When you wake up, do you feel like you are living on purpose? What would make you feel like you are living for a reason? Many of us don't have an answer to that question. It's not because we don't know what we like to do. It's because we've been conditioned to believe most of our passions are hobbies, while the things we hate doing are reserved for work. While there will generally always be some aspects of your life's work that you don't enjoy (taxes, anyone?), you don't have to keep settling in every area of your career. Here are 3 steps to finding a career path you can truly enjoy.
List 25-50 things you love doing. These could be things you have been paid to do or just 'hobbies', or even basic necessities like cooking. Don't forget 'soft skills' like helping a friend through a tough time, making gifts for family, or how good you are at putting together an ensemble.
Going down the list, ask yourself:
If you have 1 or more options left:
The quick decision test: When you think of doing each option, does it give you energy? In other words, does it excite you? Or do you find yourself dreading it? Do you get tired when you think about it? If you get excited and then tired or fearful, it's because you love the idea but are afraid of what you'd have to do to get there. Many people stop at this point because they don't want to quit the job with good benefits, have to go back to school, or take another seemingly large risk like people judging them for changing their life course or leaving the big name company. But the initial excitement is instructive-- you know what you want. Congratulations! The secondary fear or overwhelm was secondary for a reason. It's ultimately less important than what you want. Making a plan with concrete baby steps will help you push through your fear.
If you have no options left:
There are generally two reasons why you might not have any viable options left. One is that you forgot to list some of your most impressive skills and passions in your initial list because they come so naturally to you that you don't even think about them anymore. Ask a close friend to remind you what you are good at and what you love doing for a fresh perspective.
The other reason you have no options left is because you may not see some of your passions as viable job options. Let's say making gifts for friends is something you adore doing, but don't consider that a way to make money. This is another opportunity to ask the internet or those around you for inspiration. They might remind you that you can have your own Etsy store, sell your creations at a friend's shop, or try a farmer's market or festivals.
Ask yourself if there is something you are good at, that can make money, that allows you to do some of the things on your list. If there isn't, ask yourself if there is something you've always wanted to be good at, that you'd be willing to learn. The journey is half the fun!
If all else fails, ask how you can be of service in the world. No one ever feels like they wasted their life if they spent it helping others. You'll bring your own flavor to those you serve and feel that sense of purpose that comes from knowing you are making a difference.
What would light you up a little more?
Life Purpose and Career Coach
Career Clarity Now