So, exactly how important is it that we really enjoy our careers? Matthew Jennings, author of The Career Bible, has a few goodly words to say on the topic…
If you meet someone who loves their job, you will find that 9 out of 10 times they are happy in the whole of their life. These people don’t look forward to their retirement, they don’t dread Mondays – in fact they don’t see what they do as ‘work’ at all.
Not everyone loves their jobs though. In fact, 84% are dissatisfied with their choice of career (CBS News 2012). You will be amazed how many people do a certain kind of job, all of their lives because it was the first job they came into contact with.
“My friend’s dad had an opening in his office and it went on from there…”
In conservative figures we will spend 50,000 hours of our lives at work. The decision as to how to spend those 50,000 hours deserves a bit of effort and thought.
If you can find your passion, you will have found your life’s work.
What do you enjoy doing for fun? If money was no object and time was limitless what would you do for fun?
“Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.”
Once you have found what you like to do, you need to ‘suck it and see’. It might not feel, look the same from the inside as it does from the outside.
You need to make friends in the industry you want to work in, by attending conferences, exhibitions, open meetings, commenting on blogs etc and then see if these are your sort of people.
The ultimate ‘suck it and see’ test is an internship, or work experience/ volunteer placement. It might seem like a big sacrifice of your time and effort, but compared to 50,000 hours of your life, it’s not such a big deal.
If you aren’t sure what you want to do then get some help from everyone else in the world. A test you can do, which is kind of fun, is to type things you enjoy doing into Google and add the word ‘job’. For example ‘outdoors’, ‘fun’, ‘adventurous’, ‘job’ reveals: forest ranger, ski instructor, oil rig diver, adventure holiday team leader and many more as potential job choices. Use the rest of the world’s experiences to help you find your passion.
I firmly believe that if you love what you do it isn’t work at all. One hour doing something that bores you, will seem longer than twelve hours doing something you love. It’s worthwhile finding something you love.
The Career Bible ‘Finding, getting and keeping the career you want’ is written by Matthew Jennings and Shaun Van Wyk and combines in depth career coaching skills, recruitment know how, top level sports psychology and experience in climbing the corporate ladder. The Career Bible is available at all good bookstores. More details at www.thecareerbible.com