnected from our desires that we come to accept that we don’t enjoy our work and become complacent.
But enough is enough. It is your life, and your time is precious. Allow your wants and desires to resurface, and give them the attention that they deserve. It is time to put yourself first.
The first step to finding fulfilling work is reconnecting with your own desires. They will be the guide on your journey.
2. We believe in “talent”
Once we reconnect with our desires, we often realise that we’ve got a lot to learn before we can make a living from our passion. This is where most people stop.
Do I have what it takes? They wonder. The problem isn’t with the wondering, the problem is with the answer we often give ourselves. “I’m just not that talented at __”
we might think to ourselves.
Let’s get one thing straight: There is no such thing as talent. Anyone who was ever really good at anything spent an inordinate amount of time learning and practicing.
No one is born a talented actor, singer, ballet dancer, programmer, manager, etc… But those who have the passion in their hearts find the time to become good at it.
So forget about talent – it does not exist! Instead, start learning, until you become an expert at what you love. And then, everyone will exclaim: “What talent!”
3. We’re afraid of change
Even when we realise what we need to do to make our dreams a reality, underlying much of our inaction is a potent fear of change. We are afraid to rock the boat. We are scared, that somehow, if we make the smallest step towards our dreams, it would shake the underlying core of our lives, and everything will fall apart.
But what we need to realise is that change is natural and is essential for our growth and development. Nothing ever stays the same anyway. But by taking charge of your life, you control the direction of the change!
Here is framework to use as a lens to find a meaningful career. The funny thing is that we’re not prepared in college to find our passion. There’s no major in career development, so we’re pretty much on our own to figure it out. You have to start somewhere, so think about the suggestions:
1. Become a self-expert.
This is an exercise in finding your unique strengths, not to show your current boss what you can do, but rather to help you find out what you really want to do. By becoming a self-expert you will learn to look out for yourself and change your perspective to find what makes you happy – personally and professionally.
Finding your sense of self is important in many ways. There are 4 things that you need to do: 1) believe in yourself, 2) live and speak your truth rather than giving away your power to someone else, 3) keep moving forward at all costs and let go of any insecurities that you developed along the road, and 4) always view yourself in a positive light.
2. Establish a hierarchy for making decisions.
Part of work satisfaction is your ability to make good, rather great decisions, for yourself, not somebody else. The most important decision that you can make is to surround yourself with the right people. Environment is everything – and if you stay in the same place, with the same people, you will just breed complacency.
Look for people that you see as mentors, those that inspire you to be more driven, creative, inventive, and forward thinking. Where do you find these people? Well, you need to look outside of your current circle of peers and find people that are doing things or projects that move you. Study their actions, their ability to lead, and use their inspiration as a stimulus to build your dream.
Most importantly, and very difficult to do, is to limit all association with people that believe in impossibility because they will just hold you back. You don’t have time for impossibility, because what you’re seeking is possibility as your new norm.
3. Use your experiences to guide you.
Your past experiences are valuable because you’ve learned a lot, especially when it comes to what you don’t want in a job. You’ve got your resume built, but remember that it’s really just a piece of paper.
Using your experiences is about rebuilding your confidence. Your experience has lead you to where you are today and it will help you identify the people and your strengths that will help get you to what lies ahead. Capitalize on your accomplishments to 1) define your objectives, 2) to set a plan, and 3) to execute on what really makes a difference for you.
Don’t fall prey to the past, because it just fortifies your fears, your losses, and your potential ability to move forward.
Finding work you love requires strength and strength comes from change. So set out for a revolution rather than an evolution. What you need right now is to find the work that you think you can’t do, and find the belief in yourself to know that you can do it.
Remember, “impossible is nothing.”