A bit of advice commonly given to graduates and job seekers is to “do what you love.” What no one bothers to explain is how you are supposed to make enough money to pay your bills while you are following your “dreams” and doing what you are passionate about. Doing what you “love” is somehow supposed to make you “magically” rich and happy.
While this advice sounds nice in theory, it rarely works out for the simple fact that most of the things that we “love” shouldn’t be the basis of our careers. For example, I love taking long walks along the beach, but I doubt that I’ll have much success turning that into a career. Even if you find an employer willing to pay you a small fortune to do what you love, your passion will suddenly turn into “work,” and you will come to dread it as much as any other task.
…. or will you? ….
See, common theory is that it’s impossible to do what you love AND have any level of financial satisfaction and security. I beg to differ. I believe it’s so important that we spend our working hours doing what we love. It doesn’t have to be your favourite thing, or walks on the beach, but it does have to contain a massive dose of what you love. The key to both fulfilment and happiness is finding a way to love what you do and do something that is aligned with your strengths and values.
As reported by both CNN and U.S. News & World Reports, numerous studies show that all of us can find contentment, career fulfillment and happiness not by following our esoteric dreams, but by finding jobs and career choices that allow us to practice specific traits and skills.
Jobs and careers that allow us to love what we do usually have most of the following characteristics:
- The ability to display competence and/or craftsmanship in our work, so that we can feel pride at a job well done
- Some degree of control, flexibility and autonomy in our schedules, or the freedom to provide input on important work decisions
- Enable us to believe that the tasks that we perform make a difference so that we can feel that our work has meaning and purpose
Rather than focussing our efforts on finding a way to make a living doing what we love, we can each come to love what we do by actively seeking out positions that allow us to put into practice the above traits; to put our best stiletto forward.
Business leaders can help your employees to lead happier, more fulfilling lives by giving each one of them as many opportunities as possible to feel pride in their work, to have some say in the way that they perform their tasks, as well as providing recognition and acknowledgement for the positive impact that their work adds.
If you are currently struggling in finding the love in your current position, I’d love to help. Career fulfilment is important and together, we can find a way for you to learn to love what you do and do what you love. Please contact me for a free initial consult to discuss how we can do just that!